Dave Eggers on getting a COVID-19 test

Things are very up in the air about that now. There was a study recently that suggested there may be long lasting immunity from t-cell memory. So signs of hope. But still be careful.

1 Like

My wife runs a wilderness school here in NY’s Hudson Valley and the prerequisite for camp this year was a test within 7 days of camp (100% outdoors, isolated pods of 10, all adults wear masks at all times, extremely disciplined protocols). We got her and my two oldest kids tested no problem. Of course, NY makes health insurance available to every child whose parents aren’t extremely wealthy for next to nothing and she has coverage via work. Unfortunately, I know this is rare. Even where testing is available, there are horror stories of people getting whacked with massive bills depending upon their coverage, extremely long waits, etc.



Thanks for this! We suspected my wife had it in Feb when they were saying it was just one lawyer in Westchester, but don’t feel justified in taking an appointment from someone who really needs it. I’d really like to know, especially as evidence of immunity codifies. Unfortunately, it’s looking like immunity may be temporary, but still good to know.

By the way, I thought this was worth knowing in case cost is a barrier for anyone:

“If the individual uses LabCorp.com to get the test, there is a non-reimbursable fee of $10 paid to PWNHealth to cover the independent physician service costs. If the test is ordered through the individual’s doctor or healthcare provider, the $10 PWNHealth fee does not apply.


That’s not looking good. People who have had it should in no way consider themselves safe from getting it again.


The husband of my son’s PT had symptoms on Monday. His appointment to get tested is on Saturday. She cancelled all appointments until they have results. This is right outside Seattle.

1 Like

I’m in the UK (Britain). Our government is an embarassment. I’ve been reporting my health daily to an independent research project since lockdown began. Last weekend I developed mild symptoms. Nothing too alarming. Sore throat, digestive distress. Bit of a cough. I had an e-mail from the app telling me how to get a test, before I realised something was up.

Test ordered tuesday, delivered by amazon wednesday evening after last post, self administered thursday morning and immediately placed in priority postbox, and delivered back to astra-zenica by 11pm. Expecting a result within 48 hours of 11pm thursday evening. Actually quite efficient.

At least it is now. I t was a bit of a carcrash earlier on, and the UK is even more mask resistant than the US and the sociopathic faction of the party that self brands as the nasty party is in power, but tests are happening becasue it’s something cheap and measurable that looks like something is being done.


Canada… well, that’s cheating.



Meanwhile in Australia.
Me: Hi, I have a bad cough and feeling short of breath.
Doc: ok, come in at 11 and someone will check you out.
(Doctor checks me over.)
Doc: ok, I think you just have a chest infection, I am going to prescribe you some anitbiotics and I want you to head across the road and get a covid test.
(hour later I am done and resting at home, two days later I have the test results, which was negative btw)


I saw that earlier this week. It spiked my blood pressure when author started a paragraph with “I am aware that my patient represents a sample size of one, but…”. But nothing! It’s a sample size of one: the scientifically justifiable part of the conversation is over.

No one ever said “immunity” was absolute, even for something like measles, and experts have consistently said that long-term immunity to coronavirus infections is dubious. This article presumes our only question to be “how do I, alone, ensure I never get COVID-19?”, but the answer to that has always been clear: (1) you can’t, and (2) it’s the wrong question.

Apparently, our Reagan-softened brains just physically can’t grok the basic deal here: it’s not about you. Even if you’re in a high-risk category, you probably won’t be the one to die from your rona infection. But someone will, and possibly thousands of someones. Conversely, if there is a coronavirus grenade out there with your name on it, your only good chance of avoiding it is if everyone else pumps the brakes on passing live grenades around.

Obviously that Vox article is not a problem on the level of Turmpling rona denialism, but (like most mainstream discussion) it stipulates the same wrong framing of the problem. We don’t need to each, personally, have 100% immunity – we only need everyone to be a bit less likely to pass on the virus, so it’s containable, so most people’s limited immunity is never tested in the first place.


I went to a CVS to get tested 16 days ago, still no result. At this point I’m thinking I have my answer.


The drive up testing site in Yverdon Switzerland takes next day appointments, and gives same day results by email (negative) or phone (positive). It looked like the PCR machines were in the next tent behind the testing tent.


I’m in the USA. There was a death in my family. & miraculously we were allowed to visit the ICU, in a hospital where nurses told me there had been Covid cases. I knew it would make sense to get tested but waited until a free municipal testing site opened that I could bike to, since I don’t have a car & didn’t want to take public transit while possibly infected. So I self-quarantined for two weeks, Local mutual aid groups grocery shopped for me & I went out for walks in isolated areas. Signed up for free trials of streaming services, watched most of “The Good Fight” & all of “GLOW.” When a nearby test site opened I signed up online & was given an appointment ten days out. I was able to sign up with minimal personal info (initials, made-up birthdate) & wasn’t asked for ID. The appointment was easy, in & out in ten minutes. I was the only patient in a big school gym where the clerks were behind plastic curtains & the test giver wore PPE. It was done with a short swab, I don’t know who the maker was, forgot to ask. They told me results would be in 24-72 hours. After three days I was told those were business hours & I would have to wait until after the long weekend. Four days later I finally had a negative result after a total of 28 days of self-quarantine. Sewed a lot of masks!


i had co-workers who got tested last month no problem, while a co-worker last week was told please wait a few days to see if your symptoms get worse before trying to get a test. :confused:

none of my co-workers have tested positive so far. one is convinced they had it ( before testing was available ) and was out several weeks till their symptoms abated.



No. Nononono.

You don’t do a nose swap by yourself. It is hard even for a clinician without experience to do this right. What’s more, if you do it right, it hurts like hell. They go through your nose right to the back of your throat. Then they rummage around a bit and pull it back. Think of a Pharao having his brain removed while being prepared for being pickled for the journey to the afterlife. You won’t enjoy it.

Also, even a cartridge-based “real time” reverse transcriptase PCR does take longer than 15 minutes. TTBMK, 2 to 6 hours. And that’s what you should do: a rt-q-PCR. You can do an antibody test with a nasopharyngeal swap, however, those have a really high proportion of false negatives.

Did you have tears running down your cheeks, felt like someone stabbed you in the nose, and had a strong gagging reflex? Otherwise, I think you’ve not been doing it right.

The fastness of the test also tells us that it must have been an antibody test. I haven’t looked in detail at the quick tests, admittedly, because the chance of false negatives is so high. Considering the antibody blood tests, the test for Ig-G. You get those only after the infection, about six weeks after actually. Ig-M kick in earlier, but also have a delay of up to a week, but infectiosity peeks after 2.5 days, on average.

This basically means that they are very likely sending people out with the confidence that they do not have Covid-19, but they in fact have it.

Mind, I don’t think that you have it. But that kind of testing seems not at all adequate.


Well that’s disconcerting (tuts appropriately).

I looked for my paperwork, but I really wasn’t focused on proper filing when I got home from that. It told me what the test was, but as I’ve no background in the terminology, it didn’t stick in my mind. I shall report back if I locate it.

You’ve sufficiently surmised the details, as I was instructed to meet resistance, nothing about practicing organ removal via the nasal passages.

1 Like

Here in NC the only type of test you can get seems to be a self-administered nasal swab. If I recall the instructions properly I saw on the website it’s not a proper throat swab, they just have you rummage around in your nose a bit.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.