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Covid-19 Testing Experience

My son was showing Covid-19 symptoms so I finished work early to take him to get tested and myself at the same time (I had very mild symptoms – you can’t be too safe, right?). We live in Epping so I decided we’d do The Northern Hospital. There was a huge line of cars just to enter the street the hospital is on because everyone’s going to the drive-thru testing at Pacific Epping shopping center which is opposite the hospital – we couldn’t do drive-thru because my son is under 6 years old.

I parked in the hospital’s car park – the boom gates were up, bonus $20 saved on parking. We entered the first line I saw which was called the “fever clinic”. One of the staff advised us this wasn’t the right line and we were to go to another section (the outside entrance to Pathology if you know the layout).

We were greeted by a nurse sitting at a foldable outdoor table (which was well stocked with masks and sanitizer) who took our temperatures, asked us about our symptoms and then let us through into the waiting area after giving us labels proudly showing everyone our temperatures, declaring we were symptomatic and assigning us a number (like a deli). Besides the plastic isolation screens to keep the potentially infectious where they belonged, preventing wandering and walking past many seats we were forbidden from sitting on we ended up in a standard hospital waiting area. The reception staff eventually called our number and I gave them all of our details.

The waiting area was depressingly full of mums with prams, I hope their baby’s didn’t have the virus but I applaud them for coming in for testing. Eventually it was our turn and we entered a small doctors office. We sat on the bed and went through our history, symptoms and then it was time for testing. I went first to show my son it wasn’t as bad and to reduce his anxiety. It was bad. First the stick went in my throat through my mouth. I gagged and it felt unpleasant. That was the easy one I thought to myself. Next up were the nose things, I don’t know if you’ve seen it but wow, talk about discomfort. I’ll spare you the details except to point out my nose is surprisingly clear and I can breathe.

The results will take 2-3 days to arrive (by text message presumably – hopefully not carrier pigeon or there might be delays), in the meantime we’ve been ordered to self isolate. This post isn’t to scare you dear readers but share my experience, if you have symptoms please get tested. The Northern exceeded my expectations today and their organisation and structure showed, at least in the Pandemics department.

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