Continued Idle Thoughts: This is NOT Your Grandmother’s Q-Tip!

Source: AP/KSAT

Breaking News! Your humble blogger decided to get tested.

Yes, after watching for months now all the video images of people having a cotton swab shoved up their nose, I thought I’d like to be featured on the news too. Unfortunately nary a journalist was there to chronicle the event. I’m apparently about as newsworthy as a Mike Pence press release.

What made me do this? I read recently that while Florida’s coronavirus case numbers are now flattening, experts say this is only because the number of people being tested has slowed. My always-churning brain told me that this was opportunity knocking on my door.

So, I drove over to the local hospital where they have been administering COVID tests in their parking lot, and sure enough, it was indeed mostly empty. When in Rome, right?

There were four different stations that I had to drive through before finally reaching my moment with Mr. Swab. The first one screen-captured my ID, the second asked me to merely hold up my ID, the third asked me to read my ID aloud, and the fourth asked a series of rapid-fire questions such as birthdate, home address, and last name. I aced everything.

But I’m not going to lie to you: the swab test isn’t much fun. Perhaps because I was sitting inside my car and not standing outside where the medical technician could reach me easier, but I’m still absolutely certain that this guy had a serious problem with depth perception. His method of swabbing was way too far up my nose. Please believe me when I tell you it was 15 seconds of excruciating discomfort. If for some reason I see this same man at my next prostate exam, I am running for the hills.

But who doesn’t love a good story ending? The county health department called by phone with my test results within 24 hours, and I am negative! Although I understand that there are questions out there about the accuracy of COVID tests, I am choosing to accept this one at face value. It’s not like we’re blessed with all kinds of testing options at our disposal right now.

The last word on this topic goes to Gorgeous, who after hearing of my tale of the long-reaching swab, soberly remarked: “I’ll wait for the saliva-based one.”

Screen capture of my actual results

In other news…

I continue to workout at home by taking aerobic walks in our condo development, followed by a modified stretching routine in our living room. Gorgeous, however, decided to return to our gym earlier this month. I’m still uncomfortable going there, but she says by going mid-morning there is virtually no one there. She texted me the following picture recently:

Ron DeSantis, Florida governor and mask-challenged video star, continues to order that all schools open later this month. This in spite of an ongoing legal challenge from state teachers’ unions. Completely safe from COVID fears, however, are the staff at state’s lottery offices, which have remained closed to the public since early spring. Holders of winning jackpot tickets are encouraged to submit them via the good ‘ol reliable U.S. Postal Service. Your mail-in ballots are possibly in danger, but rest assured that the Mega Millions winner currently in your wallet will arrive to them safely!

My own very lotto ticket. Sadly, it was not a winner.

I continue to be baffled by our financial advisor, Hank. This week he notified all of his clients that for the remainder of August, he would refrain from using the benchmark Dow Jones and S&P 500 indices in favor of the meteorological Heat Index.

Speaking of weather, since July the weather here in northern Florida has been similar to what Bill Murray experienced in “Groundhog Day.” Every single day starts out sunny, but by mid-afternoon we have thunderstorms, some of them quite horrific in their intensity. Even the morning weathercaster has basically given up:

I researched my credit card statement to verify the following: The last time we actually sat down for a meal inside a restaurant was on March 12th at the Playa Chacmool Mexican restaurant here in St. Augustine. When a vaccine is finally available, I’m going back there and plan to order a hot, steamy, and sizzling steak fajita. Margarita anyone?

On that note, please do continue to be safe out there. Wear your mask, keep six feet away (or more), and take it from me: stick to the regular-sized Q-Tips if you possibly can.

Until next time…

33 thoughts on “Continued Idle Thoughts: This is NOT Your Grandmother’s Q-Tip!

  1. Yikes! That test sounds nasty. I’ve heard from others that it’s no big deal. Knowing that you are not a sissy boy, it must depend on who is administering it and, like you said, what position both parties are in. Anyway, congrats on your negative outcome.

    Our last “real” restaurant experience was probably early March also. I see so many restaurants trying so hard to keep afloat with patio dining, but we just don’t feel comfortable yet with anything beyond take-out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it really does depend on who’s administering the test, Janis. I unfortunately got someone who wasn’t all that concerned about being gentle. But, yeah, it probably would have helped if we were both standing in front of one another.

      We drove out on Beach Boulevard here recently on a regular midweek evening just to go out for a drive, and the restaurants we passed looked absolutely packed. It made both of us shudder. Like you guys, we’ll do carry out, but no dine-in.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m up for that margarita!
    ps-tropical storm Laura looks like she’s going to doe-si-doe with tropical storm Marco. yikes. Glad it’s not a Carolina storm, but not happy it’s something others will have to deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe I’ll wait for the saliva test too! We have eaten out on a patio once. There were only 4 tables and only one other was filled. Mostly I’m not quite ready. We’re getting take out tonight.


  4. What is a “humber” blogger? Must be a Florida thing. (Laughing hysterically.)
    Last time I went out to eat? What year is this?
    I’ve seen people with that cattle prod shoved up their nose and it doesn’t looks pretty.
    Being me…I have had a tube shoved up my nose…far enough to, I’m convinced, to tickle the old grey matter…and I felt nothing. I have never had brain freeze either. What’s wrong with me?
    Glad you got tested…glad it was negatori…and if I drank…I’d certainly have a Margarita with ya! 🍸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, so much for spell-check! Laurel, thank you for alerting me to the fact that I mangled the word “humble!” Ugh.

      Yes, having that test wasn’t much fun at all. But I still insist it was because of a sloppy health department dude. Oh well, I survived.

