By Alex P. Vidal
“Love thy chemicals.” ― Ashutosh Joshi
MY employers in two different workplaces thought I had Covid.
They panicked; I didn’t.
They wanted to make sure I had PCR test in a soonest possible time so as not to disrupt my work schedule.
The basis of their worries? —I was “exposed.”
Being “exposed” to the dreaded coronavirus in 2020 and the later part of 2021 meant death sentence.
But we are now in the third quarter of 2022. Must I panic if I’m exposed? Must I die if I’m positive?
Some people are getting jitters for the Monkeypox, which I branded as “Monkey business” in an article two months ago, and only slightly for the Omicron, a Covid variant.
What I’m saying is, to hell with “exposure” to someone “positive” of Covid. Not in 2022 where death rate for Omicron is almost a joke (with due respect to our health authorities).
Anyway, my employers wanted the PCR, not the rapid Antigen testing.
PCR means polymerase chain reaction, or a test to detect genetic material from a specific organism, such as a virus.
The test detects the presence of a virus if we have the virus at the time of the test, which could also detect the virus’ fragments even after we are no longer infected.
Antigen testing, on the other hand, is a rapid diagnostic test suitable for point-of-care testing that directly detects the presence or absence of an antigen.
To make the long story short, I obliged for the pesky tests most recently.
First, a sariliking sikap style Antigen test or “self test at home.” Result: NEGATIVE.
Two days later, I got both the Antigen and PCR Testing which yielded NEGATIVE results (the Antigen result came after 10 minutes, while the PCR after two days, as usual).
As stated earlier, I didn’t panic when informed I had been “exposed.”
From November to December 2021, I made my 14th testing (both Antigen and PCR), believe it or not, which could qualify me to be a Covid testing poster boy.
All my tests yielded NEGATIVE since last year. Either my immunity is strong, or I was never infected at all, God forbid.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)