For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers.
Slice of Life Challenge #21 Day 18:
I make my way down to our high school gym, where district staff members have the weekly opportunity to take an asymptomatic COVID test.
As I reach the entrance of the gym, Tom says hello, grins, and sprints ahead of me.
"I beat you!" He says, and I giggle. I love the spontaneity of his run. We enter the double doors of the Large Gym, careful to provide ample space between each other.
My playful mood instantly shifts. Health care workers are dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including protective clothing, face masks, and gloves. Everyone is now somber and serious.
I stand in line while I wait my turn. My weight shifts back and forth a bit. I check my face mask and make sure that it is appropriately covering my nose and mouth.
"Have you done this before?"
I nod and hand my COVID Testing Program paper voucher to the health care provider. He hands me a small, sealed baggie containing a plastic test tube and paperwork. I hold my baggie and wait for the next step.
"Please state your name and date of birth," A different health worker requests. I share my information. She takes the bag from my hand and hands me a long swab for my nose.
I am already swabbing each side of my nostril before she can give me the standard instructions. My swab is placed back into the test tube.
"You should receive results back through an email link in two to four days."
"Thank you," I respond, leave the gym, and return back to my classroom.
Our district began providing optional and free asymptomatic COVID tests at our building a few months ago. I have been taking advantange of this optional convience (and peace of mind) each week. The first time I got an asymptomatic COVID test, I was so nervous. What if the swab hurts? What if I test positive? Will I be standing in line for a long time?
Taking a COVID test is no longer a worry for me. It is a quick test to take. It doesn't hurt. I know that if I test positive, I will take care of myself and do what I can to protect others.
I never imagined that taking a weekly medical test would be a part of my weekly routine at school.
What is a routine that you didn't expect that you would get used to this school year?