Covid tests have added a new layer of adventure to our trips as we need a test before leaving each country we visit. I thought I would give you a picture of what that process is like. This what we went through just 2 days ago in a country that will be left unnamed.
So come with us through one Covid test.
- We arrived at the testing site, the only one in the city. We were told to sit down in 2 white chairs at the back of 3 rows of chairs with no further instructions. Later the same man returned and told us to get out our phones and fill out the form online. Thankfully Joel had some data left on his phone and he filled out the information online. I noticed that people kept moving up in the chairs and realized we were actually in a line and so we started moving up whenever we could. Some people were just waiting for other people to be done so not everyone was moving. It was tricky to figure out when to move and who was waiting in line.
- When we reached the front row there was a man at a table. He wanted the reference number from what we had filled out online. He gave us a small paper and had us write down the reference number and other information we had put in the form. He then took a phone and verified our reference number and filled out the information on a receipt for us to go pay.
- Next we head over to a metal shipping container behind all the rows of chairs as that was were we were to pay. There was a row of chairs making the line there and so we waited our turn. The guy at that station pulls up our reference numbers online and then accepts our payment. Joel’s reference number ended up being wrong so he had to fill out the information online again and put the new reference number down.
- After paying we walked around behind the container to a second container. There they pulled up our reference number and wrote down the information into a book. She then put an official stamp on our small piece of paper and told us to go to the next spot.
- We were directed to a large group of chairs and were told to sit down. They would come in and take about 8 of the people at a time and then the rest would move forward in the chairs.
- When were were part of the chosen eight. We were taken to a line of 8 chairs and told to sit down. A man came and checked our reference number again on his phone.
- After we had been checked again we were ushered inside where there was a long line of chairs. We stayed in our order and moved up to the next chair after each person was selected. The title at the spot was the case investigation area. There were 5 different tables with interviewers. When we were called up, they pulled up our reference number filled out another form with our reference number and other information we had put in online. We were then given an id number to use to look up our test results later. We were given this paper and told to go wait in the next line of chairs.
- We were moved to another group of chairs to wait to be let in to the next room
- One by one we are let in to the next room where there was yet again a line of chairs leading up to the lab room. One by one we moved forward as each person was taken in. We had finally made it to the testing spot. The test itself took 1 minute or less and it had only taken us 2 hours to make it to that place.
It was a bit like a mystery obstacle course where you go all over from one section to another, back and forth, weaving in and out and never quite sure of what the next step will look like. Thankfully not all our tests are as complicated as this one was, but each is different in its own way as we never know what to expect each place we go. One thing we have definitely learned is how to wait patiently and just take each step as it comes.