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My DIY Covid Home Test

By Naomi Serviss / New York City

Having had several Covid-19 tests, including two presurgical hospital experiences and two from nearby mobile units, I wasn’t the least bit hesitant to self-administer one at home.

The BinaxNOW test couldn’t be simpler.

The materials were set up on a flat surface and six drops of solution were carefully dripped into a small round opening on the testing card.

Then the fun part.

I took the swab and inserted the same one in both nostrils.

It wasn’t uncomfortable, just a tad unpleasant.

Then I swirled the swab six times in a circular motion.

Next step was sliding the swab in the card, covering the hole with the six drops.

And then I waited 15 minutes.

If a red line appeared UNDER the red line already present, then Covid was most likely detected.

Fortunately, my Covid test was negative. Yay!

One caveat: the directions confused me. As my fourth-grade teacher wrote on a report card: “Naomi needs to follow directions more carefully.” Mrs. Gillespie was right!

In full disclosure, I misread the test directions and wisely asked my husband Lew to help. He’s been an Eagle Scout (since age 15!) and subsequently has always read directions a wee bit better than me. He’s terrific at making knots, too.

Credit where credit is due!

If President Biden’s plan to distribute free tests in January bears out, fewer lines! (Although critics pointed out that 500,000,000 tests wouldn’t last very long with a U.S. population of 350,000,000.)

NYC Mayor De Blasio has also promised those line-waiting they’d have the option to take home a test.

Good luck, everybody!

For more about the Omicron crisis, read the author's cover story this week, Déjà Vu All Over Again


Naomi Serviss is a New York-based award-winning journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Highroads (AAA magazine), in-flight publications, spa and travel magazines and websites, including

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