At home Covid tests are in high demand. Are they worth the hype?


Luis Melendez, Herald Writer

We all know that Covid has been around for almost two years. During that time, there has been drive-by testing as well as a vaccine available. The wait times to be tested or vaccinated are excessive, measuring up to three hours. The government responded to these issues by coming up with the idea of conducting at-home Covid tests. These tests got popular very quickly and up until now have become one of the most highly demanded products on the market. It is almost impossible to get your hands on one of them. 

Binax Now is one of the most popular kinds of at-home Covid tests. Millions of them have been sold, and people may be buying a little more than they need. For example, I work at a local Walgreens and we receive regular shipments of these tests and other versions as well. Our limit for each customer is 4 boxes. Believe it or not, we sell out in 1-3 days and the majority of our calls or questions are about tests, which we either have in the front register or in one of the aisles. We are one of the only retail stores that have them in stock and whenever we are out of them, people go crazy and blame us for not having them which displays another reason of how these Covid tests are in high demand. Many schools have also begun giving out free tests. You might be thinking that this is a really great positive thing. However, many parents would take these free tests that the school provided and sell them online. This explains why we have to worry about who receives the tests. According to  This CBS Article, people would sell real and fake tests online. The article states, “Temmer says it is only a matter of time before Wisconsin sees testing scams, which often start with a robocall or a text, or an email. The scam will promise a free or fast COVID test, but there’s a catch. They’re going to say ‘we need a credit card for shipping or we need your Social Security number and your birth date so we can bill the government your Medicare, your health insurance, whatever it is,” Temmer said. Now does that sound like people who are just worried about Covid and want to get tested and not wait in line? I don’t think so. 

Are these tests worth being one of the most on demand products on the market right now? In my opinion, NO. Wasting $10-25 on these tests that are not even 100% accurate is ridiculous. The lines to get tested are very long and time consuming. However, you’ll get nothing but accuracy from people who have been trained to do Covid testing. Testing at home may not always give you the correct results. Are these at home Covid tests convenient? Yes. But are they worth the hype and money? Not so much, Either way, if you are ever thinking of purchasing one remember to stay safe and don’t always rely on a lazier method of getting tested.