National Museum of Australia   

Some stories may be distressing. Get support.
This website may have names and images of
deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Only the early birds get the tests.

Today is the third day I have tried to get a Covid PCR test. I managed to secure a box of 5 RAT tests and have had 2 negative swabs 2 days in a row so hopefully my PCR will be negative as well. I am sick though, and to be able to return to work, I work in health administration, and pick my 11 year old, yet to be vaccinated daughter up, after 2 weeks with her father, I need the PCR. The first day I tried to get tested it was after lunch and all of the sites in my area were suspended due to large lines. The second day I went early, 40 minutes before the doors opened, with my chair and a book. There were already hundreds of people lined up. As soon as the doors to the walk in clinic opened a nurse came down the line, set an end point like a grocery check out, and told everyone else to leave. I went home in tears, distressed, sick, and exhausted, from my second meagre attempt to get tested. This morning I begrudgingly dragged myself out of bed at 3:45am…I packed food and water, a book, a bucket, garbage bags and toilet paper, and went to join the line at the large testing facility in Wantirna. When I arrived at 4:15am I was the 23rd car in line, waiting for the boom gates to open. Testing begins at 7am. Security began to direct the waiting cars into rows inside the car park at about 5 am…there are five long rows of cars and I can see the back of the line extending down Mountain highway. It’s 5:54 and I’m yet to take a sip of water because I don’t want to need to go to the toilet. I hope I don’t have Covid.

Only the early birds get the tests.

Explore more stories

Share your experience