Up your nose


We had our third round of COVID-19 tests today. We’re starting to feel like old pros.

If you haven’t experienced this yet, I can say that a lot depends on the person doing the test.

The PCR test, which is the type of COVID-19 test generally required for international flights, involves someone sticking an extra long Q-tip way up your nose and swooshing it around. My son Kosta was the first in our family to have it done. He said it felt “kind of like if you vomited al dente pasta and it got stuck in your nasal cavity.” A pretty picture.

The first test we had was at a public clinic run by Ain Shams University in Cairo. It was a first-come, first-served situation and there were several stages and a couple of hours before I got to the testing room, a small bare office containing a desk, a table, and a wooden chair. Once I finally sat down in the chair, the test was over in a flash: one swab in the throat (gag) then one up each nostril (ouch). It was over in less than 5 seconds. Unpleasant, but easily forgotten.

Waiting for names to be called, Cairo

Our negative results on that PCR got us into Thailand, but we had to take the test twice more as part of our quarantine.

The first time at the quarantine hotel was a little rough. The technician really took her time swooshing those sticks around, and I had a sore nose for a few days. We were just the slightest bit concerned waiting for our results because I had learned from the news that someone on our flight had tested positive. If you test positive in quarantine, you do not pass go, you proceed directly to the COVID hospital until you recover. Happily our results were negative.

Today we took the test for the third, and hopefully the last, time. We got a different technician this round and it was a breeze. Really hardly felt a thing, and no swooshing. If we’re negative again we’ll be out of here in two days.


About lornaofarabia

I am a teacher from Medford, Oregon. I currently live and work in Bangkok, Thailand.
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