On 16th May I awoke feeling like shite and the only way I can explain how I felt was, well imagine you have a medium-size dog sat on your chest, while you’re coughing and while you’re sweating profusely. Last time I felt this bad I had a Urinary Tract Infection and was delirious.
I phoned my doctors, who pointed me at NHS 111, who then said I need to have a Coronavirus test and pointed me at the online booking system and the nearest available test center. Very few appointments at Stoke and Knutsford, so off to the next nearest Coronavirus test center at Manchester Airport.
About an hour later I am turning into the test center at Manchester Airport.
For those that do not know there is a staff car park near to the Romper pub and the Aviation viewing park and this has been turned into a makeshift Coronavirus testing center.
The first thing you notice as you arrive are all the signs saying, “Keep your windows closed” and “Follow staff directions”
In other words go to where they are directing you.
There are people stood at the entrance and at various checkpoints as you drive into the site and all of them hold up little signs telling you where to go, lots of people in masks and gloves.
I’m told to stop just after the second checkpoint.
I stop. A member of staff comes over to my car with a sign in her hands which says “Keep windows closed” There’s also another big yellow sign in front of me saying the same.
She then shows me another card which asks for my Test ID code which was texted to me when I made the appointment. The system texts a link to a webpage, which asks you to put in your date of birth, and then it displays the QR code. I hold my mobile up, screen outwards so the lady can scan in the QR code displayed on the screen. Once used the code doesn’t work anymore.
She disappears for a second and comes back with a piece of paper in a little see through bag which she then places under the wiper blade on my car, this isn’t for me but the staff at the next station. Don’t know what they would do if it was raining?
Anyway, off we go again and now with my piece of paper I am directed to a Gate. These are the lanes that contain the actual testing stations.
I am told to go to Gate 3 and the marshal’s point me down the correct lane.
As gate 3 already has a few cars in it and I have to queue for about 20 minutes before it’s my turn. I am ushered forwards until I reach the actual testing station. I could see about 6 of these at the Airport site.
When I reach the testing station, I am asked to roll down my window and a young man called Dan introduces himself and explains the procedure.
“Hi I’m Dan and I’ll be administering the test today. Have you had a Coronavirus test before?”
“Okay what we’re going to do is take a swab from the very back of your throat and then another swab from as far up your nose as possible for about 10 seconds each. So, are you okay with this?”
“Good can you blow your nose for me as hard as you can?” and he hands me a tissue.
I blow my nose.
“Right, if you’re ready to open your mouth, let’s get you tested”
I open my mouth and Dan puts the swab right down to the back of my throat. My gag reflex isn’t the best and it’s only in the second I feel like I might gag.
“Good now we need to do the nose swab. Please if you feel like you’re going to sneeze then please try hang on or tell me and I’ll remove the swab. Please don’t sneeze as it will get messy. For both of us” and he giggles! “It’s not good when people sneeze”
“Which nostril do you want it in?” The answer now I know is neither!
Right one please.
Dan pushes the swab up my nose to the point where it’s almost painful it feels so far up. Like he’s touching the bottom of my brain. I manage not to sneeze until a few seconds after he has finished but the movement of the swab did make me sneeze. They twirl it in your nose and it tickles your nostril.
Dan disappears and comes back out with a card which contains a summary of the test center, a bar code, and a test reference.
“It can take a few days to get the results so best you self-isolate”
Is that everything?
“Yes, we’ll text you when the results are ready”
And with that I drive off and out of the center. Arrival to exit took less than 30 minutes.
I await the results with bated breath.
Have I got Coronavirus? I really fucking hope not.
I received my results some 36 hours later and they were Negative. ♠