In recent weeks, China has ramped up its use of a controversial coronavirus diagnostic tool: anal swabs. The test reportedly involves a patient bending over, putting one hand on the back of a nearby surface, and using the other to spread their cheeks apart while an official inserts a saline-soaked cotton swab one-to-two inches inside their rectum and swirls it about a bit to collect a sample.
Some evidence suggests the virus ravaging the globe survives longer in feces and thus people’s rectums than in noses and throats, a local doctor told the state-backed Global Times in late January. So, some Chinese authorities believe these swabs may be better at reliably detecting asymptomatic carriers than other tests. The state has reportedly mandated the tests for international travelers coming into Beijing, people in key quarantined areas, and all the staff and students at a school where a kid came down with COVID-19.
Of course, the idea of looking for an upper respiratory infection in someone’s butt strikes many observers as bizarre, noted Eric Garrison, a sex educator and assistant director of The College of William & Mary’s Office of Health Promotion. Add to that a long and widespread history of taboos and dumb jokes about all things ass and you’ve got a reliable equation for internet humor.
Originally published at https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-new-covid-truther-freakout-is-the-most-absurd-yet?source=articles&via=rss on .