The delay of the Covid-19 test in the face of thousands of daily deaths – Mural

Why the delay in knowing whether or not you have the disease, which already kills 4,000 people a day, means that you can continue to be a contamination agent

Paulo Talarico

“Yes, you were with Covid,” replied the health care professional almost two weeks after the exam was performed.

That’s how I confirmed that I had the disease in January, at a time when cases were growing, but the health system was still able to take care of serious cases – the occupancy of beds in hospitals was around 70%.

We still didn’t think about a scenario of 4,000 deaths by Covid per day, although oxygen was already lacking in Manaus. Worse, we may already have these numbers at much more frightening levels.

There is a mismatch between the contagion confirmations and the numbers we managed to disclose.

I’m going to go back to my story. When the symptoms appeared, he had many doubts about what to do, even though he was a journalist and had dealt with information about the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Am I going to a hospital or not?” Was the question I asked myself many times in those days. “Am I in a state where I can recover at home or is it better to go for support? Do I need an x-ray of the lung? But is it worth leaving home and exposing yourself to the virus in the hospital?

Or worse, if I leave the house and someone gets infected because of me or even at home. In the same yard, I have more people in the family, and one of them is over 80 years old.

On the fourth day of symptoms, I went to the pharmacy to try a quick test. There, the promise was for a PCR test using saliva at R $ 150. I spit in the jar three times until I got a worthwhile sample. Result the other day: negative.

What was supposed to be good news no longer made sense to my state. By that time, the smell had already gone into space and the next lunch the taste of the little I could eat – no taste or appetite disappeared.

On the fifth day, I went to the UBS (Basic Health Unit) in my neighborhood. They had few people and an outside area to take the test. This time, the one with the nose. The exam paper already said: only ten days from now the result. And I would have to go in person to get the answer.

If all went well, he would know the answer after he was cured. But what if not? “If it gets worse before the result comes out, look for the hospital.”

Going back to our collective tragedy: how much do these more than ten days count in the count in a country that today kills 4,000 a day? A country that does not have a clear anti-contamination policy, other than simply boycotting what little is known, such as social detachment.

I wondered how many like me, with symptoms initially without gravity, may have followed the normal journey and, unintentionally, kept the disease circulating, involuntarily.

On the sixth day the symptoms worsened. I was still unsure whether I should go to a hospital, and the fact that I didn’t have an exam left me unsure of what to do.

At Covid’s Russian roulette, I was lucky and recovered with few sequelae after 14 days. I have friends who have been dealing with some symptoms for months. An uncle died in the interior of São Paulo, the husband of a cousin was saved after intubation.

One year after the spread of Covid, mass testing and delayed results are still going slowly. Meanwhile, the City of São Paulo announces the opening of 600 ditches per day.

Unfortunately, lost lives seem increasingly to become naturalized in numbers.

Paulo Talarico is co-founder and editor-in-chief of journalism at the Mural Agency of Journalism of the Peripheries
[email protected]




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