She tore open the plastic pouch with the long cotton swab and said, when they did this to me they had to hold me down, let me tell you, I mean they were two people holding down my hands, I said lord help me, I don’t want that. But you’re going to be brave, I know. So I decided I was going to. She waved the swab around a little and said, Oh, me, I hate to do this to people, knowing how it feels. You know what’s going to happen, don’t you? And I said I did. Watching the swab. My mother was there, not to hold my hand but because we were both getting the test at the same time. So which one of you wants to go first? I wanted to volunteer but Mother said she would go. To show me how easy it was, she said. Though later she told me she did not want to watch me get that stick shoved into my nostrils and then have to go through it herself. So the nurse did the test on my mother. I refused to watch. She said to Mother, you’re doing good. Not like me, I’m telling you what. I couldn’t stand it. Burns, don’t it? But it won’t be like that for long. And now, she said, it’s your turn, and looked at me, and opened another pack. You want your mama to hold your hand? Well, she can’t, even if you do. Because she might have the Covid and same with you. Tilt your head back, now. All right here we go. And the long stick just went deeper and deeper and she wrung it around with a good deal of enthusiasm, and my body felt the surprise. Nerves that had never been called on to respond to that kind of touch. Then she pulled it out and put it into my other nostril and I breathed out the way I had been told to do and she said, Look how good you are sitting still like this. They had to hold me down. I told you that, didn’t I? But she was smiling. Then it was done. Mother and I picked up our paperwork and walked out to the car. A poor lady was sitting in the middle of the parking lot crying, propped up by two health care workers at her back, two children crying in front of her, all of them waiting for an ambulance to help them lift her back into her wheelchair and take her inside. It had the look of a scene that ought to be private, but there we were in a parking lot. Mother and I hurried into the car and tried to get out of the way of the emergency medical technicians. We went home. My test was positive. Naturally.