Getting tested for COVID-19 is safer than not
By Catherine Brown, Photo & Business Editor
With COVID-19 and all the craziness that 2020 has given us, getting tested for coronavirus might seem a little scary. However, I think it is extremely important. Many islanders are acting as if there isn’t a global pandemic going on. The virus will only spread if islanders do not take the necessary precautions.
Even if you feel you are safe, you will not know if you have the virus until you get tested. According to Vashon Be Prepared, only around 17 percent of Vashon has been tested for the virus as of Sept. 18, 2020.
Living on the island does not make you automatically safe. There are tons of people who commute to and from the island everyday and I am one of them. I constantly hear from my friends and co-workers that they have not left the island so they do not feel the need to get tested.
But how do you know if myself or other commuters have not brought the virus over? There are already 20 confirmed cases as of Sept. 18, 2020, meaning the virus is on Vashon and it is going to continue spreading unless we all do something about it.
Right now is an especially crucial time to go get tested, because not only is flu season right around the corner, but there are also the wildfires making the air quality extremely unhealthy. If you didn’t know, this is a respiratory virus.
There is no harm in getting tested, it takes less than 10 minutes, and anyone can fit it into their schedule if they try.
There may not be enough tests for every single person on Vashon to get regularly tested, but you can always drive over to Seattle. If you’re already going to hang out with friends, make a day of it and go get tested together.
I understand the argument, “even if you get tested, an hour later you could catch it.” That's why you should be getting tested every two or three weeks to make sure you are staying safe.
Please stop using the excuse that you do not feel sick as a reason to not get tested- you might be asymptomatic but still a danger to anyone you come in contact with. You can be a carrier without knowing.
The point of being tested is to know whether or not you have the virus. Getting regularly tested will help you understand if you are sick or not. If you leave your property or see anyone,you should act as if both of you are infected.
Some people want to argue that the testing process is unpleasant, that it's a little uncomfortable getting a cotton swab stuffed up your nose. But wouldn’t you rather go through 10 seconds of uncomfortableness then be the reason everyone you know got sick?
What if you live with an elder? Or someone with respiratory issues? Wouldn’t you feel terrible if you got them sick because you refused to get tested? Do the right thing. Do the easy thing. Get tested.
There are a few resources on the island. These are the places you can call to get tested for Covid-19.
Neighborcare Health at Vashon has an outdoor testing center. Call 206-463-3671 to schedule a test.
Vashon Island Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is testing at the O-Space, you can call (844) 469-4554 to set up an appointment. MRC will charge your insurance $100 to take the test. If you cannot afford it or don’t have insurance, they will cover the charge for you.
There is no downside to getting tested!