Most COVID testing still involves a nasal swab. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Most COVID testing still involves a nasal swab. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

LETTER: Langley resident tested for COVID and says health workers rock

A local resident values the work of those helping to keep public safe

Dear Editor,

So, we had a little scare around here recently. I started feeling a bit unwell : headache, body aches, generally tired. Armed with the knowledge that I’d already had my flu shot a couple months ago (first one in over 15 years) I was comfortable in riding out the ill feeling for a few days… because I didn’t have a fever.

I rationalized that the cause of my malaise was probably a ‘light flu’ that my shot didn’t cover or perhaps it was an annoying winter virus of some kind that would run its course in due time.

After day 3 and a couple of sweaty nights, I decided to take the online COVID questionnaire. I plugged in my symptoms as being on the mild to moderate side. If there’d been just one box called ‘generally feeling crappy’ , that would’ve pretty much summed things up. When I plugged in my personal info, I was prompted to go get a test. Maybe their computer figured out I was a senior? Maybe that was the deal breaker? OK then. A few mild to moderate symptoms and no fever, and I was being told to go get a test.

I will admit that that’s when the panic set in. I don’t typically get sick. I don’t usually panic. But this is not a ‘usual’ time for any of us and I was going to utilize my panic card for a change. I’d been saving it for at least a couple years.

So off we went, hubby and I, on a miserably rainy morning, all masked up, to the drive through testing station. Perfect timing it was. We pulled up to the entrance and briefly spoke with security. No appointment? No problem. It was early. They could accommodate me. Yay!

• READ MORE: COVID testing site in Langley maxed out on Wednesday

We were directed into a specific lane, and I was given a form to fill out and place on the inside dash. A sopping wet grounds helper had a quick look at it through the windshield and gave me the thumbs up.

We could move on to the actual swabbing station. A lovely PPE-covered young woman came to my side of the vehicle and explained what she was going to do to my right nasal passage with the long probe that winked at me from inside the vial that she held in her right hand. Yes, that probe winked at me. I was so mesmerized that I didn’t hear everything that my PPE-covered new friend said. I remember something about a likening of the swab up my nose to diving into a swimming pool and breathing in water. It was not a good comparison.

When the time came, I removed my mask from atop my nose, held my mask over my mouth, tilted my head back and pushed my chin forward like a champ… and let her ram that winking stick up my beak. Yup. Way up there it went. One, two, three, for five twists back and forth it went. Then it was gone. Back in that vial. Winking at me again. All done.

Results back in 24 hours. Wow! Thank you!

So why am I writing this? Because that’s what I do. I write things. Sometimes, just for me. Sometimes for others.

This is for the front line workers. This is for the people who were out there on a stinkin’ wet day, wearing PPE outside in winter , in a parking lot at a local university, attending to a panicked senior who had possible mild to moderate symptoms, of something they have to hope they never get, dealing with people who need to have probes put up their noses.

Those freakin’ front-line people rock!

Please, give them a honk and a thumbs up next time you drive by. And if you ever have to go there, wink at that stick first… and thank that PPE-covered front line worker before she puts that thing up your nose. A little a acknowledgement goes a long way these days.

Thankfully, my test came back negative.

Sam McDonald, Langley

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