Editor: Testing and tracking but yet not enough time to check in
How are you coping these days? We seem to have come out of lockdown and, all too often, stopped checking in to make sure those around us are doing ok.
There are plenty of people in this city who are now carrying on as if everything is normal. Perhaps this is as close as we will get to how things were before the first great lockdown of 2020. But there are thousands more who are still very concerned about their health and that of everyone else in the city. So we find ourselves trapped in this strange world where somebody give you funny looks for wearing a mask and others do the same if you aren’t. It has brought out extremes in people and yet, we all know, Covid-19 is still very much alive and kicking in Sheffield.
Over the weekend it was announced that antibody tests are to be widely offered for the first time in a new programme that aims to find out more about how much natural protection people have after getting coronavirus.
The plan is to test thousands of adults each day. In fact, anyone over 18 will be able to opt in when having a PCR test from tomorrow.
We’re promised it will be quick and easy – with just a little finger-prick test as soon as possible after the positive result.
The second test will be taken 28 days later and that one measures antibodies generated in response to the infection.
The hope is that it gives us better insight into how the vaccination programme is working and how we’re responding to variants.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Antibody testing will be rolled out to thousands of adults a day across the UK.
“If you’ve tested positive for Covid-19, I urge you to opt-in to help us better understand the effectiveness of the vaccines and develop future treatments.”
Mr Javid hopes it will ‘strengthen our understanding of Covid-19 as we cautiously return to a more normal life’.
I’m sure we all hope the same – but in the meantime let’s still check in with friends or neighbours and be kind to each other as we find different paths through what are still very strange times. Do what feels right for you and protect yourself as much as you can, even if you have already had Covid and are double jabbed.