Before I left for Spain, I had a letter through the post asking if I would be willing to take part in a COVID-19 in-home antibody testing research study. I didn't see any reason why not, apart from the fact I hate needles, and so I agreed, and the test kit was waiting for me when I returned home early this morning.
The study is being conducted by MORI, who are an independent research organisation, on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. The aim is to help the UK Government 'understand how many people in England may have already been infected by the virus that causes COVID-19.
Although I live alone, and generally keep myself to myself, I have been shopping for food regularly, have occasionally met with friends (in my bubble), and also taken two trips to Spain in the past 3 months. I suspect the biggest chance to pick up the virus would be during these flights, where social distancing is almost impossible, even though the airports feel super clean, masks are mandatory, and the flights themselves have not been busy at all.
So yeah, I was interested to see what the result said (although not guaranteed to be accurate, and have just completed the process. Here's how it went.....
The pack came with a booklet detailing the steps in a straightforward manor, and there was also a cotton swab and a small round plaster, which did actually come in quite handy!
I've not used a 'Lancet' before, and after opening the first and thinking that it was a duffer, I opened the 2nd and though that one was nonfunctional also until i pressed it against my right index finger. Ouch! I guess the first Lancet wasn't a duffer either.
It was quite easy to drip the blood onto the testing stick, a nice drop appeared on my finger in no time and I didn't need to squeeze it at all.
Ten minutes passed quickly, as I was taking photos of the booklet for the blogging purposes. And so, the result.....
..... looks negative to me.
I actually think I would have preferred a positive result, and the feeling of knowing I was unaffected by the virus, but I guess it shows that international travel can be safe.
Following the test, I had the option of submitting the results. 50 or so questions later, and after uploading the final image above, I was finished.
Thank you very much for taking part in this important study about the COVID-19 testing process. The study will help the Government develop its approach to COVID-19 testing.
The results of the study will be available on the Imperial College London dedicated REACT webpage in due course: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/research-and-impact/groups/react-study/real-time-assessment-of-community-transmission-findings/.
Nice to have the link jotted down somewhere, so I can check the results 'in due course'.
I hope all is well with you, cheers,