On Covid, there is good news and bad news. On the one hand, we have the vaccines and a certain mildness compared to killers such as cancer and heart attacks, which leads many to shrug it off.
On the other hand, the new mutation, the deaths of over 1.6 million in nine months and a resurgence that threatens hospitals with catastrophic overflow.
Maybe it was these paradoxes – what some call “vaccine euphoria” combining like oil and water with the specter of closed ports and travel bans in England and elsewhere – that led me to suddenly decide to get tested.
But these crazy-making paradoxes weren’t my only reasons. There was also the simple availability of an antibody test from a doctor I was seeing anyway, and the low cost – the doctor got a price of 500 pesos ($US25) from a lab that normally sells it for 990. (In contrast, the cost for PCR tests ranges from free to 4,500 pesos, with a few days’ wait.) And my doctor administered it and awaited the results with me for 15 minutes, yet charged me for the cost of the test alone. He didn’t even ask for his consultation fee, normally 500 pesos, despite the fact that I turned out to be dehydrated and he had to draw blood from my arm when he couldn’t get the requisite two drops from two finger jabs.