I am up too early, late for me, it’s 6.28 AM, to know how Bell is. Yesterday, her fever climbed a bit and in view of babe Zac’s vulnerability and John and me being geriatric, I felt we must get her swabbed ASAP. So many of these diary entries have turned out to be linked by what I refer to as the ‘Great Chain of Being’. Yesterday I referred to our ‘Doctor’s Group’, although I did not mention ‘Dr Dan’ by name, a phenomenally dedicated GP in Hampstead. His father is also a GP; medicine fills their veins. I have been intending to do an antibodies test myself for weeks but haven’t got around to it. Our Doctor’s Group is a bit like a Masons: we also have a ‘secret handshake’ which means we jump to ‘Need’. Dr Dan was himself busy yesterday afternoon, and thankfully Bell was no emergency, but one of his associates arrived within hours. I was working and asked for my test to be left to do myself.
Bell has not seen a soul for nine weeks and taken only occasional walks to an empty local square; if she turns out to have COVID something’s literally up there in the air. The doctor thinks it is probably a non COVID infection but his child was a-typically ill with COVID, (so much for children being immune), so a swab was taken and the results will be with us tomorrow. Not in a week… if we had currently queued at a 111 hub and the swabs had to be flown to the US. Surely, most people have independently recovered in ten days anyhow…
Something I don’t understand is that the swabbing process was intrusive. Bell’s mother, Tori ( now a teacher) by co-incidence ten years ago was one of London’s most senior Infection Control nurse-managers. She insists she has long forgotten the science. Tori reported that the swab was not cursorily placed only at the back of Bell’s throat and in the outer nostril, but was additionally pushed up through the nostril wall and almost down into the roof of her throat. I cannot understand how that uncomfortable procedure is efficiently performed when people are filmed pulling down their car windows while someone or other cursorily pokes them with a swab. Dr Dan tells me the same is true of home antibody testing. It is essential that you produce enough blood, at least five drops, which surprisingly is not an easy task, otherwise you risk a false negative. It makes me think of the Grimm’s tale Sweetheart Roland where the step daughter defies the witch and leaves three drops of blood. Then there is the finger ‘prick’ of death in Sleeping Beauty.
Once Bell’s parents are not concerned about her ‘DEFRA’ will supervise my bloodletting. I will be interested to know as my March virus was characterised by persistent dry coughing.