Scheduling a COVID-19 test remains surprisingly difficult.

Finding and scheduling a test for COVID-19 in my area remains surprisingly difficult. Here, in a developed nation we are seemingly unable to make widespread testing available to the public after almost a year of this global pandemic. That is inexcusable.

Pandemic day 272

The president of the United States equates testing with causality. Trump keeps saying “… You find all these cases when you test”. Yes, it is true that testing reveals the existence of positive cases. Those cases exist whether you are aware of them or not. Trump doesn’t want a statistical increase in the number of cases (despite the record number of new cases reported EVERY DAY) so he doesn’t want to expand testing. This is exactly what we should have expected.

Recently, I was exposed to COVID-19 and when I began to exhibit symptoms I decided to get tested. I went to a local urgent care chain where I was unable to be tested. I then called two other nearby locations in the same chain, but they were also inundated and unable to schedule me for a test.

I tried a local community health clinic but they rely on volunteer healthcare providers and none were currently available

I also tried the local hospital system. I waited on hold for 40 minutes before the automated phone system *suggested* that I leave a message with my name and phone number and wait for a call-back. I’m still waiting for that call.

Finally, I tried a popular chain of retail pharmacies. The adverts on their phone system tried to convince me that what I really needed, was a road-side assistance plan. I didn’t want to get tested there.

Between three urgent care locations, a hospital network, a community medical clinic, and a retail pharmacy — I made SIX attempts to get tested without success. No wonder we have had so much difficulty slowing the infection rate or “flattening the curve” as they say on the news.

Originally Published 08 December 2020