When I was a kid, I would try everything to get the thermometer warm enough to get my mom to let me stay home from school. Heck, they even used to sell fake vomit back in the day. But for kids now, it’s a lot harder to get around faking things. In the UK, teens are being tested weekly in order to keep the spreading of the Covid-19 virus to a minimum, using lateral flow tests. With extra testing kits laying around, teens have started mucking around with them. But now, they’ve found how to fudge the tests to indicate a false positive. You know, should they not want to go to school that day.
There are quite a few liquids you can use to mess up these test. Some include fizzy drinks like Coca Cola, fruit juices, and even ketchup. But that won’t keep them out of school for much longer than it would take a professional to test them and get the rapid results back. You’ve only earned yourself at most a day or two off.
Teens who found out how they could alter results took to sharing their findings on TikTok which is why the media blew up about it. It’s one thing to have an underground secret among teens but social media has made it so that parents are more in the know than ever. I mean come on guys, it’s common sense.
Anyway- in an interview with The i, British teen Amar said he wasn’t trying to be malicious in creating false positives. They were only “messing around.”
“I’m not a serious person – the idea wasn’t to get a positive test, it was just to play around. The videos are just kids having fun at the end of the day, I was bored and I found it fun, I liked doing it. I want to try something that no one’s tried – maybe I’ll make a new one soon.”
The thing is- this could cause schools to have some issues. They’re trying their best to keep these kids safe, and if there is a false positive reported, that is cause enough for a string of emails to be sent out to kid’s parents who may have had exposure to the “infected” student. As to the validity of the tests themselves, Professor Andrea Sella of University College London told The Guardian these aren’t a ‘false positive’ in the true sense of the term.
“If someone deliberately mucks up the protocol then of course you’ll get a duff result, but I would add that it’s not a ‘false positive’ in the true sense. Because false positives are ones that take place in spite of adherence to the protocol,” Sella said.
A true false positive would be taking the test in earnest and getting a positive when not having it at all. These are just kids messing with the test in order to get the result they want. As far as what schools know about the issue, they say they haven’t had a problem with false positives, but the students could also just not be getting caught. Either way the schools will be keeping an eye on things a lot closer after teens exposed their methods on TikTok.