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The Daily Tar Heel

Editorial: Long lines for COVID-19 testing? Here's how to pass the time

Students wait in line at the Student Union to receive their bi-weekly COVID-19 test on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021.

Editor’s note: This article is satire. Unfortunately, there is no rectal testing option for students. (And please don’t share swabs.)

Students who arrived back to Chapel Hill and Carrboro this week are already personally familiar with the long lines at Carolina Together testing sites. UNC’s mishandled a lot regarding this pandemic, so we’re kind of used to this by now. Long lines of masked students trying to avoid breathing too closely to each other is just another part of the saga. 

That said, we’ve decided to put together some ideas to help you pass — or even save — time as you wait to give UNC your weekly offering of boogers this semester.

  • Say hi to your friends as they inevitably come by. They say every UNC student walks through the Pit at least once every 24 hours. You’re bound to see everyone while you wait!
  • Request a rectal test. A fairly unknown option, students can receive a rectal test upon request. The lines for this are virtually nonexistent, so just flag down the nearest staff member to get one.
  • Convince the person in front of you they’re in the wrong line. Our more self-centered readers may be more interested in getting through the line as fast as they can with minimal regard for others. Stone & Leaf’s quarter-mile-long lines are similar enough to stir up adequate confusion. Repeat as necessary. 
  • Count or collect bricks. For a good workout, try picking up however many “bricks” you think were recently stored in those three fraternities. You’ll be ripped by the time you get to the front.
  • Start a line GroupMe. Because we need one for everything, apparently. 
  • Sing sea shanties. Music is a fantastic way to foster camaraderie with your linemates. By the end of your multi-week voyage, you’ll all be quite the crew.
  • Share swabs with the people around you. There are a lot of steps to each test. Using one swab will help cut down time per student. 
  • Cropdust the line before getting in it. Of course, the stench and volume of your flatulence largely depends on your diet, so this might not be the best strategy for those with good eating habits. For the rest, a thorough sweep will certainly clear some out of the line. 
  • Reflect on our current, semi-apocalyptic reality. College students are prone to existential crises, and the state of the world right now only adds fuel to the fire. There’s nothing like standing out in the cold to complement embracing the slow heat-death of the universe and stare straight into the void of our deteriorating political discourse.
  • Literally just bring your phone and earbuds like everyone else. Enough said. 

We hope some of these suggestions come in handy this semester. Welcome back to the University of Nascent COVID-19 outbreaks, Tar Heels. 


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