Do you all remember at the beginning of the pandemic when people were selling fake at-home COVID tests? They were being sold on Instagram, the black market, on the side of the street, and everywhere else you can sell things. Or how about when towards the middle of the year, finding a testing site was just as hard as finding a vaccination site now? A lot of time has passed and now that we are well over a year into the pandemic, your local pharmacy will soon be stocking their shelves with at-home COVID testing kits.
From Walgreens to CVS, you can test yourself in the comfort of your own home on your own time. Most kits come with a cotton swab and a test tube. Some kits have shipping labels for overnight shipping, and they allow you to track your results in an app. If your results come back positive, then a medical professional will contact you. You don’t have to wait in a long line in your car for hours to find out you’re negative. But more importantly you can be even safer now. Regardless of whether your negative or positive, at-home testing will reduce interactions between people. It’s a given at this point that the less we interact with people we normally don’t interact with, the better. I think this method is more efficient and allows more people to get tested.
Now, that we have easy access to COVID testing, the likelihood for scams to come back is high. To be honest, I don’t think they stopped, but I do think this change will encourage people to go through the trustworthy channels for their health. If they can go to their pharmacy or Walmart to get a test, then they won’t go online searching for testing kits that could have put them in more danger health wise. Something that I hope won’t arise from this change is the toilet paper situation we saw last year. Just because they are available doesn’t mean you need to buy every single one! We are in a pandemic, not an apocalyptic situation. As long as you buy the amount you need, then we shouldn’t run out, we’ll be fine.
One thing I think is crazy is how fast all of this is happening. Science has come a long way since the Spanish and swine flu, but still all this is happening really quickly. For many of us, the time isn’t going fast enough, but clinical trials can take up to seven years to complete and even then, they aren’t the best version. Don’t get me wrong, I trust the scientist know what they’re doing, and the end of this pandemic is everyone’s goal. I’m just amazed by the speed and how many people are already vaccinated.
I’m happy to see they are progressing as fast as they are and I do see an end to the pandemic, not COVID. I think that’s here to stay, but as long as we can find an efficient way to combat it then I think we’ve accomplished the biggest goal.
By Triniti Maye, Saint Xavier University, Junior