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The Psychological Fuckery of Group Covid Testing

I feel like almost every blog I write now starts with me complimenting a topic, then apologizing in advance for a roast I will give on that topic, and then concludes with a positive testament about the topic I just shat on.

Call it a shit sandwich on whole wheat bread, if you will.

Well, looks like we’re right on schedule with this one. 

Twice a week I have to go to this covid testing center on campus and take a saliva mitigation test. Per usual, let me start off by saying how happy I am that these things exist. They are beginning to happen at colleges across the country and 100% I’m all for it. 

Sure, it’s 30 minutes that I won’t get back (twice a week), but this rapid and high volume testing system allows for us to be back on campus in the first place, so we can crawl our way back to what life was. I’m all for the slight inconvenience of mitigation testing, if it means that I am once again able to partake in some late night construction with my homies on the way back from the bar at 3 AM.

Now, time for some house made shit. Let’s talk about this saliva mitigation test process. You walk into a big gym or reservation area and you are handed a small vial. You then wait in massive lines, roughly six feet away from a person in any direction. You then have as long as the line is to fill that vial with spit. 

Yeah, you just spit in it like there’s no tomorrow.

There’s some psychological fuckery that comes with this. I know you’re really not supposed to look around at everyone while they’re all hocking loogies, but I think it just kinda happens by accident. I mean, you’re just trying to be as casual as possible as you clear out your throat and fill up a test vial. Similar to when you’re taking a test and you glance around the classroom, not because you’re cheating, mainly because you’re just trying to appear casual

Sometimes you accidentally look at someone and they look at you, and then you wonder who should turn away first, but you don’t want to be rude so you slowly look away, but then you just look fucking weird as you slowly turn and then accidentally lock eyes with someone else, maybe you catch them with a not-so-clean mouth to vial delivery and they cast a gnarly spit trail, perhaps it’s someone you knew and now all you can think about is the fact that they are a bad spitter… God it’s a psychological mess. 

Soon, you find yourself just looking down at your feet, not daring to look at anyone, as you fill up a spit vial surrounded by men and women from all walks of life. The whole thing is kinda unsettling. I mean shit, wind the clocks back to years ago, if more than three people in any given room full of people spit at all, you’d be like, “Yo what the hell, why are you guys spitting?” 

But because we are working together to end a pandemic, the known social tropes of spitting in public are gone. 

And that got me thinking. 

What if there was another pandemic, similar to this one, one that requires high volumes of convenient and public testing in order for society to return to normal… but instead of looking through tests of saliva, doctors found it best if you tested semen. Twice a week you’d be sent to massive centers filled with an armada of porta potties. I wonder if they would stock them with erotic magazines like they do at fertility centers, or if they just let you do you. 

You can call me crazy, but if that’s what it took to efficiently have a social scene during a pandemic, I think we both know that you’d find yourself waiting in line to use one of those porta potties. Hell, maybe you’d make it an afternoon and stay a while. 

So on that note, I will gladly spit in a bottle twice a week.

What do you think?

Written by Henry Marken

I lost my pinky finger at age 4, but then found it again at a soup kitchen when I was 15. Survivor of a wild turkey attack (2008). I went to the University of Phoenix before it was cool to do college online. Currently in a lawsuit with Crayola after a devastating purple crayon incident.

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