Trudy Lieberman’s Aug. 27 column wants some corrections.

She writes, “A health care worker collects a sample by inserting a 6-inch swab through a nostril, obtaining some cells from the upper part of your throat.”

Throat swabs are taken through the throat; nasal swabs are taken in the nose. For better results in swab tests, the swabs reach into the nose far enough to capture virus-containing mucus, an inch or so is normal. Nobody jams a 6-inch swab “through the nostril” and into the throat, except in horror films.

The COVID virus has RNA, and the PCR test looks for snatches of COVID RNA.

But other tests may differ. For example, how do we find oranges in an apple crate? We can have a test that looks for the color orange, because apples are red or green.

We can have antibody tests which would be the equivalent of looking for navel orangeworms in an apple crate. If the crate contains only apples, there will be no navel orangeworms to be found.

But there might be a worm-free orange in the crate so that test gives a false result.

The point of testing is to prevent the rampant spread of COVID, so early results are a must – within 24 hours if you live in Korea. Testing may also tell you if you are an asymptomatic weapon – spreading the virus unawares and potentially killing the people you come in contact with.

Your mouth can be a viral gun, your mask is a safety so that your gun doesn’t fire accidentally and injure someone. The mask also is your Kevlar shield, protecting your nasal cavity from entry by those viral worms of RNA.

If everyone were to wear his or her mask, we could curb the spread of COVID and buy time for a vaccine to be marketed.

To be honest, I got the number of the fairgrounds COVID task force doing the testing, but whenever I called, the line was busy. Just as well, I suppose, because test results are slow and there is still a shortfall of tests to be had.

The thermometer is a fairly reliable guide, and if you register a temp – please quarantine!

I have to laugh. “No shoes, no shirt, no service” is accepted. “Wear-a-mask.” Them is fightin’ words, huh! Why shouldn’t we be allowed to “shout” COVID in a crowded theater? Or pull a gun in Arnold to protect our Lone-Ranger right as a customer to go mask-less? I have to ask the sheriff if spraying a breath of aerosolized, weaponized COVID is an assault. What about these viral bullets?

Bud Hoekstra,



Comment Policy

Calaveras Enterprise does not actively monitor comments. However, staff does read through to assess reader interest. When abusive or foul language is used or directed toward other commenters, those comments will be deleted. If a commenter continues to use such language, that person will be blocked from commenting. We wish to foster a community of communication and a sharing of ideas, and we truly value readers' input.