The text came through late this afternoon: “Sorry to tell you all, but I think I might have COVID.  I’m trying to get tested now.”

This is from one of the friends from our Saturday afternoon doggie playtime outing.  Six friends and six dogs enjoyed almost three hours of blissful spring sunshine.  As we have done all year long, we stand outside.  We don’t go into anyone else’s house (although the dogs sometimes push a door and sneak in). If someone is worried that they might have been exposed, they don’t participate. 

Our conversation turned to vaccines on Saturday, as is typical right now.  It’s a standard topic:  who has already been vaccinated, what appointment dates others have, which vaccine people got, what sort of side effects anyone felt.  The push is on:  vaccination is widely seen as freedom to live our lives again.  

My friend said she had called the local hospital, and they claimed to not be able to test her today–because she was showing symptoms and because they closed by early afternoon.  They could only take her tomorrow afternoon. 

Using my hard-won knowledge from our family’s lockdown in February, I assured my friend that this was erroneous information.  What the hospital means by that is that the hospital is not doing testing any later than the afternoon, and that the hospital is only testing those without symptoms at this time. 

However, every night and every weekend, there is another testing site run by the state of Vermont.  It’s located just outside the hospital’s back entry doors, set up in a very convenient drive-through fashion.  You don’t even get out of your car, and you register online ahead of time. It’s all very efficient.

This “silver lining” of my family’s experience-gained awareness of testing procedures and intricacies frustrates me today.  But my friend (and her son and her husband) are all sleeping better tonight, knowing that they should have answers very soon.