Fear can be an incredibly powerful motivator, and even though my inherent laziness and tendency to avoid human interaction when possible have played the biggest roles in the amount of time I spent cooped up in my apartment over the past year, the whole “pandemic” has obviously been a factor as well.
I’ve been taking plenty of precautions to avoid contracting COVID, as I haven’t encountered any people who would describe their battle with even the mildest case as an enjoyable experience they’d love to endure again. However, I’ve been more concerned with doing everything in my power to avoid having to deal with what I consider a far less desirable ordeal: a COVID test.
Last year, a friend of mine recounted the interaction he had with the person who was tasked with violating the inside his nasal cavity, who was nice enough to pause right before sliding in the tip to say, “Just so you know, this is going to be one of the most unpleasant things you’ve ever experienced.”
In fairness, I’ve heard other people claim it’s actually not that bad, but I can confidently say there is only one other hole on my body I would like to have something shoved up less—and no, it’s not the one that China decided to start using earlier this year when it began sticking cotton swabs up people’s butts in the name of accuracy.
There seemed to be plenty of people who instinctively clenched their butthole after hearing about the development that resulted in Chinese authorities having to reassure its citizens they wouldn’t walk like a penguin in the wake of an anal COVID test. Now, I wouldn’t exactly be clamoring to race to the front of that line, but if I can survive a visit to the porcelain throne the morning after the Super Bowl, I think I’d emerged relatively unscathed.
With that said, I can understand why the Japanese government recently asked China to stop subjecting its citizens to that particular form of screening earlier this week after multiple visitors complained they had to deal with “great psychological pain” as a result. According to The Times, the country has now opted to change the policy, and now, every single foreign visitor who arrives in China will get the anal COVID test treatment.
China claims it’s decided to go this route because the screenings produce a more accurate result than the alternative, saying it has evidence showing transmittable cases of COVID can be detected in the fecal matter of someone who may have tested negative if they’d undergone a nasal test.
You’ve been warned.