Day Two: my search for a rapid covid test.


I stumble in the snow to the Jean Coutu at 7.45am. "Do they have any?," I ask of the line.

"We'll have to wait and see," replies the first in the queue. Seems to me the people of Quebec are awfully patient. It's -4C with windchill and everyone is waiting quietly.  The lady next to me heard a rumour kits were being delivered at 9pm last night. I allow myself to get excited, A few minutes later the bad news comes.

"The covid rapid testing kits are not available," says a very polite manager. It seems they got their quota of 108 kits at 5pm last night and all those lazy @!*ers who didn't bother getting up at the crack of dawn, snagged them. The Jean Coutu man helpfully (? ) names the location of other pharmacies we could try in the neighbourhood.  I walk up the road to the Pharmaprix.

No room at the inn. Like a recreation of the xmas story.

Here at Pharmaprix I ask if people have their vouchers? This store has a system of giving them out to the first 108 customers standing in line so they know they will definitely get a kit. Sounds good doesn't it? Except they gave them out at 6.30am!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it seems people turned up one a half hours before the store opened to get their vouchers and can return later to collect them (presumably after their flat white and croissant). I hate those people. 

"It's like the war," says my neighbour in the line who is unchaining his bicycle to head off into the snow. A frail elderly man is pleading with the Pharmaprix man that his wife really needs a test. It's a bit heartbreaking and I wonder if the pharmacies would allow volunteers to collect tests for people like this?

"So what time do you recommend we come tomorrow," I ask the Pharmaprix guy. "I don't know. Maybe 4am, " he jokes. But no-one is laughing.

Pharmaprix. Gave out vouchers at 6.30am today.

me walking home in the snow. disappointed again.


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