Wednesday, June 3, 2020

To Test Or Not To Test? - Not Even A Question

My Mum took this photo on her daily walk through
Stanmore Country Park.
We can only dream of such freedom.
DD's school is pressuring all the students to take a coronavirus test. Every day there's a message about it. First they said that no child will be allowed back into school without a documented negative result. Then the principal announced that she had been tested and how it only took a few seconds, it didn't hurt, it was just a bit uncomfortable. Next it was announced that all the teachers had been tested.

DD's teacher keeps texting me to ask if we've done it yet. And the class are meeting for daily zoom-ins where they're seriously pushing the testing.

DD is feeling the pressure and keeps asking me to get us tested. I keep explaining to her why we're not testing yet. I've also explained it twice to her teacher but I guess he's also getting pressure form above. So here's the situation...

Our health fund have called me twice and whilst they recommend that we get tested, it's not essential. It's more important for us to stay in quarantine where we can't infect anyone if we are corona positive.

The way they would prefer us to be tested is to get into a car and drive to an outdoor testing centre. We don't have a car. In order to go to a testing centre we would have to potentially endanger a driver - either a taxi driver or a friend. If either of us tested positive, that driver would have to go into isolation for 14 days. Or worse - s/he could become very ill. Or worse. I'm not prepared to ask anyone to do that for us when it's not an emergency.

If we show any symptoms, MADA (The Red Star of David) will come to us and test us at home. DD's teacher urged me to insist on this even though we have no symptoms. I understand that the school wants a full picture of the situation and I could probably make this happen if I were insistent. However, these testers in hazmat suits don't change their suits every time they visit a new home. They go from home to home where people have corona symptoms. I am absolutely not comfortable with one of these suits coming into my home when it has been around possibly tens of corona positive people. So we won't be doing that unless we develop symptoms.

If the school still needs a documented negative result we will go to be tested next Wednesday when we come out of quarantine .

Another valid point that was made by a friend on facebook, is that we owe it to all the people we were with over the weekend  (and the public at large), to get tested. Otherwise they could also be walking around with asymptomatic corona and infecting more people. It's a moral dilemma but in the end I decided that it was enough to inform them of the situation and they could choose to get tested themselves or not. I don't think they would thank me for sending their whole families into isolation for two weeks.

As for the public at large. Last week, before we started having more than 100 new cases a day and everyone thought it was all over, they came up with a great initiative to help the local economy. Each day one of the local shopping streets would be closed to traffic so that the cafes could spread outside and people could stroll and socialize (at a distance of course - hahahaha) and spend lots of money. Tonight they went ahead with this street party on one of the shopping streets near us. A friend posted about it on facebook and I could hear the music from my balcony.

I don't think my friends would be silly enough to go an event like this but if the virus spreads more over the next week, I wont' let it prey on my conscience when there are street parties going on around the corner.


  1. I can understand both points of view but think I'd go with your reasoning because like you - I don't have a car. The testing centre closest to my home is somewhere that I would need a lift to and I'm not about to get into a taxi. I can get to one downtown via transit but it's right in the middle of "Bedpan Alley" with a ton of hospitals and medical centres and full of Corona patients! All my doctors are in this area and I have no intention of going anywhere near it unless really necessary!
    I do think you've got it covered, especially if you are staying home and have notified everyone you came into contact with.
    Stay well.

    1. You're right, it's trying to find the balance between being a good citizen and protecting yourself or your family. Now they have said that if one other person in the school tests positive then the whole school will have to quarantine for 14 days. If this happens we are one week ahead. I'm hoping it doesn't happen because it would be nice to think that things have not got completely out of control and that one child in the school cannot cause so much infection. Time will tell. Atm the testing labs are overwhelmed so it's going to take a few days to find out.