Recently, it became popssible for anyone at all to obtain, free of charge, lateral flow testing kits for Covid. This is not mandatory or compulsory, though in areas of higher prevalence it is encouraged.
It's certainly true that I can go for days on end without seeing another human being 'in the flesh', and mostly when I do it's for a few seconds, to pay for something with contactless payment. Even so, there remains a small, and finite, risk.
Although Glasgow remains in Level 3 for a week or more, things have opeend up quite a lot, and I have begun to meet up with people in cafes. Whilst I limit this to no more than one 'group' per day, it means I increase the risk. So, I took a conscious decision to start doing twice a week, lateral flow tests at home. So far, four tests/two weeks later, so negative - which is good! The photo is today's (with identifiying marks blanked out).
The bottom line is, I would hate to take the risk, however small, of passing on the virus to someone who is vulnerable, unwell, immunocompromised, unvaccinated or EoL, when a quick test could have prevented that. It's worth a few moments of my time, and a little bit of discomfort to know that, no more than three days ago, I was 'negative'. For sure, the tests aren't perfect, but an imperfect test is better then no test at all.
Doing the swab takes a matter of seconds. I have a strong gag reflex it seems, and touching my tonsils makes me gag, but I have learned to breath deeply, do the four swipes on one side, then take a moment before swabbing the other side. Swabbing my nose is a bit uncomfortable (if it hurts you have probably gone too far up) but way less so than the so-called 'discomfort' of a smear test (sorry men) and no worse than the MRSA swabs were a few years ago. It's worth a few seconds of unpleasantness for the measure of reassurance I get get thirty minutes later when a single red line next to the C is a 'negative' result, and I am 'good to go' for a few days.
On Thursday of this week I will get my second dose of vaccine, and two to three weeks after that will be as 'covered' as I can be, at least until/unless boosters are needed. For now, and unless/until someone declares there no longer to be a need, I will keep on testing and keep on reporting, as, together, we do our best to negotiate the complex journey to the 'Beyond' of which we dream.