Scam Covid Test #3 is part of the Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report.
My trip to Malta was in 2021. It was my first time abroad following Covid. Up to that point, there were many reasons why I didn’t want to travel (see 11 Reasons Why I Still Don’t Want to Travel). Number three on that list was testing. I wrote, “TPOL has enough problems keeping up with visa requirements (see China 72-hour Visa-Free Transit Disaster (again)). Like my China experiences, I can see myself being stuck getting in or not allowed to return home because I misread the testing requirements. Add in my laziness in locating testing locations here or abroad and the invasive experience itself (see Thanks Donald! My COVID Test in Puerto Rico), and I am more inclined to wait for the magical ‘vaccine passport’ to go into effect.
How prescient an observation this was. On this journey, I encountered scam Covid testing at every corner (see Scam Covid Test #1: Entering the UK & Scam Covid Test #2: Leaving the UK). The last scam was the USA’s testing requirement for its own citizens to return home (see COVID Test for Return Travel Is Stupid). I had been all over Europe living life as intended : mask-free. I even went to bars with no social distancing (see Guns & Butter: Copenhagen Travel Guide)! Who knows how many strains of Covid I had been exposed to and if I was infected. While the testing situation was silly, the consequences of testing positive would not have been. I contemplated whether I should falsify my test because 1) Who is actually checking the results? 2) Screw the CDC.
Paranoid about losing my Global Entry, I decided to go through with the test and found a testing site down the street from the Hyatt Regency Malta. For $40, another swab was stuck up my nose.
Later that day, I received this official handwritten note:
I was negative! I could go home.
I once wrote Writing Trip Reports: How Old Is Too Old? This post was written about two years after the trip. While I prefer to have posts up sooner, waiting has reinforced my original opinions of the Covid situation. Indeed, most of my conjectures were spot on (If you want to go back to the dark time, read The Lost & Found Year(s): COVID Trip Report). In short, most Covid measures were bullshit money grabs.