OTTAWA – In response to growing COVID-19 case numbers, Public Health Officials clarified that Canadians who have needed regular directions on how to properly wear a mask will continue to be trusted to correctly perform complex medical diagnostic tests on themselves and/or their family.
“With mask mandates winding down and being replaced by a greater emphasis on self-testing, we have no choice but to continue to trust that the same people who struggled to properly put a piece of fabric over their face will correctly perform at-home COVID tests and accurately read the results,” said Public Health Spokesperson Olivia Zhiang.
“During peak COVID there were many Canadians who found it beyond their ability to correctly perform a task consisting of one step involving cloth and elastics. We are now trusting that it is entirely within their ability to perform a complex medical self-assessment consisting of no fewer than 11-steps involving 5 different pieces of at-home lab equipment,” stated Zhiang.
Zhiang further noted that while she understood some Canadians had trouble correctly wearing masks because they found a thin draping over their nose uncomfortable, those same Canadians would be trusted to take a tiny, sharp q-tip and shove it a full half-inch up both nostrils.
While some have expressed concern over the government’s plan to trust a section of the population unable to perform a task within the ability of most schoolchildren with self-administering a test that in a perfect world would be conducted by a medical professional, some public health experts are hopeful.
“Rapid antigen tests all contain clear, step-by-step instructions on how to correctly perform the tests,” says University of Waterloo Public Health Expert Dr. Ibrahim Amin. “I am confident that the same people who didn’t read simple, mostly graphical instructions on how to properly wear a mask will take the time to meticulously follow all 200+ words of instructions and correctly perform the test,” added Dr. Amin.
Dr. Amin also reassured the public that rapid tests have a built-in failsafe to ensure that improperly performed tests produce a distinct result making it clear that the test result was invalid rather than negative, with a negative test producing a thin pinkish red line, and an invalid test producing a thin reddish pink line.
Dr. Amin said he was confident that the same group of Canadians that regularly wore two-tone blue medical masks inside out would “definitely be able to tell the difference.”
At press time, federal and provincial governments reiterated their support for the plan, stating that while there was a risk some tests would be improperly performed and produce a false negative, the incorrectly performed tests would at least give the illusion that COVID is going away.