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Eye-watering instructions


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Eye-watering instructions

19 Apr 2021 7:59AM   Views : 386 Unique : 262


Generally, I belong to the Ďif all else fails, read the instructionsí camp. Iím sufficiently confident of the controls of a car, say, or (of course) a camera to be able to understand the basics Ė certainly well enough to get the show on the road, or take a few snaps.

And when Iím in the darkroom, I am conscientious with washing my hands between processes, because I donít want my negatives or prints to deteriorate in the next fifty years. But today, I woke up early and worried, and read the instructions yet again. Iíd had an invitation to take part in an Imperial College study of the prevalence and spread of Covid-19, and thereís a courier coming to collect the sample later today.

So up early to try to stick a swab in my mouth and up my nose Ė itís like a more intrusive version of the DNA swabbing you see in police TV series. But youíre supposed to swab each tonsil for several seconds, without touching anything else. Well, if you can manage that, youíre a better man than I am, Gunga Din. Even with the aid of a torch, I canít manage to see my own tonsils in a mirror. Mrs D helped, but Iím not sure we succeeded.

ĎYou may feel like gaggingí the instructions said (Iím pretty sure the little video said that gagging is a good sign, as it indicates that youíre swabbing the right area). I did gag, three times, before we gave up, on the grounds that being sick on the swab probably wasnít a good idea.

Anyway, Iíve tried to do my bit for science, and Iíve established something that Iím as bad at as I am at photographing robins. My sincere admiration to anyone who has successfully self-administered the test, and best wishes to everyone for getting their vaccine ASAP.


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2063 England
19 Apr 2021 8:02AM
To be clear: I'm not complaining. I was selected at random for the test, and I firmly believe that science is the way out of the crisis, so I'm a willing participant. I regret that I'm very squeamish when it comes to my own discomfort, and not great at learning new and complex physical tasks. Don't get me started on ISC (check my portfolio for that as a tag if you don't know...)
goochian3 Avatar
19 Apr 2021 8:37AM
Hi John, reading your blog today it would be very hard for me to do the swab touching tonsils only had mine taken out when i was seven, so i won't volunteer for that one!
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2063 England
19 Apr 2021 9:01AM
Ian - the instructions include what to do if you have had your tonsils out - you (just) swab the area at the back of your throat where they would have been... They have thought of everything, except the extreme difficulty of guiding a swab several inches inside your own cakehole.
ZenTony Avatar
ZenTony Plus
7 31 7 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2021 9:41AM
I am in the process of doing exactly the same thing. Not sure I would have agreed if I had known before hand what was involved. I sort of feel committed now !
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2063 England
19 Apr 2021 10:28AM
It's the sort of process that would be OK if there was somebody in the room who knows what they're doing, and could say that it's fine, or we need to try again.

On the other hand, as part of a random sample for the Imperial College work, there's a bit of a duty to do it... Good luck, Tony!

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