TORONTO – After waking up with mild flu-like symptoms a month ago, Peter Miller went to stand in line outside of Toronto Western Hospital to get tested for COVID. As of this morning, he happily announced that he had both reached the front of the line and fully recovered from the virus.
“I got here mid-August, right when my dry cough started,” he explained, after having his first shower in over a month. “And as the line dragged on, that cough turned into a full-blown, 28-day case of coronavirus that lasted right up until I was about to head into the testing centre. I’m pretty sure I almost died at one point, but at least I didn’t have to get swabbed! The procedure sounds really unpleasant.”
“I mean, sure, we all had to stand outside day and night for weeks and defend ourselves from the local racoon gangs,” he continued, “but it’s still better than what’s going on in the States. I heard Trump has ordered all testing lines to lead straight into a pit in Mitch McConnell’s basement.”
Recovering from a COVID infection isn’t the only notable thing to happen during long wait times. Reports have been flooding in of people using the time to learn whole new languages, mastering a martial art, and even in once particularly long lineup, going through an entire third trimester.
Miller’s story is not unusual, states Minister of Health Christine Elliot. In fact, according to the latest data, he was “one of the lucky ones.”
“Our numbers indicate that the average time in line for a COVID test is approximately ‘as long as you are physically able to stand,’” she explained. “The majority of people recover while they wait. However, I must ask the people of Ontario to not let that deter them from lining up for a test if they are sick. If you’re lucky enough to have a job, take a month off. For adults with kids, just get a babysitter who can live at your house for a while! And remember: wait times are bound to go down in winter as more and more people die of hypothermia mid-line.”
At press time, Miller had joined another line in order to get tested in time to go home for Christmas.