Ft editor does the self-experiment: this is how the corona test went

Ft editor does the self-experiment: this is how the corona test went

Corona tests for everyone – and for free. This was announced by our bavarian minister-president two weeks ago. "Testing is the basic prerequisite for everything: to know who is infected, to identify chains of infection, and then ultimately to follow them up and break them.", markus soder explained the decision, for which the free state is making 272 million euros available. Those who get tested – even without symptoms – should get the results within a few days.

But this also works in the practice? I have made the self-experiment.

I am a little queasy before the call to the family doctor's office of my confidence already. Asking for a corona test even though I have no symptoms – how will the receptionist react?? Is she laughing at me or is she telling me that she doesn't have time for this kind of nonsense??

I explain my concerns to the lady at the other end of the line, tell her something about "I don't have any complaints, but I have a lot to do with people…" – she interrupts me: "how soon do you need the test?? Be enough for them tomorrow morning?" she says goodbye with the remark that even without symptoms i should wait in front of the practice until i am called up. I am positively surprised and feel that I am being taken seriously.

In general, the general practitioners performed the corona tests, but not all of them. Occasionally, it may happen that the patient's own general practitioner does not offer any tests. This is up to each physician to decide. Anyone wishing to be tested for corona should in any case call in advance and make an appointment, as the corona tests usually take place at times when there are no other patients in the practice. If the general practitioner does not test himself, he can refer the patient to a colleague. If you don't have a GP, you can call the on-call medical service on 116117.

We have to stay outside

I always wait in front of the practice the next day. I am not the only one. Gradually, other patients join him: a young woman, a man in blue overalls and an elderly lady. While we wait, we look at each other out of the corner of our eyes at an appropriate distance. After three quarters of an hour, all the regular patients have left the practice. We are called in one after the other.

It goes straight to the treatment room. My family doctor receives me with mask, gown and disposable gloves. He doesn't have to show me where to sit: the chair behind a bright red floor marking immediately catches my eye. The doctor explains to me that the classic laboratory test is only a snapshot: "the result only tells you whether you are infected with the virus at this moment." theoretically, it is quite possible that i am already carrying the virus and the test is still negative – the incubation period varies between two and 14 days.

Since the outbreak of the virus in germany, health insurance companies have generally covered the costs of testing patients who show symptoms of the virus. The cost – depending on the laboratory – was between 100 and 200 euros. Now the state pays and has negotiated special conditions with the laboratories. It's still an expensive business for the public purse: 20,000 samples are to be analyzed every day, with the prospect of as many as 30,000. So far, a burger can be tested as often as he likes.

The lab test works with a swab in the nasal or pharyngeal cavity (see info box). My doctor chooses the latter option. "The other one is even more unpleasant." I am allowed to take off my mask for a short moment. I don't want to imagine how the swab feels in my nose. Because the saliva sample from my throat is also quite something, as I quickly realize when the man in the gown strokes the cotton swab behind my palate for about ten seconds. I have to rub myself together to suppress the worm reflex. My throat will feel irritated for the rest of the day.

Entry only with negative test

Then I made it. While my doctor tells me that I will get the results the next working day, he packs the cotton swab in a labeled tube. If the test is positive, he will inform the health department, which will contact me by phone. "They have been issued a quarantine and asked who they have been in contact with in the last two weeks."

It's going to be a long list, I think without saying it, and I pray inwardly that I will be spared that. Instead, I ask how often patients without symptoms take the test. "It's not a mass of patients yet, but it does happen now and then", he explains. If a vacation is in the offing, a few burgers have been tested as a precautionary measure.

The federal and state governments have decided that travelers from local risk areas such as the gutersloh district may only travel within germany if they can show a negative corona test. And also traveling to some other countries is not possible without a negative corona test. "If there is a new risk area, the ministry of culture sends out a letter to all hotels and hostels", explains an employee of the jufa hotel at the rosenberg fortress. Currently, if more than 50 people per 100,000 people are infected with corona in one week, the region is considered a risk area.

A restless night

Even if the number of corona infections in our country is currently manageable, a queasy feeling remains. After a restless night I call the practice. Thankfully, the receptionist does not keep me in suspense for long. "Is negative." that's it. So simple, so straightforward. And so I can rejoice for a brief moment: I have no corona – at least today.

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