Ben Lowry: People embrace measures such as jabs and tests to avoid lockdowns

On page 14 we report on the struggle to keep up with the demand for lateral flow tests.

By Ben Lowry
Saturday, 1st January 2022, 7:23 am
Updated Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 11:52 am
It is hard to take four swabs from the back of your throat, writes Ben Lowry
It is hard to take four swabs from the back of your throat, writes Ben Lowry

I picked up a packet some months ago, but have only started to use them much, so have not yet exhausted the supply.

Personally I find it hard indeed to take four swabs from the back of my throat, without touching my tongue, in the manner described in diagrams in the packet’s accompanying instructions, without throwing up. This makes me a bit concerned as to the accuracy of the (so far negative) results I have had.

I was impressed by the woman at a drive-in testing centre in Bangor I went to a couple of months ago, who — like a dentist skilled at dealing with nervous patients — got me to open my mouth, say ahh, and then suddenly had snatched a sample before I had time to hesitate.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

It is interesting to learn that demand for the tests is so great. It tallies with something I wrote a fortnight ago, that for all the vaccine sceptics and so on, the public overwhelmingly accepts scientific advice about testing, about jabs, and about other precautions.

And yet people are most slack about avoiding gatherings. Why? Because the human impulse to be sociable is so powerful.

This is why I label myself a pro-vaccine lockdown sceptic. It is my deep dislike of the devastation caused by lockdown that makes me embrace the other measures.

Incidentally, a relative from London was over and we went for coffee in a Co Down premises that has a licence, and had to show our proofs. She said she has never been asked for proof of jab or tests in the capital.

I think this shows our prudence, but I know anti vaxxers won’t agree.

• Ben Lowry (@Benlowry2) is News Letter editor. Other articles by him below and beneath that information on how to subscribe to the paper:

• Ben Lowry Dec 11: Joint anthem at Northern Ireland games would be a ploy to undermine it

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdowns having had a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.


now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Ben Lowry, Editor