All students at the university were requested to take a Covid-19 test. Three days later I got the result, and it turned out negative. Yay!

During the 72 hour waiting period I felt like I had a greater responsibility to maintain social distancing than I probably would normally, and I’ve been thinking through it. In the time between taking a test and receiving the result, you still don’t know if you have the virus, but you can expect to find out soon. That puts you in a strange position.

As an example of this problem: I have a friend who went to a party, and someone else at the party had Covid-19. The infected person had got a test, then they went to the party (and spread the virus), then they got a positive result the following day. So, when the infected person was at the party, they didn’t know they were infected, but they could have known if they’d have waited for the test result. That expectation of future knowledge has an effect.

In hindsight, the infected person should have avoided the party while they were waiting for the result. Some people are cautious enough to take a test and then self-isolate for three days. But that doesn’t make sense, if you were not self-isolating before taking a test, then why self-isolate while waiting for the result? If you don’t have symptoms you generally assume you don’t have the virus. The conclusion is that by taking a test, your attitude changes before you even know if the result is positive or not.

It was a surprising relief to get a negative result. So long as I’m not showing symptoms I don’t know if I’m infected, and for that same reason it doesn’t matter. Still, it was psychologically reasuring to receive proper medical proof that everything is alright.