What’s the best way to do your part as a citizen in our post-COVID world? Testing yourself for COVID-19 and reporting your results is certainly one valuable duty. We may be biased, but the facts remain.
Yes, testing is a hassle, but it’s a resource that empowers both communities and the individuals living in them. Knowledge is power. Here’s the truth.
What is the point of COVID-19 testing?
The primary goal of testing and other related efforts like contact tracing is to prevent healthy individuals from becoming newly-infected with SARS-CoV-2. Secondarily, it may be used to rule out or to confirm a possible asymptomatic infection in a seemingly-healthy individual.
Many consider one’s right to know if they’ve been exposed to a dangerous pathogen like COVID as being intrinsic and inalienable, especially in light of the last two years. The same goes for knowing beyond doubt whether or not you’re sick, yourself—without the guesswork, people are able to plan and to act accordingly.
On a personal level, this may end up being as simple as deciding to stay home from a crowded party. Public health experts, on the other hand, are able to use this eagle’s eye perspective to identify high-risk areas, to follow outbreaks and surges, and to choose policies that keep people healthy without restricting them unduly.
It goes without saying that the most vulnerable communities and demographics stand to benefit the most from the picture that COVID testing en masses paints for us. Sudden spikes are easy to mitigate through extended outreach, allocating scarce resources without wasting them where they’re simply not needed at the time.
The COVID-19 pandemic was completely unprecedented, and some actually fear that a failure to reckon with the virus properly now may open the door to future emergences. It takes a lot to blindside the entire world like the coronavirus has; if solving the problem was a simple X, Y, and Z matter, we would have cleaned this mess up a long time ago.
It takes a certain amount of humility to admit when we don’t have all of the answers. COVID testing affords us a near-omnipotent perspective that we wouldn’t have access to otherwise. We may be feeling our way through the dark as a race, but, with every breakthrough, we gain a more granular understanding of COVID-19 as it exists and behaves in objective reality.
COVID testing saves lives: get involved today
Nearly 490 million COVID cases worldwide can’t be wrong—when a pathogen moves as fast as COVID-19 does, we rely on the data to guide our hands. It takes little time to take a rapid COVID test, and the insight that we gain pays dividends far into the future.