Being tested for Covid-19 and the post-apocalyptic feeling

By PVM | Art of Happiness | 3 May 2020

This is the story of how I voluntary took part in one of the creepiest experiences in my life.

Being a Keyworker, I had the option to book myself and my family for the Covid-19 test. Once I filled my details on the website, I received a text with the key to activate my booking and fill the rest of the details. Once my details were completed, I could add other members of my household. The closest test centre was Peterborough, 33 miles away.  

Once you reach the proximity of the centre, the streets are deserted and filled with "Do not open your window!" signs. Following the signs, I reached the entrance where 4 people with hi-visibility vests and face-masks were waiting. And from here the spookiness reaches new levels. Before you go through the gates, behind the fences, you have to show the QR code to one of the guys in the "meet and greet" team. They will scan the QR code and tell you to go once the validation is completed, however all the communication is made mainly by sign language, and from a safe distance. This first impression made me feel like in Resident Evil or other post-apocalyptic movies, where a virus nearly erased mankind from existence.

Once inside the testing  centre, I had to follow signs and markings and passed many ambulances on stand-by. No human presence was between the gates and the next sorting point, the landscape looking deserted and abandoned for years. 

Passing metal fences, barriers and hazard signs, I reached the second sorting point, where more people with PPE scanned the QR code again, and after telling me to open the window just a little bit, one of the staff members pushed little bags with bar codes through the gap, then directed me to check point number 3 where I was told which bay to go.

Once in the bay, one of the testing staff showed me a board with a phone number which I had to call for the next part: the testing instructions. And now the things are escalating, basically letting normal people to perform a not so easy medical swabbing. You have to take the stick from the sealed pouch, rotate it 10 seconds in the back of the throat, deep enough to feel uncomfortable and nearly sick. After you have to use the same stick and put it in your left nostril, deep enough to feel discomfort and rotate it 5 times, followed by the same procedure in the right nostril. When finished, put the stick in the test sample, and put hazard lights on for another testing staff to help you with tagging.


After bagging and tagging your test, following direction though the closed window, I had to drive to the drop zone where a staff in full PPE will have a bin where I have to throw the tests, but only though a small gap, not a full opened window.  I was expecting the staff in full PPE to be geared like an astronaut but this guy had an apron added to the usual mask and gloves. Got rid of the tests and I headed towards the exit. The testing process wasn't painful but was borderline self-harm. 

Got the results by text after 3 days and I was happy it was negative. This doesn't mean that I am save from the virus, means just that at the time of the test I wasn't infected.


And now, to add a bit more conspiracy to the Resident Evil similarity, the biotech lab in Shanghai has a similar logo to the Umbrella Corporation, the ones responsible for the viral virus which transformed people in zombies in the Resident Evil franchise. 






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Art of Happiness
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Live simple... enjoy life! "If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more?" Roy T. Bennett

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