LHS Teacher’s COVID Test Innovation should replace Saliva Testing

Sreenidhi Dharmaraj

Most communities offer nasal COVID-19 testing where long white swabs are shoved up people’s noses or saliva testing participants are required to spit several times into a test tube. Although this testing is necessary, many people quickly became exhausted with the procedures—at least in the Lexington High School community.  

To remedy this issue, biology teacher Trashe Laab designed her very own highly efficient COVID-19 testing system. 

“I heard people complaining about their COVID testing experiences in the hallway the other day and wanted to make a difference for people all over the country facing the same problem. I decided to start with my students,” Laab said.

“At this point, all of us were sick of the swabbing and spitting—our throats were dry and our noses burned. Testing became an extremely unpleasant task to accomplish. So when Ms. Laab came up to us and asked whether she could run test trials on us, of course, we said yes,” Ginny Pyg, a sophomore who participated in Laab’s trials, said.

Laab conducted multiple trials beginning in January, testing several methods until one seemed to work consistently. 

The innovative testing strategy works as follows: instead of giving computer tests as students have been used to this year, Laab uses standard paper tests bordered with glue, freshly from the hot glue gun. Students apply the glue just before starting the test so that the minuscule COVID-19 particles would be captured from their breaths. Then, those tests are placed into separate plastic bags for isolation. In her makeshift lab behind two of the school’s trash cans, Laab runs the standard exam procedures on them with cotton swabs and swiftly disposes of them. 

Although many may think it unconventional, Laab’s design could be implemented nationally, and even replace traditional testing mechanisms. 

The experiment’s immense success in keeping students safe and relaxed at home while also effectively testing them further merits its adoption by communities everywhere. 

Saliva testing and swabbing made commuting much more difficult for many teachers at LHS. 

“I had to walk over to the testing location, right across from the school after this extremely unpleasant day with a bunch of screaming high school toddlers, and suddenly there’s more talking and spitting to do, and more leaning over,” Pan Demique, an AP United States History teacher who recently got a COVID-19 test, said. “But it was my only option at the time. Now that Ms. Laab’s introduced this new and improved testing system, travel has been completely eliminated! I just need to do my job.”

The United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, came to LHS himself to compliment and encourage the distribution of Laab’s tests. 

“It’s truly heartwarming to see this because, after this revolutionary procedure, people won’t need to suffer through the old tests, and they won’t even remember if they tested positive or not,” Fauci said. 

He’s right because they would have a more fatal heart attack while viewing their grades.

“I think this is a much easier and incentivizing way to get people to stay safe. Pass the COVID-19 test and you pass the class,” Pyg said. 

He also came to announce the expansion of the testing system to account for those who are not students. 

“The procedure can also expand to documents that can be turned-in to someone’s boss, who would keep track of their tests,” Fauci said. 

Laab has made a massive contribution to the scientific world, generating a safe, unique, and painless way to administer the much-needed COVID-19 tests. It should be widely recognized by everyone that LHS’s own staff member created a life-saving testing method which was not in vain.