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"It's Stuck!" The COVID Test Edition - Trip #4!

Our host group, Four Corners Ministries, are incredible hosts. They are doing all they can to help accommodate us on our trip. The place we stay at is spacious though lacking AC, and with highs in the mid 80’s it is a tad uncomfortable. We have multiple fans oscillating at all times while we are inside. These northerners had a COVID test today (Thursday) as we jump on a plane (God willing) Saturday night to make our way back. We need a negative test within 72 hours of take off. Four Corners had picked up someone to come to the place we are staying (I said they were incredible hosts) and give us the test. A young man (everyone in this country seems young) came in, masked. He proceeded to put on a shield and a hospital gown type deal. He then took us one at a time starting with Stu Dix, who hollered a bit-just to be playful. It appeared things went considerably longer than our U.S based test. Stu put it this way: they are pretty serious about getting something on that swab!

I was second, signing three times on the paperwork before resting my head on the back of the love seat I was on. The young man proceeded to make contact with my nose and pull back shortly thereafter…a piece of cake. He said he hadn’t started yet. Then he did and he went further and harder than anything I had experienced in my three previous tests. I opened my mouth and let out noises that weren’t exactly screams, but certainly not “inside” voice noises. It was up there FOREVER. It became especially real to me when I heard him say “it’s stuck” (in the upright and locked position!). About ten seconds later (seemed like minutes) he said “close your mouth”, and I had an anatomy lesson. Apparently when you open your mouth wide and are tense your nasal passage can constrict. I closed it and he pulled the swab out to my great relief.  

I asked him how many times that had happened to him before (since he knew what I should do), and he said this was the first time - Larry Szyman, pioneer! I had watery eyes for about a ½ hour but was good to go when it was time to teach after singing. I could breathe cleanly through my left nasal passage for the rest of the day. Stu and Mike said the swab was up there between 20-30 seconds.

Our social commentator Stu said that this event was a parable for my life. Whenever I open my mouth something bad happens. He also added that I have lock on COVID tests! The support I experience is noteworthy!

An event worth remembering! Still very glad and privileged to be here. I’ll send something more profound next time!

Larry Szyman

Pastor for Missional Life


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