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.
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 18: I jumped at the chance to get my booster jab this week
• Ben Lowry Dec 18: Hooded men court case ruling might not be as bad for UK as it seems
• Ben Lowry Dec 18: The days will be getting longer again from Tuesday
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