No running this week. Instead a woman is asking: “Big man with the glasses?”
“Yes,” I say.
A big sigh and the woman, who has just taken our PCR COVID tests says, for what seems not the first time.
“You won’t get your results tonight, you’ll get them within 72 hours.”
We’re in a car park beside Toryglen football pitches. There’s a small tent and a couple of people walking around in yellow hi-viz and face masks. It’s not very clinical.
When we drove drive in. I put on a mask and rolled down the window.
“Please put it most of the way up,” says the volunteer at the entrance, making sure not to come near our now open window.
“Higher,” they say.
I leave an inch.
“Perfect,” they say before they try to pass through two test kits in plastic bags. The gap is so small and the bags so big that it’s like watching someone try and coax an elephant to limbo.
“If you pull the car up, read the instructions, follow them and then put on your hazard lights to let me know when you’re done.”
It sounds straightforward but in practice it feels like we’re dogging. Or setting up a illicit boxing fight. We’re not the only car in the car park. Nor the only one thinking we need to leave some space between us and the next car meaning that every car is circled, everyone is looking into every other car and every couple of minutes emergency lights flash until a man approaches the window.
“There is bound to be someone somewhere who’s made the mistake of starting to strip,” I say.
“NWAH, MAAW, NNAHFFFGGHH,” says Mrs TwinBikeRun, who has a cotton bud down her throat.
“That was disgusting,” she says when she takes it out.
“BAAAWWWWWKKKKK,” I say, retching after touching my tonsils with the bud.
“Three more times,” says Mrs E.
“BBOOOOKKKKEEEE, BBAAAWWWK, BBBBAAAARRRFFFF. Done.”
“Now you have to stick up your nose too,” says Mrs E.
“The same end?”
Now I do feel sick. But I stick my phlegm speckled throat swab up my nostril too and circle it 10 times. “I don’t know if I have COVID but I might get laryngitis of the nostrils,” I say.
“You might get a new friend if you keep those hazards on too,” says Mrs E as someone approaches. A large man with glasses.
“You’ll the results later tonight,” he says as he makes sure we close our plastic bags containing the samples correctly. “Just drop them off on your way out.”
Which we do only to find that we would have got better information if he’d actually been a dogger as the woman at the exit tells us the man with glasses doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
We don’t get our results but Mrs TwinBikeRun’s parents, who were also pinged and tested at the same time in a different location, receive confirmation that they tested negative.
I text Iain TwinBikeRun to tell him we’re still self-isolating until we hear more. He says: “That’s because it takes longer when you also test positive for syphilis.”