How are you faring at the moment? It’s been a very weird and worrying time, hasn’t it? 2020 has seen us, as a global population, live through unprecedented and unrecognisable times. Thousands of us have been affected by the coronavirus directly, either by having it or having a loved one who has had it.

It’s hard to think of anyone who hasn’t been indirectly affected by it either. Millions in the UK and around the world are struggling financially as a consequence of lost jobs and revenue. We’re all suffering the effects of not being able to see loved ones or celebrate birthdays, weddings or religious and cultural festivals. 

As we’re all tentatively taking our first steps back into work, school, shops, bars and restaurants, we’re all experiencing what it’s going to be like in a (hopefully) post-Covid-19 world. Face masks, hand sanitiser, social distancing and one way foot traffic in public places are all now becoming normal. 

Part of us gradually getting out and about again, is being aware of the virus and how it spreads, and learning how best we can protect ourselves and others. Hence the widespread use of face masks and hand sanitiser and getting used to washing our hands more often and avoiding touching our faces. 

Having a Covid-19 test can also help to tell us if we need to be self-isolating. There are two Covid-19 tests – the antigen PCR test, and the antibody test.

The antigen Covid-19 PCR test is a saliva based test that will tell you if you currently have the virus at that time of taking the test. If you have the virus, even if you’re not showing any symptoms, it will still show up as positive. This test is useful either if you have symptoms, or you think you’ve been exposed to the virus in the past. If you test positive, you should self-isolate for 14 days and seek medical advice if you feel very unwell. 

Conversely, the Covid-19 antibody test will tell you if you’ve previously had the virus by detecting the presence in your blood of immunogloblin G (IgG) antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to determine if you have previously been exposed.

Not only is an antibody test useful for your own knowledge to know if you’ve previously had the virus, but it also helps to provide useful information to government agencies on how the virus has spread around the UK and what percentage of people have been symptomless with the virus. 

As yet, there is no conclusive evidence that those who have had the virus and have developed antibodies to it, won’t contract the virus again. So if you have got antibodies meaning that you’ve had the virus, you will still need to observe the social distancing advice currently being given out by the government as you won’t necessarily be immune.

So, if you want to take part in some citizen science or you’re simply keen to know if you’ve had Covid-19, you can order the test that’s right for you now at here.

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