Confessions of a COVID Neurotic “Larry David, Call Me”

Comedian Gail Forrest navigates the complexities of the at-home Covid test and wonders: should she have taken chemistry in high school?

I flunked taking a COVID-19 rapid test. Show me a piece of paper with instructions on it and I’ll show you a person unable to follow them.  I became panic struck when my neighbor sent me a text that she had a sore throat. Oh no, not a sore throat, anything but a sore throat.  In the “old” days a sore throat was no biggie, everyone had them, now it’s like the sky is falling with every new virus variant. How many times can sky fall in a lifetime, and how many minutes did I spend with her on Saturday?  I hope minutes are not a barometer of contagion. I’m so screwed.

The endless questions running through my addled brain were actually giving me a sore throat. And then suddenly I sneezed.  I started coughing or was I choking on my raisin bagel?  Damn. Did I need the Heimlich or Monoclonal Antibody Therapy?  I decided on a Ricola honey lemon drop. Had the virus found me all the way up on the third floor? It’s quite a trek and I rarely get visitors so I can’t believe it hitched a ride on a human.  

I decided to immediately take one of the rapid tests I had bought at CVS. My mind however, was way ahead of the result. The COVID trickledown effect had altered my thinking.  I realized I had to be a human tracker. If I was positive I needed to contact:  Diane, Jack, David, Alan, Wendy, and the mailman. The poor mailman was by the mailbox at the wrong moment when I decided to ask him if my letter had enough postage on it.  I would never find the poor guy again but I could easily upset the others’.  The phone call no one wants to get right now; “I tested positive.” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 should play when they are uttered -“Dun dun dun dunnnn.”    

I had to pull myself back together and think one step at a time. I would take the test. How hard could that be?  I’m triple vaccinated, wear a KN95 mask, walk in a zig zag pattern near humans, do not dine out and have no symptoms.  Easy peasy, the test will be negative and on with my zig zag life.  BTW my neighbor was taking a test also.  Being the Larry David type I couldn’t wait for her results I needed my own.

The box read – Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test.  It also read “easy to use.”  I love when a box has a sense of humor. There were multiple parts and pieces of paper inside.  I immediately started to feel dizzy. I suddenly couldn’t see for the blood rushing to my head.  Too many parts…too many pieces of paper! There was a little plastic test tube. Did I have to draw my own blood? The room started spinning. The instruction page was of biblical proportions.  It may as well have read “In the beginning.” The box contained a certificate of quality which made me glad mine had been approved by someone- but who and where? 

Three ominous words on the sheet glared at me “Read the instructions.”  I think a piece of the sky fell on my head. I was doomed. I am literally incapable of following instructions.  The most complicated game I could decipher as a child was “Candy Land” and here I am staring at a giant sheet of directions with diagrams and numbered steps.  I needed to see the Candy Cane Forest or Gum Drop Mountain. 

“Check your kit contents and make sure you have everything. Check the expiration date printed on the cassette foil pouch.” Expiration date! That could mean anything in my world.  I put “iffy” milk in my coffee. A cup of yogurt is eatable after its expiration if I’m hungry.  I believe those dates are debatable and personal. I was getting dizzier. Too many words, steps, and confusing illustrations.  I needed help or a martini. The instructions were for a scientist not a girl who only excelled at Candy Land.

After regaining consciousness I took the coward’s way out.  I was not a rapid test code breaker. I hung my head in despair and a minimal amount of shame.  I knew I should have taken chemistry in high school.  Getting an A on a “Death of a Salesman” report was not serving me well, or remembering Hester Prynne. 

I spent ten minutes trying to refold the instructions, which required directions and my being skilled at origami.  Yet, there was still a way. I could give up with my head held high and the dream of a martini.  I went on-line and scheduled a test. I decided someone at CVS was far more capable of testing me for COVID than I was.  

 And please tell Larry David I was negative.

See medical disclaimer below. ↓



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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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