Panicky Would-Be COVID Victims Line Up for Hours to Find Out if They're Sick

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Pity the poor patient who is suffering with serious symptoms and needs to obtain a COVID test — in some cases, where early intervention would be indicated as a matter of life or death; in others, as a precondition of an urgently-needed procedure. Weep for the worker whose employer requires he be tested regularly, or else risk losing paid hours or outright termination. Cry for the caregiver who already takes time out of her day to tend to someone too weak to care for himself, and who must now spend additional hours waiting in interminable lines for that crucial nasal swabbing.

Now, imagine, if you will, a devastating pandemic of a variant so virulent that victims don’t even know they have it unless they obtain a positive test. This twilit nightmare is reality for the COVID-panicked, a new kind of Karen who has turned her controlling tendencies inward and will do everything in her power to make sure she herself never, ever spreads the dread disease. And therefore, it is crucially important that she gets tested … no matter what.

This mindset is not necessarily the fault of the COVID-panicked individual. The “experts” they’ve been told to trust, from the White House on down to the local news, are terrorizing them with lurid predictions of doom if they are unfortunate enough to contract the dread disease.

Added to the panicked individual’s certainty that a case of COVID is a death sentence is the establishment push for ever more testing. Mandates force increased testing on people who are trying to travel, work, eat, shop, or attend school — just live their lives, in other words. Federal and state governments are also ramping up COVID testing … just because. And in an utterly predictable (intentional?) vicious cycle, more testing equals more reported cases, which equals more panic, which equals more testing …

The combination of unfettered fear with the establishment push to get tested because “it’s the right thing to do” has created a nightmare scenario for people who have a legitimate need for the diagnostic procedure, as testing center lines grow. And grow. And grow. …

In Boston, WBUR reports:

Outside the Bowdoin Street Health Center in Dorchester, the line for COVID-19 testing flowed down the street, turned the corner and then wrapped around the other side of the block.

With COVID cases hitting new records in Massachusetts, it seems like everyone is trying to get tested. And testing providers are struggling to keep up.

Dozens of people waited in line for hours at Bowdoin Street, for instance, Thursday morning.

Who are these people who wait for hours in the chill of a Boston winter for a COVID test? WBUR spoke to one of them.

Linda Roberts, who was near the back of the line, said it was the second place she went to just that day trying to find a test. The Boston resident said she was turned away from another clinic in the neighborhood earlier that morning.

Roberts said she felt fine, but wanted to make sure she wasn’t infected after celebrating Christmas with her relatives. (emphasis added)

Maybe this policy of offering free testing willy-nilly to whomever wants it isn’t the wisest policy. Just a thought.

The test shortage in Massachusetts is so bad, Gov. Charlie Baker held a press conference on Thursday to address it. He asked people to be patient, but patience and panic are not compatible.

He mentioned a new program that will let communities buy home test kits at a discount and distribute them to residents. “I do think as cities and towns start ordering — we’re talking millions and millions of tests that are now available to cities and towns — as those tests start to land and cities and towns start to distribute them, they should help take some of the pressure off of those testing sites,” said Baker.

President Joe Biden held a press conference of his own last month, where he announced plans for the federal government to buy half a billion test kits, which it will mail for free to anyone who requests them, beginning sometime this month. I don’t know what to cringe at more: the prospect of another hastily thrown together government healthcare website malfunctioning, or the amount of taxpayer money being incinerated so the people the left has terrorized can feel like they have a measure of control over their panic.

Related: Here’s What Biden’s Failure to Order Enough COVID Tests Could Mean for You

Lost in the hysteria is the fact that the omicron variant is turning out to be less virulent than its predecessors. Obviously, anyone with medical complications should avoid infection, but I’ve also heard more than one person refer to omicron as “nature’s vaccine.” It seems counter-intuitive to drive massively increased testing — and predictable spikes in case counts — rather than focus on actual illness, in the face a virus that appears to be following the natural course of mutating to be more transmissible but less dangerous. But nonetheless, that is the course our betters are charting for us.

“We have people overcrowding the emergency room and our testing sites, just because they’re scared,” a technician in a large northeastern healthcare system told me. “But meanwhile, they’ll wait in lines or packed waiting rooms next to people who actually have COVID, exposing themselves as well as adding to the overcrowding and stress in the system.”

“DO NOT go to the emergency room for a COVID test,” he added.

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