Episode 38 | #COVIDConvo Ep. 13
#COVIDConvo Ep. 13: COVID Testing & Vaccine
Alex and Dr. Wendy Tong, MD MHA, talk about the recent events related to the COVID-19 pandemic happening all over the world and discuss topics like healthcare, eldercare, and keeping your loved ones safe.
In this episode, they’re discussing the prevalence and impact of misinformation surrounding COVID and what we can do about it. They are also joined by Gabby McKenna, who works with Dr. Tong at Wendy’s Team.
Transcript of the episode:
*this transcript is generated automativally*
Alex Romanovich (00:01):
Hi, this is Alex Romanovich. And welcome back to global edge talk. And specifically to our COVID convo with Dr. Wendy tongue. Today is December 12th. Hello, Dr. Wendy. Hi, Dr. Wendy, we are going to talk about a very interesting topic of testing. It is December 12th today, and we’re roughly about two weeks after the Thanksgiving holidays. And we’re seeing a tremendous amount of activity, not only in testing, but obviously we’re seeing a spike in COVID all over the, all over the country, increased cases. Topped up ICUs. You know, our last podcast was about misinformation and how it can impact individuals and making choices and lead to a false sense of security and testing actually, or false testing, false negatives or false positive can certainly lead to the false sense of security. We know this based on our personal experience. I know this based on my experience after COVID I had antibodies and sometimes I feel a little bit of a bravado when I go outside, for example, walk my dog or, or travel or something like that. And we should always think twice and stop ourselves thinking that COVID can be very, very unforgiving. So let’s talk today about the full sense of security. Let’s talk about testing and can you share some of the observations you’ve experienced?
Dr. Wendy Tong (01:44):
Yeah. thanks Alex. Thanks for sharing your personal experience. And I have to admit that until I started preparing for this podcast and really looking at, you know, testing the different tests out there, how they should be used and the limitations behind each test, I was in that number of people who was also deriving a false sense of security in terms of negative test results. I do know that well I was getting surveillance testing every one to two weeks as well as all the adults and my manager and my company. And you know, with Thanksgiving break, I know my manager was like, okay, you know, I’ve got negative test results. I’m just going to, you know meet and sit down with some friends outdoors socially distance and have a meal. And yes, and she’s like, everybody in our group has gotten tested they’re negative.
Dr. Wendy Tong (02:42):
And, and there was that false sense of security. And, you know, there are times when I have team members who say, okay, I’ve gotten tested right after, like I’ve met with people. And then I didn’t ask them if like, what, what kind of tests they get and did they get it like tested a certain period after they were exposed? In which case the false negative rate is actually really high. So, you know, I think it’s very real out there, your personal experience, my personal experiences. And you know, even if we keep on top of the COVID information there’s still a lot that we don’t know about or we haven’t really thought about deeply enough. So definitely thank you for allowing me to pick this topic about, you know, COVID testing for today.
Alex Romanovich (03:37):
No, absolutely. I think it’s a very fascinating, very interesting topic. So there are a number of tests that by now there are number of tests available right now. Can you give us a quick overview of each test? What they mean, what they stand for, what they’re used for and how is it that folks are getting some of the false results, both on negative and positive side?
Dr. Wendy Tong (04:00):
Yes, of course. So there are three main kinds of tests available. The first is the rapid antigen or rapid swab test. The second is the PCR test, which is also a nasal swab. And the third is the antibodies test, which is the blood test. For purpose of time, I’m just going to cover the first two tests because those were the most commonly used in the general population. The rapid test is a nasal swab and it detects the protein particles or antigens of the virus. The results are available within an hour. Usually the testing processing can be done on location. They’re very inexpensive and because of the rapid turnaround time for getting results, they’re widely used in settings like factories, nursing, home staff, and that’s because there’s that ability to detect an active infection quickly and to make quick decisions, management decisions, HR decisions about implementing immediate isolation precautions.