Appeal reporter Jeff Larson following his COVID-19 test on Wednesday. 

Maybe things are getting better on the pandemic front – businesses are starting to open up again and life is slowly returning to normal… sort of. 

Still, there’s that persistent worry that a neighbor or a passerby might have the virus – and might not even know it. Or what if I have it but have no symptoms? 

What can I do about that nagging feeling? Have myself tested. I decided to do just that earlier this week. Tests are free and I found out that they are easy to have taken. 

Wednesday, after registering online (another simple task), I took off from the office to head over the bridge to the state-run testing site at Sutter County Veterans Hall, 1425 Veterans Memorial Circle in Yuba City.

Admittedly, I was nervous. I was wondering, ‘Does it hurt? If I am positive what will the repercussions be?  Will it affect my job?”

I finally convinced myself and went through the doors (my colleague with a camera was not allowed to go in and photograph the test due to OPTUMServe’s protocol for keeping numbers inside the room at a controlled level). 

I sat down with the nurse and exchanged a few pleasantries, while answering a few questions. 

The test itself took less than a minute.

I received one swab inside my right nostril, which caused my eyes to water a little. The nurse was quick to hand me a tissue and send me on my way. Our conversation lasted longer than the test itself. 

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. As I wait for the results, which takes two to three days, I wonder to myself, “Why didn’t I get this much earlier?”

It’s no big deal, and, as I was told, it’s extremely important given the nature of the outbreak and community spread of the virus. 

As of Friday morning, 3,570 Yuba-Sutter residents had been tested for COVID-19 out of a total population of more than 175,000 in the bi-county region – that still makes for a very small sample of residents tested for coronavirus so far. But cases remain low – 62 positives, six of which were asymptomatic; one hospitalization; and three deaths. 

It’s encouraging data when you look at the rest of the world’s troubles with the virus – one of the reasons why we’re opening things up here. Now if we can get more people to test themselves (again it’s free) and come away OK, while continuing to practice social distancing, life will soon return to the way it was prior to everything coming to a screeching halt in mid March – not to mention the return of sports!

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