Be Responsible And Achieve Peace of Mind: Self Testing

On March 20, 2021 by Ilka Kuhagen

Germany is waiting for at home test kits. In most places they were sold out within a short time frame after opening.

While there seems to be a huge demand, there is still also some reluctance and barriers to break down. 70% of the community members think that basically testing kits are great. 30% are not yet sure about the home use and skeptical about the results. It reflects a general attitude towards tests, how it was dealt with in the media and their own experience made in the past year.

Excitement about quick results

Immediate results allow testing to be flexible – one can choose the moment and location and get the latest result. Most agree that it makes sense to use quick tests in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, daycare, and other locations (cinema, restaurant, etc.) where people meet and come into close contact. This could bring back some normality and freedom to meet.

  • “I am glad they exist. Especially if there are no symptoms but close contact with other people”
  • “It could allow a way back to freedom by just testing oneself beforehand“
  • “The ideal scenario would be testing yourself every day before leaving the apartment to minimize spreading“
  • “I would like to see it being used regularly in schools and kindergartens, not just with teachers and childcare workers but also with the kids“

Many expect special rights to come along with self-testing, like access to restaurants, home visits, travels, or leisure activities (gym, pool, etc.).

  • “I would like it to be connected with openings of e.g., restaurants if e.g., the staff has to get tested every day and the guests as well (take a test, go for a walk for 15min until getting the results and only then being allowed in)”
  • “I would be willing to pay 1-5€ for such a test before visiting a restaurant or a bar so I can behave just like before Corona”

Residual risk

But there is no 100% reliability. A negative result does not completely prevent infection. This is discussed critically as there could be a misleading feeling of security resulting in a higher infection rate due to wrong results.

  • “One has to consider that the test is just a snapshot which needs a certain amount of viral load for a positive result”
  • “Already one day later the result is not reliable anymore. Or it is false negative since not enough viral load exists yet, giving a false sense of security”
  • „It can happen that the test is being done in the beginning of an infection, being negative even though PCR is already positive. Or one has a different infection, and it is showing a false positive“
  • “I am just worried that people with start to become less careful with masks and keeping a safe distance sine they will just think they will get tested in the evening”

There is also reluctance to accept laymen to do the testing and a fear to overdo it and ask for tests in too many ways and locations, leading towards increasing costs and decreasing sustainability.  

  • Can a layman, so someone who isn’t trained, do those test right in order for them to be correct“
  • “I hope you won’t be needing a quick test for all sorts of activities soon and having to pay for them oneself. Thus, I am still a little indecisive“
  • “I think panicky people might do these tests for their conscious regularly which I find a waste of resources“

After weeks of “light” lockdown, Germany went into a full lockdown again on December 16th. That day, IKM started a long-term online community to observe changes in behavior, compliance, emotions, and observations of consumers in their close environment.

Stay tuned – We will consistently post findings from this standing consumer community

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