My Experience Getting Tested for COVID-19 & Why You Shouldn't Be Scared to Get Tested!

First, a disclaimer: I am not a medical health professional (I am a liberal arts student who knows nothing about math or science (I very nearly failed math in Grade 11). My opinions are my own, and I cannot advise you about whether or not you have COVID-19. If you have symptoms, you can go here to assess your symptoms and book a time to get tested.

Back in July, I came down with vicious body aches and a stuffy nose. Like everyone else, I was paranoid about whether my symptoms could be indicative of COVID-19. After doing the self-assessment on the official Ontario Health page, I decided to go to a drive-through testing location.

Needless to say, I was incredibly on edge and nervous about getting tested, especially after reading all of the headlines about how they shove a swab all the way to your brain when you are getting tested.

When arriving at the testing location, I was handed a form to fill out which asked simple questions such as your health card number, your symptoms and whether you were an essential worker or not. Trembling a bit from nerves, I filled out the form as I waited in the long line. Personally, I got there right when the testing center opened and the line was already incredibly long. If you are able to go to drive-through testing where you live, get there early!

Next, one of the workers collected my form and health card to put into the system. After about an hour of waiting, a doctor came and instructed me to roll down my window. As I had indicated that I was symptomatic, he took both a throat and nose test.

The throat test included loudly saying “AHHH” as he put a swab in the back of my throat. This was probably the most unpleasant part, as I could feel that my gag reflex was irritated. However, the discomfort lasted all of ten seconds.

Up next was the part I was dreading: the nose swab. Being instructed to tilt my head back, he inserted the swab into my nose, spun it around a few times and took it out.

After taking a breath, I realized that it was over. Plus, it had not gone into my brain! Honestly, do not believe the articles that tell you this happens. Is it a bit uncomfortable? Yes. Is not knowing if you have COVID-19 more uncomfortable? YES!

In my experience, getting the nose swab done felt as if someone had put something spicy in my nose. It was uncomfortable, but I barely processed the sensation before it was already out.

If you are putting off getting tested due to fear, DON’T. I am so glad I got the test done, and after getting my negative result, I could properly relax.

If you have symptoms, get tested. We all have a responsibility to do so right now. Momentary discomfort is worth it, and who knows, you could end up just having a regular cold!