16 April 2021



Covid-19 tests

by Nicole Gallop Mildon

Since October I have had many Covid-19 tests, not because I have been exposed, but to enable me to visit my mother in a nursing home, who has been granted in person visits on medical grounds. 

Three days before each visit, I have a PCR test, and at first the results took 2.5 to 3 days to arrive.  But the results have been coming faster and faster, the latest took just 14 hours and the result arrived in an email at 3 a.m.

It reminded me that the Covid testing regime functions 24/7 including during public holidays.  I know tests were being processed over the Christmas weekend, with the same speed as normal.  The staff in all the labs are working around the clock, tirelessly, handling samples, most of which have come from someone who has symptoms.  We do not know their names, or faces, but they work away quietly behind the scenes making an enormous and unsung contribution to the fight against Covid. Theirs is a hidden front line. 

The work of those in the labs reminds me of Chapter 6 of Matthew’s Gospel, where we are instructed to “go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret”, for the staff are working hidden behind the closed doors of their labs.  The whole of the chapter is worth reading, especially now, for it teaches us about the three pillars of Lent, prayer, almsgiving and fasting as well as giving us the words of the Lord’s Prayer.  It closes with a prayer that is well worth repeating in these strange times: “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” 

Let us pray… 

Lord, as we travel through Easter, we give thanks for all who work in the testing laboratories in hidden service to their fellow man.  As we wait for an end to this pandemic, we reflect on the instruction not to worry about tomorrow, but trust in you, our Heavenly Father.  Amen 

Nicole is a Guild of Saint Jude Life member and a supporter of the Shrine. She is a lawyer based in London and volunteers in Lourdes for two weeks each year.