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Living with COVID-19 - Tests, Masks and Proof of Vaccine
Well it’s been a while since I wrote about my post on Masks and I had this dream that in the fall of 2021 things would be mask-free, but it appears we are in for a year or more of ongoing COVID-19 mitigations…
In our household, three out of four of us are vaccinated and our son is awaiting the submittal of the vaccine trials for ages 5-11 and then emergency approval. It appears that the soonest we will see this approval is at the end of October which would mean our kids would be fully protected by Christmas and partially protected at the end of November. That’s acceptable to me and I hope we stick to that schedule.
Until then, things are a bit complex since our son’s ability to go to in-person school depends on a number of factors. Already a Kindergartner contracted covid and the entire class had to quarantine for 10 days. Furthermore, any travel out of state requires that our son pass 5 consecutive negative COVID tests in order to addend in person.
And finally, we are all wearing masks again - seemingly indoor and outdoor.
So what are some tips for managing through all this?
Digital Vaccine Records
Some states have digital tracking systems for vaccines and you can view and retrieve your records using the MyIR site. Here is my vaccine certificate.
You can also have your Vaccine card digitally stored on your iPhone or Android phone using the Wallet. VaxYes will allow you to scan, upload and then they will certify the results.
There are so many different ways to get tested now. I have stocked up on a few different tests.
BinaxNOW AG Card Home Test - This test is an at home antigen test that you self administer and includes a Telehealth service that ensures this can be used for air travel and is allowed by the FDA and CDC for return to the US from an International destination (but seems to require airline cooperation). You can purchase this in a pack of six for $150 ($30 per test) and it requires a prescription, but I ordered from eMed and it arrived next day via FedEx and I didn’t need to do anything except pay.
Note: these tests all have 6-month expiration dates, however, the FDA has granted them all 6-month extensions. Print out this letter in case.
BinaxNOW Home Test - This test is an at-home antigen test that you self-administer. Each pack contains two tests. I purchased mine from Amazon (sold out) and Walmart. It’s confusing that there are two Binax tests, the difference is one has “AG” in the name and the other does not.
QuickView - This is a self-administered antigen test and the one Microsoft hands out to employees. I can get one test per week per person at our health care center and they cost $29.95 for two tests.
Ellume COVID Test Kit - This is a self-administered antigen test and costs $35 from Amazon.
Amazon COVID-19 Test - Amazon has a PCR at home collection test kit. Costs $36.99 and returns results in 24 hours from lab receipt. It’s only for 18+.
I’m sorry to say but cloth masks don’t do shit.
I get masks from two sources.
The cool, stylish Evolve Together masks come in regular surgical grade in numerous colors, with nice packaging and a nifty mask keeper. They also have KN95 varients and sell for both adults and kids.
The more affordable United Sewing Automation offers adult and kids surgical masks that are made in the USA.