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Re: COVID-19 testing

From: fischersfritz
Subject: Re: COVID-19 testing
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2021 18:41:40 -0700

jahoti writes:
> a good strategy might be asking what to do if you don't have a mobile
> phone (or pretending you don't).

This already is my strategy, and it fails. I think the problem is
that people don't know; that is, people without mobile phones are rare
staff either were never told what to do about it or were told but
forgot. They do try to advise me based on their own knowledge, beyond
official instructions, but it is very hard for people who use
smartphones to advise me on whether I need a smartphone, since there
could be a small, forgettable step of the process that requires a

jahoti writes:
> Definitely ask if any text would require opening a link- I know somebody 
> who took a test in the past few months and received their (negative) 
> result as a text message, albeit not in your vicinity.

For example, if I ask the testing site staff whether the text will
require opening a link, I don't trust the staff to understand
my question and to remember this detail of the text.

jahoti writes:
> Also, as stupid a question as it is, have you seen 
> ? If not, they might be useful, and if so then I concur with others that 
> a good strategy might be asking what to do if you don't have a mobile 
> phone (or pretending you don't).

I had not seen this, and I think it would have been helpful.
It is unfortunate that, for example, the doctor's office did not
tell me about it and would not give specific instructions
on where to get tests.

(The office did give me some specific instructions, but not useful
instructions. First I was told that any test would work. On a later
call I asked whether BinaxNOW was acceptable, and the correspondant
told me only then that at-home tests don't qualify. On another call
the correspondant mentioned CityMD, only, by name after I insisted
on specific references; she mentioned that there are many options,
but she would not name any, presumably because she didn't know them.)

I considered not mentioning this point about the doctor's office, since
one might see it as the fault of the office and not related to software
licensing. However, I see it as a reflection of dependance on
proprietary dis-services. I suspect most people in my position would
have search with proprietary a search engine for something like "covid
test in new york", and clicked on one of the proprietary pharmacy web
pages, and signed up in a way that does not respect their freedom. If
this is the common practice and office staff were not specifically
informed of alternatives, it is only reasonable that staff would not be
able advise me on how to get tested.

Unfortunately, that webpage links to a proprietary disservice (MyChart)
nominally managed by the NYC Health + Hospitals but truly managed
by the company Epic. This disservice runs proprietary JavaScript.
I could call some places to see if there is an alternative, but
I suspect to encounter the same difficulties as everywhere else, so
I think I will stick with my current plan rather than looking
for other places.

Fischers Fritz

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