What’s going on fellow bus enthusiasts and dǰ pišpiš fans? I still haven’t fully transitioned out of the academic realm. I wanted to share some news that I think is important for folks and communities around me to know. I tested negative for coronavirus. Now that I told you, let’s talk about what it was like getting tested and what the results mean.
If you’re on Facebook, you may recall a brief moment on 1 July where I felt nauseous and then vomited unprompted. Because those were a few indications that I may have the virus that causes COVID-19, I didn’t wait to figure out how and where to get tested. The problem is, I don’t drive—and because of my personal healthcare circumstances, the few testing sites I could possibly access require a short drive. I decided to enroll in the Greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network Study (SCAN) to conduct an at-home self-swab and avoid bringing anything bad on public transport.
I received a test kit the next day (2 July) and went right to work. There were a few complications that prevented me from following the directions exactly to the letter; notably, the hostel that I’m staying at lacks handwashing facilities, and I had to constantly remind people not to f***ing touch and take the return package back into the house. Remember that I conducted a nasal swab though and not a nasopharyngeal swab, which extends to the back of the throat. Nevertheless, I think the experience is no different than if I asked a healthcare provider to test me. I felt like I stuck a pike up my nose. It was a very uncomfortable experience.
SCAN generated results within 24 hours, and I have absolutely nothing but joy for the news. There are a few implications for the results, as always. While this test falls under the same class of tests that healthcare providers conduct (e.g. PCR or viral tests), it wasn’t conducted by a licensed healthcare provider and therefore isn’t a diagnosis for COVID-19. As with any test, these aren’t definitive results, and a healthcare provider may have to test my a**hole again under more controlled conditions.
With that said, I wanted to add a few personal notes of my own for the discussion section. I survived in my bloody hostel for 22 days now and therefore established a ‘bubble’ with the 16 long-term guests. This is a good thing considering that hostels are highly congregate settings with shared (albeit sometimes inadequate) facilities. In addition, my earlier symptoms did not return, and I continue to do my due diligence in preventing community transmission of COVID-19, such as avoiding unnecessary trips on public transport, and staying away from fraternity-esque parties that I have always despised.
Anyway, I wanted to talk about this because I do think it’s important for people around me to know what’s going on—and to let this serve as a reminder to fellow young peers to please do your due diligence. Wear a f***ing mask. Parties bring nothing to society these days, especially during a time of pandemic and a new Civil Rights Movement. And I understand the concerns surrounding stigma. I want to let you know that as someone who is living on their own (e.g. without parents or relatives), stigma is a really big deal for me. I don’t make the decision to share my results with the broader community lightly. I would have done it whether I tested positive or negative for the coronavirus, because I think it’s just good information for folks in my communities to have. So yeah, don’t worry too much about my personal concerns in that area.
That’s it. Be sure to support only Black-owned businesses this weekend. Take it easy everyone.