COVID tests seem to have many mixed reviews… I have heard from friends that it feels like your brain is being scraped out by a long stick and, similarly, friends have also told me that it doesn’t hurt at all. So what should we believe? How should we feel after hearing these views on COVID tests? If we display symptoms, should getting a test be something scary or something that shouldn’t be stressed over? Well let me tell you about my experience of what a COVID test really feels like…

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There are two parts to a COVID test

My experience of a COVID test was made up of two parts. This was the throat swab and the nose swab. The throat swab consisted of the back of my throat being swabbed as I said ‘ahhhhh’, and similarly, the nose swab consisted of both of my nostrils being tested with the same swab that was used on my throat. I’ll detail my experience of both below.

The mouth swab

For me, this was the easiest part of the COVID test. It is reminiscent of the doctors’ wooden paddle when you get a check-up. All it involves is for you to open your mouth and make an ‘ahhhh’ sound as the nurse or doctor swabs the back of your throat. It does tickle and feel slightly uncomfortable but isn’t anything to be worried about. It can trigger your gag reflex so be aware of that.

The nose swabs

These were the most uncomfortable and least enjoyable part of the COVID test. The swab which had just been used on your throat is now turned vertical and you are instructed by the nurse or doctor not to flinch. For me, the nurse was very professional and quickly administered the test. The probe goes into your nose and proceeds past the narrow tickly part and enters what felt like a really tender spot. When the probe is here it is moved around so as to gather up all the biological matter needed to realise either a positive or negative test. After the test is done it feels almost as if where the probe had been has become acidic. This test really wasn’t very enjoyable and felt very uncomfortable for the following hours.

Some other advice…

Take some tissues!

So after the test which swabbed the inside of the nose, we both had reflex reactions and started tearing up. We made a mad scramble to look for some tissues and, thankfully not long after our test as our noses started running we had tissues on hand. So long story short, please remember to take tissues as the COVID test is made even more uncomfortable if you have nothing to wipe your eyes and nose with!

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Wear a mask

As with everything that we undertake these days, please wear a mask to the testing location. From here the doctor or nurse can direct you to remove your mask during the test as they see fit.

So here you have it! This is my view of what a COVID test really feels like. Please stay safe and if you feel sick go get tested at one of the Victorian COVID testing sites!

Until next time Movers…