I don't know about you guys, but I love free stuff. And well, I never thought my love for free stuff would overlap into the health crisis.  But good ol mighty, it has.  I don't know if you remember this, but a while back the word got out that the government was going to send out free at home testing kits for anyone who wanted them.  In fact, if you still want a box, you can sign up (one per household, though).

I wanted to sign up because while I feel like I've been safe - I've got my two jabs and my booster, I try to avoid crowds, I stay six feet apart when I can, and I wear a mask if I'm out at a place with a lot of people that can't be helped - you never know what could happen.  And I know that the virus can't be reasoned with.  If it's going to get me, it's going to get me.  What I can do is lessen the long term impact it has on me (think lung damage for years) by getting vaccinated.  And what I can do is try to help those who can't get vaccinated (cancer patients, young children, etc) by wearing my mask and by getting myself tested as soon as possible if I show symptoms.
And, well, frankly, I'm selfish.  I know that I'm doing what I can.  BUT, if I got a variant of it and didn't know, and then spread it to someone who couldn't get vaccinated....  I'd feel incredibly guilty.  Especially if it was for some silly reason like I didn't want to be put out for a half an hour or whatever.  I'm selfish, and I want to spare myself that guilt.  I know I'd beat myself up for years if I just felt like my comfort was more important than someone else's life or long term health. So I figure, if I can test at home, that's another step I can take on my part.  Then if I might be contagious, I can stay the heck home.   Then at least I can tell myself, you did the best you could.

The process for signing up was simple. I just had to give a name and an address (or, you know, where were they gonna send it), and email address for confirmation. I even gave them my junk email address because...just 'cause.  But it took all of maybe thirty seconds to sign up.  And once I got the email, then it was time to wait.

About three weeks later, I got an email from the Post Office telling me my tests were on the way, with a tracking number and everything.  Here's what came in the package.

The Tests

Have you signed up for your free tests?  Is something holding you back from doing it?

Testingly yours,


Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

Gallery Credit: Stephanie Parker

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