If there's anyone who knows a thing or two about experiencing discomfort for the sake of another person's well-being, it's mothers. So after after President Donald Trump called the available coronavirus test "unpleasant" and said they are "not a lot of fun" to take during a recent press conference, moms on Twitter, including Chrissy Teigen, stepped up to provide some valuable perspective.
During his coronavirus task force press conference on Sunday, Trump said that the test used to determine if someone has contracted the disease, also known as COVID-19, is "not a lot of fun" to take and that the coming test in development will be "a very simple test by comparison and won't be unpleasant at all." In the same conference, Vice President Mike Pence talked about his own experience with the test, calling it "kind of invasive" and a "not comfortable experience."
According to Science Magazine, the most common test for the novel coronavirus is called the PCR test, which starts with "a nasopharyngeal swab, which looks like a long Q-tip that draws mucus from the back of a patient’s nasal cavity where it meets the throat."
In response to Trump's comments, actress Sarah Thyre, who shares two children with Andy Richter, began a thread comparing the swab to labor. "Our sh*tprez is b*tching about how invasive the Covid test is and excuse me, I've had multiple hands shoved up my vagina to try to pull out a a single d*mn baby - and you are b*tching about a swab up your f*cking nose that could save millions of lives," she tweeted on Sunday.
Teigen, who has two children with John Legend, responded with a graphic description of her own birth experience with her daughter Luna, including her episiotomy, a common procedure than involves a surgical cut made in the perineum during childbirth or natural tearing. "My vagina was ripped to my *sshole giving birth to Luna. I had a vag*sshole," she tweeted. "F*ck your swab pain."
Teigen responded to her own tweet to give more perspective, writing, "They had to put a garbage bag at the end of the bed to collect my blood before stitching me up, where I then had to pee using a water bottle as a pain fountain for 3 months. So yeah. The swab, I bet it’s super rough."
More moms on Twitter were quick to jump in with their own childbirth stories that leave the coronavirus test looking like a cakewalk. "Yeah I had to use that squeeze bottle for months too, to pee," one person wrote, referring to the use of a peri bottle — a postpartum tool that replaces toilet paper during the healing process. "Also I was passing blood clots for 13 weeks!!! Painful ones, like mini births! Finally I got hospitalized cuz I had an eraser sized godd*mned placenta chunk left up in there! Hoooo lawd. But yeah the swab sounds crazy."
"My first was pushed **BACK UP** the birth canal so I could go give birth again as a c-section. So, yea," another chimed in.
Yet another shared that she was in labor for 52 hours and wrote, "Y'all can all manage a nasal swab for 30 seconds."
While the swab may not exactly tickle, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has repeatedly pointed to testing and early identification as the key to protecting against the novel coronavirus, according to Science Magazine. “We have a simple message for all countries: Test, test, test," Ghebreyesus said at a press conference earlier this month. "Test every suspected case. If they test positive, isolate them and find out who they have been in contact with two days before they developed symptoms and test those people, too.”
As of March 20, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States reached over 15,000 with more than 200 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the global number climbed to more than 292,000, according to WHO. However, experts suggest that these numbers are likely lower than the actual total of infected people due to lack of availability of tests. Many areas of the United States continue to reserve tests for hospitalized patients with severe illness, health care workers, or patients involved in a known illness cluster.
So, as many moms would argue, if a test is available, a little bit of discomfort is worth the contributions to protecting the public's health.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.