I am going to post a series of short essays I wrote on another site at the end of 2020. Because we have to work together and these are relevant. I will post one every day or two.
From Tuesday November 24, 2020:
I have just had a call asking for a Covid-19 test.
Not for symptoms.
Nope. Traveled from Washington to California with a buddy and “My sister thinks I should be tested.”
Me: “Oh, does your sister want you tested before you come to Thanksgiving?”
Patient: “Uh, I think so.”
Me: “First of all, the priority is for people who have symptoms or have been exposed. Secondly I am not ordering a test for someone who has no symptoms, chose to travel and then thinks it’s ok to go to a Thanksgiving dinner in another household if they get a negative. It’s not ok. You can test negative one day and be shedding virus the next. The quarantine after exposure is 14 days. The medical advice from the CDC, from the surgeon general and from me is STAY HOME.”
Others are asking for antibody tests. We don’t know if the antibodies mean you aren’t infectious. We don’t know how long they last. Typically with other covid viruses they don’t last long. In contrast, chicken pox virus gives lifelong immunity. We don’t know if a person can get Covid-19 again, though there have already been some cases. No, I won’t do an antibody test because the person “Just wants to know.”
STAY HOME STAY HOME STAY HOME.