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Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

As a result of COVID-19, borders are opening and people are making plans to see their loved ones after months – and in some cases, years – apart. And what could be better than getting back together to celebrate Christmas? But first, invest in a lateral flow quick test to guarantee that you are entirely virus-free when you attend that festive, and perhaps large, family gathering.

Kit for delivery

For families celebrating within the United Kingdom, it is feasible to order a lateral flow quick test kit for delivery to wherever you may be staying, which should be taken within zero to two days of arrival in the nation. Once the test has been performed, it is vital to photograph the results and submit them online – which can be done anywhere from 15 minutes afterward; but ideally should be done 25 to 30 minutes after collecting the nasal sample. Any longer and your test result could indicate a false positive. Be sure to download the test-related app (specified in the accompanying test instructions) onto your smartphone; internet connectivity and your smartphone camera are required for you to be able to submit your test. The good news? Your findings will be available within a mere 60 minutes!

Testing times

For those who receive an invitation to stay with friends in conjunction with the requirement of a COVID-19 test immediately following the flight, it’s critical to take note of what Dr. Jill Weatherhead, assistant professor of adult and pediatric infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, has to say on NPR.org. “You do not sneeze, cough, or are breathed on by an infectious individual and immediately register a red alarm on a COVID-19 test. If you are exposed to an infectious person and pick up enough virus particles to develop a breakthrough infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that it will take three to five days for your own viral load to reach a level sufficient to register as positive. Therefore, I would tell your pals, ‘I’m going to follow the CDC guidelines since testing after a flight would not answer the question you’re seeking: Did I pick up a new infection during my travels?’ “A better bet, though,” she continues, “would be to spend three days or so away from their home (i.e., at a hotel) and then take the COVID-19 exam before staying with them.”

Getting the swab done well

While the methods involved in your lateral flow fast test are straightforward, to ensure the test is performed correctly, you should ideally have a competent adult do the test for you – especially if you are under the age of 18.


Before taking the swab from the package – without touching the cotton end – insert the buffer tube into the opening on the top of the box. Following that, gently insert the cotton end of the swab around 2.5cm into one nostril until resistance is felt; then rotate the swab up to five times while brushing against the nose’s sidewalls. Repeat the procedure in the other nostril. To avoid contaminating the swab, remove any nasal piercings prior to beginning.

After that is complete, slide the swab into the buffer tube and swirl for 30 seconds before squeezing the tube’s sides and spinning at least five times more. It is preferable to continue squeezing the tube while removing the swab from the buffer tube, and then firmly attach the dropper tip. Following that, take the test cassette from its sealed bag and place it on a level surface before vertically depositing four drops from the buffer tube into the sample well, commonly labeled “s.” Remember to promptly discard the buffer tube and wipe. As noted previously, you should picture your cassette and identity document after approximately 25 to 30 minutes and submit them via the app on your smartphone; alternatively, you may submit the test by scanning the QR code on your test kit and using the download website. After sixty minutes, Bob’s your uncle — the results of this exam will appear in your email inbox.

Modus operandi for the innocent

It is not recommended to continue with a child’s test if they are experiencing discomfort. Distraction is the best course of action when it comes to young children and persons with impairments. Then, quickly enter the swab into the nose until resistance is felt – but be careful not to use excessive effort – and rotate for 15 seconds before repeating in the other nostril. If the child becomes uncomfortable, avoid going deeper by just placing the swab tip into each nostril and wiping around the inside of the nose.

Making a list, checking it twice

Last December 2020, @scarcurtis shared a Lockdown Christmas print on Instagram, depicting everything we had probably grown accustomed to by that point: from Zoom flirting and supporting small online businesses over big department store shopping, to staying in, waving at loved ones through windows (hopefully while they were wearing their glasses? ), Facetiming grandparents (many of whom don’t hear very well, the joys), and, for the first time all year, a Christmas tree.

With the increased availability of test kits and an increase in vaccinated individuals, the festive season in 2021 will be significantly improved. That’s a case of positive thinking, isn’t it? Therefore, it is prudent to begin planning the menu and acquiring goods that can be frozen or kept well in advance. Consider sitting down with all your loved ones to a heaping table of roast turkey with stuffing, roast potatoes, rich gravy, cranberry sauce (of course from Harrods), and the handmade vegetables you adore; not to mention a Christmas pudding or three and a dish of mince pies. And don’t forget the French sparkling wine.

Finally, brush up on a couple of great and endearing dinner-table jokes honoring the pandemic we survived and the New Year, 2022, that lies ahead. Tennyson’s famous remark comes to mind: Hope grins from the horizon of the coming year, whispering, “It will be happier.”

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