COVID Tests, Ranked
We’ve all taken more than enough of these. Let’s judge them.
For as “normal” and “routine” as it’s become, I still find myself deeply irritated whenever I have to take an at-home COVID test. I took one just the other day after 24 hours or so of mild congestion and fatigue, and as I self-administered, I bounced my leg with an overblown sense of annoyance. I filled the little tube with the minuscule-yet-vital amount of liquid and all the while the bottle threatened to topple over and render itself useless. I performatively sighed several times while waiting for the results.
I appreciate the freedom and safety the tests facilitate, but I also kind of hate them. My hate is probably wrapped up in the fact that I still, impossibly, have never tested positive for COVID. I say “tested” specifically because on some level I’m certain I must have contracted it by now. I’ve been safe, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t taken some risks, and even the safest people I know have gotten COVID. And so, two-and-a-half years in, every time I want to ensure the safety of people I’m going to see, or need to travel, or feel like something might be more than a cold (I don’t even know what a cold is anymore!!), I test with some sort of pathological insistence that it will finally be the time I see two lines. Every time could be the time.
I’m still waiting for it, but in the meantime, where to take this shapeless resentment? To this blog!!!
Now you might be asking yourself, why would you rank COVID tests? What purpose does it serve? Well, because this is the world we live in. A few years ago, self-managed tests for a global viral outbreak would have seemed absurd. It is still absurd, in some ways, but it’s also our reality. And anyway, we’ve ranked several other life certainties like state birds and evil pride celebrations (wait, am I talking myself out of this) before, so why not this?? Plus, I know the rest of you have opinions.
Also, let’s get real, some of these tests suck ass.
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