The news these days is saturated with anxiety about COVID-19 virus testing availability and political finger-pointing about who can be blamed. Let’s back off a second to consider the value of testing. A test only provides information, and only has value if that information can be used.

We are told that the COVID-19 virus is extremely communicable, and that infected people are contagious well before they have symptoms. A person testing negative should not think they are immune to the virus. In fact, a person testing negative could actually be infected by the time the test results get returned. So a negative test, which almost all are, provides no useable information whatsoever.

A positive test for COVID-19 tells us we should stay comfortable at home, drink lots of liquids, wash our hands frequently and avoid unnecessary contact with others until we get better. That is exactly what we should all be doing anyway. Only if we get severely sick should we seek medical attention, regardless of the cause. Besides raising anxiety levels, a positive test provides no information to change our behavior from what we should be doing anyway.

For almost everyone, the virus seems no worse than a common cold, then they get better. The very rare exception is for those people who are weakened and contract pneumonia, which can be deadly. Pneumonia vaccines are available which provide an additional layer of safety. Get vaccinated for pneumonia, especially if you are at high risk.

Just take this opportunity to rest up, meditate, finish some things you have been putting off, read some books you have been meaning to, and relax, as much as you can. Tranquilo.

Guy E. Miller

Greenville