Regular Covid-19 testing is well on its way to becoming part of our daily lives.
In the UK you can easily order a lateral flow test for free – just fill out a form on the gov.co.uk website and a box will arrive within a few days.
We’ll admit it’s not the most pleasant experience in the world – after all, it does involve sticking a swab up your nose – but regular testing is thought to be crucial in keeping us all safe as we try to get back to some sense of normal.
Now, thousands of supermarket supply workers will be offered daily testing instead of having to self-isolate if they’re ‘pinged’ (told to self-isolate by the NHS contact tracing app) – in an effort to keep shelves fully stocked.
It’s not just critical workers who can do their bit by regularly testing – everyone can pitch in. You can do a lateral flow test if you don’t have Covid symptoms, are over the age of 11 and haven’t been told to self-isolate.
The advice is to do a rapid test twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) to check if you have the virus. If you are experiencing symptoms, self-isolate and order a free PCR test.
Testing is super easy. If you’ve been putting it off, or have a friend or family member in need of a little encouragement, here’s a few reasons to get involved…
1. It gives you peace of mind… particularly when you’re seeing more vulnerable family members.
2. You feel a certain smugness… “Oh me? I’ve tested and am clear,” you’ll find yourself telling your friends with pride.
3. It’ll become part of your daily routine… you’ll soon be a testing pro, like it’s no big deal.
4. It’s about respect for the people around you… and fulfilling your civic duty – anyway, it’s not like it’s that much of a chore.
5. It will hopefully mean children can continue to go to school when term restarts… without having to isolate at home for periods of time.
6. It minimises the risk of spreading the virus… Around one in three people with Covid don’t have symptoms – testing can help indicate that you need to isolate and order a PCR test.
7. Tests are free… and who doesn’t love free things?
8. You feel like a scientist doing the test… even if chemistry was never your thing at school.
9. You’ll be up to date with the latest fashion… we’re not joking: people have started using their all-clear lateral flow tests as the hottest new accessories.
10. You’ll feel like an athlete… If Olympians are doing it regularly, why can’t you?
11. Imagine how much we all wanted tests last year… and now, we can take full advantage of them.
12. You’re doing it in solidarity with supermarket supply workers… who are working hard to keep us in much needed groceries (and, ahem, ice lollies).
13. You feel a sense of achievement when it’s done… Sure, it felt quite tickly and you sneezed a few times, but you did it, and that’s the most important thing.