It’s the moment of truth that determines someone’s life for at least the next two weeks. Ciara Nevin reveals what it’s like to have a COVID test.

Since March of this year, the one thing everybody has dreaded is developing a cough. Even just hearing a cough in a restaurant or shop sends a chill through the crowd.

Last week I developed a tickly throat and started coughing on my way home and I was instantly filled with worry.

Over the next 24 hours I started feeling worse, with the cough continuing and my temperature rising. The next morning I decided to order a COVID 19 testing kit.

Because I am living at university without access to a car, I planned to go to a walk in testing centre, however because my cough was getting so bad I was worried about going out in public and spreading anything. So instead I opted for a postal test.

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Despite hearing that they were hard to acquire, I found it easy and painless. I just went on the GOV.UK website on Sunday and ordered one and it showed up on Monday afternoon.

The test itself was not so painless. You are required to swab your tonsils without touching your tongue on the swab, which is easier said than done as it caused me to wretch. You then have to stick the same swab up your nose which was a lot easier but still not a pleasant experience.

The test instructions were clear however the instructions on how to register your test online and how to send it off were confusing, with the barcodes being mixed up and the packing process being unclear. Luckily my nearest priority post box was only down the road. However I was confused whether I was meant go be posting it myself as I had to stop isolating to go out and send it off.

The results took a nerve wracking two days to arrive, and luckily they were negative. They came through text and email, so I couldn’t really miss them.

Overall the experience was not without its stresses but it was as easy as it could have been in such a trying time.

By NevinC

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