Doctors say COVID testing for cynical TikTok trend is dangerous and selfish
“Learn how not to get COVID? Don’t get tested.”
This is the introduction to some viral TikTok videos mocking COVID-19 testing in which users boast about not getting tested despite showing symptoms – a message doctors describe as “extremely dangerous” and “selfish”.
In a video posted by @ilovedessert100, the user wrote, “People here say they miss their family (vacation) or (Christmas) BC they have COVID…cannot test positive if the test is not done.” Similar videos have racked up hundreds of Thousands of likes plus fake videos and confirmed comments.
And it’s not just on social media, says Dr. Eric Asher, a family physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, that it’s giving him chills.
“Being in a family clinic, I hear that from more patients than I would like to hear from patients. If they don’t go in for a test, they won’t have COVID, and it doesn’t work that way,” he says, adding the message is “very dangerous.” “That’s exactly what will take us a lot back in the fight against COVID. I think with the vaccinations and boosters and testing and the amount of testing we can access now, that’s actually preventing this disease from spreading further.”
Dr. Robert Frink, MD, an infectious disease physician and director of the Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, says this kind of thinking is “very selfish.”
“You don’t think about the harm you might do, not just to yourself, but to others,” he explains. “Testing is not only to help identify you, but also to help the community. So you won’t run, not cough and sneeze all over everyone, and then pass the virus on to someone else. It’s twofold.”
In some of these viral videos, users are trying to set the recording properly.
Tried it, now in hospital for a month at 20 years old, commented one user.
Another wrote, “My brother is on (oxygen support) again, fighting for his life (because of) Covid… It may seem like a few but to others this is the biggest heartache.”
Why is it necessary to get tested for COVID
Asher urges anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms to get tested for COVID-19.
“You can also go for a test,” he says. “It only helps to know.”
Symptoms can include coughing, fever and chills – and now with the OMICRON variant, milder symptoms are present, especially in those who have been vaccinated and boosted. This may include a sore throat, mild cold-like symptoms, congestion and fatigue.
Any cold or flu-like symptoms, This is COVID until testing proves otherwise,” Ascher says. So the fact that there are so many people who are ignoring the idea of going for testing so that they don’t have to quarantine, can blindly spread this disease. “
Do you see a message like this? ‘ignore him.’
“Ignore it completely,” Asher says. “I’m not suggesting that people start getting into fights on social media, but I will definitely report, if possible, to TikTok, Instagram or Facebook.”
In addition to reporting misinformation about COVID-19, it also urges viewers to “never share” and “never believe in it.”
“It is very important that because we have such a large number and access to tests to do tests when symptoms arise. And the switchover to these tests is very fast,” he says. “We’ve done a great job in the last two years since the onset of COVID by being vigilant, hiding vaccines, vaccinating. We just have to keep it a little bit longer.”
Frink encourages people to remember “we’re in this together.”
“We must help each other in the community, and we must reduce the risks not only to ourselves, but to others,” he says.
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