News & Politics

UK Teens Find a New Way to Ditch School: Fake Positive COVID Tests

AP Photo/Steven Senne

Last December, I published an op-ed on these pages defending nurses who were working with COVID-19 patients and talked about what they were experiencing. I got taken out for a ride by the commenters, which is fine since the First Amendment is not a vaccine against criticism. I found it a little funny that I was called a liberal, to put it charitably, since I have been called things by actual progressives that would make the Disqus algorithm collapse in a panic attack. And, in most cases, break a spell-checker. But, so be it. If you want freedom of speech, you gotta expect a bloody nose now and then.  

I still maintain that it is possible for two ideas to be true. In this case:

COVID-19 can be a deadly and unpredictable disease. Witness a pediatrician in a town where I used to live. He was in the prime of his life, contracted COVID-19, and suffered a series of strokes. He is now blind and paralyzed on one side.

And yet:

Unscrupulous and ambitious people with the morals of rutting possum can manipulate a legitimate crisis to get their authoritarian rocks off. Witness… well pick someone. 

Well, just when you thought the COVID-19 debate couldn’t get any weirder…it got weirder.

Related: COVID-19 Deaths Are Higher for This Year So Far Than for All of Last Year. Here’s Why

It seems that over in the UK, teens have figured out how to create false-positives on their COVID tests. Apparently, it involves applying soft drinks, orange drinks, and artificial sweeteners to the nasal swabs, resulting in a positive test. The result: Everyone gets 10 days off. How they manage to do that with a nasal swab is beyond me, but kids have been ditching school since the invention of school, so it is hardly surprising that they would find a work-around. Schools have been asked to perform the tests earlier in the day to lessen the chances that a student will get their hands on a soft drink before school (yeah, right). Other sources indicate it is fairly easy to spot and negate rigged results. But the methods of faking your own infection are already all over social media, so I am relatively certain that someone will find a way 

While I hope to leave the usual conspiracy theories out of the discussion, two questions remain:

  1. How long until this this jumps the pond and hits the States? Who am I kidding? If you know a teenager, chances are they’ve seen those videos a hundred times or so. 
  2. Since Big Tech does censor those with data or opinions about COVID-19 that run contrary to those of the administration, will it purge its own platforms of videos teaching idiot teenagers how to pretend they are infected with a disease no one wants? Will it be filed under the charge that it is “killing people” (or, at the very least, has the potential to muddy the waters in terms of infection numbers?) Or will it just give it a wink and a nod and an “Aw, ya know, kids are just kids.” I would be surprised if it was the former and not the latter, since Big Tech has become oddly selective on what it restricts and what it permits. And it is no secret that child safety is barely on its list.   

After all, you should never let a good crisis go to waste, real or otherwise.