L Train on a Saturday morning
We’re here for our antibody tests. No line!
Free, quick and easy. Thank you to all the frontline medical workers making this possible
The testing center for Brooklyn is in Brownsville, a neighborhood that has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. It’s a reminder of the broader inequalities in NYC that lead to starkly unequal health outcomes.
The subway home
There are now several ways of getting antibody tests in NYC. We signed up for these being conducted as demographic/prevalence study in partnership w/ NYC. But definitely weigh the risks of heading out, w/ the unknowns of what having antibodies even means https://www.bioreference-appointments.com/nyc 
More info on these antibody tests, including what both positive and negative results mean. We were told we’d get our test results in 3-7 business days.
It's been just 24 hours since our Covid-19 antibody tests, and we already got our results back. I tested positive 😱

I never had dry cough or fever. I did have severe back pain for a while in late March that I'd put down to sitting at home too much. But perhaps that was it?
Strangely my husband, who I've been with 24/7, tested negative. There's always the possibility, of course, that one or both of our test results are wrong.

Then there's the big question: What now?
Just to be clear: My test results show I have antibodies, meaning I was likely exposed to the coronavirus at some point. If my muscle pain in late March was it, I’m lucky to have escaped w/ mild symptoms — I basically worked right through it. I feel completely fine now.
More info on the Roche antibody test that NYC is deploying, and possibility of false positives, here. Test’s published specificity is greater than 99.8% and sensitivity is 100%. https://www.roche.com/media/releases/med-cor-2020-05-03.htm
It’s one of the best tests out there right now, and should provide some level of confidence in the results — especially with what I’m assuming is a pretty high prevalence of the virus in NYC, the epicenter of the pandemic. But again, false positives are possible.
This, and the fact that we don’t know for sure that antibodies = immunity, is why we will continue to social distance, wear masks, and take all the precautions we’ve already been taking.
I’m still receiving messages sounding like I may be on the brink of death! I have no symptoms, and have had no symptoms, for many weeks. I did have muscle pain (and now that I think about it, sluggishness) in late March. Who knows if that was the virus, or if I got false positive
I’m conflicted about getting a second test. Maybe down the road? I decided to get this test mostly bc it’s part of NYC’s prevalence/demographics study, which will help shape its response going forward. So I likely won’t be able to get tested again under the same program anyway.
You can follow @HirokoTabuchi.
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