Three days before I was set to leave for Germany to spend exam week at my parent's place and visit friends during UCM's reflection week, the one news came that I'd been dreading for days: Limburg, as one of the last Dutch provinces, was finally defined as a risk area by the German authorities. Luckily, I could still go. But it did mean that I had to do the one thing I had been avoiding all these weeks and months: the Corona Test.
Word of mouth on the Corona Test is divided: some say that it's "no biggie" and over in three seconds. Others say that it actually hurts more than you'd expect and just overall incredibly uncomfortable. As a true European, the precautionary principle at heart, I expected the worst. Still, given the decision of quarantining for two weeks - staying at a distance to parents and friends, seated at the opposite side of the table - or doing a 10-second test, I was brave and decided to do the latter.
Which doesn't mean that I wasn't dreading it. Towards my friends and family, I put up a 'cool' facade, saying that it will be "no biggie". Only a select few had to listen to my whining about how precious my nose is to me and how I don't want a cotton bud shoved up there.
And then the time came: I jumped on my bike, rolled downhill to the testing center, put on my Dutch flag mask, and waited outside in the cold, being far too early to my appointment. An elderly man in full-blown PPE greeted me. What's your name? Take off your mask. It was like Corona-speed dating. He started by taking a sample of my saliva from the back of my throat. And then… nothing. I had to leave.
"Uhm, don't you want my phone number?"
He already had it (somehow).
And then I realized the one thing I should have known from the start, especially during exam weeks: It's not the exam that's most horrible. It's waiting for the result.
Jesler van Houdt