In 2022, at-home tests are as hard to find as toilet paper was in 2020.

As the Hudson Valley continues to weather the storm of the latest COVID surge, health professionals are pushing the importance of testing. "If you think you have symptoms, be sure to test." Well, that's easier said than done.

Many communities have opened up testing sites, but aren't returning results until a week later. By then, even if you've tested positive the CDC says you can be finished with your quarantine. What's the purpose of that?

Here in the Hudson Valley, many communities have been handing out rapid tests, which are great. Unfortunately, there's not nearly enough to go around. With only two tests for a family of four, many are forced to make the decision if they really need to test or not, and who the luckily family member is that gets a swab up their nose.

Our family was fortunate enough to get a box of two tests after the holidays, which were used before gathering with older family members. Another box was provided by the school district after waiting in a line of cars reminiscent of the gas shortage of 1979. Those tests were supposed to be used by our child before returning from Christmas break but were received the day after he was already back in school, so we're holding them in case of an emergency.

On Tuesday I stumbled across the motherlode of at-home COVID tests. The pharmacy must have just received a shipment and had them piled up in front of the store with a limit of four per person. While it was tempting to stock up, I remembered the toilet paper frenzy of 2020 and knew that if everyone bought the limit, there would be people who probably really needed them that wouldn't be able to find one.

Since we have two test strips at home, I left the store without a test. Who knows if my family will need them in the upcoming weeks, but hopefully if everyone just buys what they need the tests will become more widely available.

Of course, by now most of those tests are probably up on Ebay for $50, but at least I can sleep at night knowing I did my little part to try and keep civilization from completely crumbling.

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