As you will have read on a previous post we needed to get our little one Corona Virus tested. You will have also read that there were no tests available, either in person or via the post. This was not good.
Refresh the Covid Testing Websites
I then spent the next 20 hours checking the Corona Virus Testing website to see if they had any availability. In between checking the site I also searched Twitter to see if anyone had any hacks or insights into when the website was updated with appointments. Someone posted that they ‘heard’ the site was refreshed at 8pm but as I’d already checked at that time and know it wasn’t, I discounted this. I also didn’t want to have to wait until 8pm the next day to double-double check.
There is a lot of ‘Chaff’ on Twitter before you get to the ‘Wheat’ and one tweet stood out – someone mentioned they were told the site was updated at 10am. I had plenty of hours before then but knew I’d be able to check this the following day. 10am isn’t a bad time and gave me additional time to get on the phone queue to find a test.
A Sleepless Night
Our little one had trouble sleeping. 2am was the first wake up time – I guess the Calpol had long worn off by then. It did give me a chance to check the test website and….nothing. No change at all. I was awake until about 4am so kept trying, just on the off-chance. Still nothing. I was able to check again about 6am. Nothing. Then it was waking up time so I was able to use my phone and check regularly until about 9.45am. Where there were no tests available through walk in or drive through or postal.
10am is a Magical Time
I’d agreed with My Lovely Wife that I’d try using the computer at 10am to see if it made a difference. The magical hour of 10am came and……Nothing. Then about 5 past 10 the message on the website changed slightly. Bearing in mind I’d seen the same messages for the past 20 hours, to see something different gave me a hope that something WAS happening with the testing website. I kept trying and couldn’t find any tests. Then I reset all the forms (again) and applied again. This gave no different results but still I persisted. About 10 minutes later something wonderful happened. It gave me a drive through location. I’d not seen this before as it had always said ‘no test available’. The closest one was Croydon. Not 100’s of miles away but not next door. I selected Croydon and then chose my time. 3 hours should be plenty to get everyone packed in the car and drive there. Its a Saturday and Croydon will be busy and I didn’t want to be late. I clicked the ‘Book’ button…….
I ended on the standard ‘no tests available’ screen! Dammit! I was so close! Time to start from scratch, again. It was getting tedious but I had to keep trying. I went through it all from scratch again and now there were no tests available. Had I missed my chance? I blinking well hope not! By now it was 20 past 10 and I was worried that a small number of appointments had been released but already taken. I tried again. Nothing. And again. Nothing. And again. Nothing. And again…..
Wandsworth. 27 appointments available. Today. I chose a time which was later than the one in Croydon and clicked ‘book’. And held my breath. And crossed my fingers….
There it was in all its beauty. The confirmation screen. On it was a QR code and the details of the booking. I took a screen shot, I saved it at a PDF, I emailed it to myself. There was no way I’d not keep a record of this. Seconds later my phone pinged and it was a text message confirming the booking. I’d not got anything regarding the Croydon booking so it looks like that didn’t go through. I was worried I’d somehow have two bookings and be denying someone an appointment in Croydon but as that didn’t happen, I didn’t need to worry about it. Phew!
Now We Wait
A chat with My Lovely Wife about how best to prepare our little one. We would give her lunch a bit earlier, put her to bed a bit earlier and hope she continues to sleep in the car. All of this was just minor stuff though, we had the appointment we needed and that was enough. It was nice to be able to relax, for a little while, at least.