      I’ll order you a non-alcoholic Margarita. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At least you can get them. I know of nowhere here that offers the test.
        Oh…I’d have a real Margarita if I didn’t have to drive. Drinking and driving…very bad. I guess I could hire an Uber but there’s this pesky thing out there right now called the corona virus…and I would never go to a bar alone anyway…unless I was looking for a rich man to pay my bills. Beahahahaha!


  5. Hi, Marty – I now personally know four people who have taken the COVID cotton-swab check. All four had an experience similar to yours. Until recently, it wasn’t easy to get a COVID test in BC (a doctor’s referral was needed as well as a bunch of other criteria). British Columbians can now be tested for COVID if they have mild+ symptoms. For now, I’ll keep social distancing, washing my hands until they are raw, drenching myself with sanitizer and hoping that I don’t need that test!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had similar restrictions here for getting tested too, Donna. But at some point they lifted them (probably because people stopped getting tested), and so this was my opportunity. It was really nothing more than a lark on my part. But, oh, what a miserable experience. I’m glad to know it’s not just me that had a nasal rape!

      Yes, please keep washing those hands and sanitizing. Stay safe, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great title, Marty. Yet, I was immediately concerned. I did not know there was a saliva-based test? Or still in the works? I recently heard how the length of the Q-tip is based on how far Mr. Swab can stand away from you to administer the test. Yet, you confirm it allows the Q-tip to access your brain. Ouch!

    The opening of our schools is scary throughout the globe. A big concern around here, too.

    I am truly happy on the results of your test, Marty.😅 I would have believed you without the evidence of the screen shot and the blacking out of name, age, and patient ID. (By the way, I will be the one ordering the glass of red wine:)


    1. They keep mentioning this saliva test on the news, Erica, but I’m guessing it’s still mostly in development, yeah. After reading Donna’s comment about friends of hers experiencing the same thing, it’s possible the “swabbing” I got is the norm. I still hope that’s not the case because it hurt!

      Red wine it is! I’ll save a spot for you at the table. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. When I think of Q-tips and FL I immediately think of the advice I was given years ago: Don’t be a Q-tip. That is don’t let your white frizzy hair combined with your white shoes make you look like a walking Q-tip. Not that you do, but your experience a la Covid-19 brings that to mind. Stay safe, my healthy friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Unless I have symptoms, I’m waiting for the saliva test. 🙂 I wear a mask everywhere and have washed and sanitized my hands to the point that the skin is looking pretty bad. We haven’t eaten ‘in’ a restaurant since March and don’t have any plans to in the immediate future. We get take out and hope all the folks without the masks keep the restaurants going until there is a vaccine. I also wouldn’t go near a gym with all those folks, huffing and puffing, and sweating all over the place. After having endured this isolation for going on six months, I just want to see it through without becoming a statistic. I stopped wearing white tennis shoes a long time ago, but the hair is still gray and I like it that way. Glad to hear you are both well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you, Judy. It was a moment of serendipity on my part with the test. As my late father would have said, “Well, now you know!” We talked just this morning of driving to Daytona Beach (an hour) for the day; but we ended up deciding not to do it — the fact that we won’t eat in a restaurant sort of ruined the thought. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Our weather has been like Groundhog Day too. Nothing but sun. Am I the only one who yearns for a rainy day? Just some clouds, rain and a little thunder and lightning? Other than sun, all we’ve had is a derecho which no one wants ever again. And it did nothing to relieve our drought. This week’s forecast is nothing but sun and temps in the upper 90s. Yet I’m not ready for summer to end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess we’ve had the variety you’d like here then. The mornings certainly are really nice for the most part. And although the lightening and thunder storms we’ve had are probably nothing like that derecho phenomenon you had (though one neighboring condo building here was struck by lightening and many had appliances fried). This has just been such a strange year, probably because of an over-heated earth, oceans, etc. 2021 can’t get here soon enough!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Congrats on the test score. In this case, negative is good. Negative is very good.

    I’ve heard about the storms you’ve been receiving. I haven’t seen a decent thunderstorm in a very long time. If you’re calling them horrific, then perhaps I should be careful for what I wish for.

    Stay well, Marty.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “bwa” not bea. BTW…have you ever heard of “the I-4 dead zone?” I lived in Florida for 18 years and never heard of it. I saw something on television about it this morning. FREAKY! (Stay off the stretch of highway.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really funny, no, I’ve never heard of it. The I-4 corridor is a heavily-studied area that politicians are always trying to score for campaign victories. But I wasn’t aware of this tale at all. Fortunately, our travels don’t take us over that way much. I’ll be sure to stay off my phone if we do, not pick up ghost hitchhikers, and definitely drive carefully. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was shocked at the speed too, Vy. But there’s probably a reason: people aren’t getting tested. There’s a wariness about it all, which I think has skewed the numbers downward at the moment when in fact I suspect infections are still climbing. I hope I’m wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Well done on acing the test! They do two here – the one up the nose and the other at the back of the throat – my friend, a teacher, had to have both done when feeling unwell a couple of months ago (she aced the tests too!).

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow! I hope you taking the test doesn’t mean you’re feeling really sick. Congrats on the negative results!

    I’m going to be talking to my doctor next week about getting the antibody test. I’m pretty sure a family member had COVID back in March, and if I had the antibodies for it, that would definitely makes some things in life a bit easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I just took it because demand for testing here has fallen (which is another problem altogether), and I knew I could sail in/out of the testing area without a problem. Sure enough, I was done in probably ten minutes.

      The antibody test would be nice to get also. I just know I don’t want to experience that nose swab again!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m with Gorgeous on this one, Marty. I’m waiting for the saliva test unless I find out I’ve been exposed or I have symptoms. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy your description of the process. Congratulations on the favorable test results. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.