COVID-19 antibody testing as a condition of returning to work? Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

I’ve got something to tell you. I’m coming clean. Are you ready?

Here it is.

I don’t know squat about antibody testing for COVID-19.

And guess what? You don’t either.

Look, I’ve met plenty of people who think that they know about antibody testing for COVID-19: friends, colleagues, neighbors, mail carriers, none of them understand.

Remember when Zoom happy hours were a thing. That was so first month of quarantine. As if I’d be caught doing that again. Anyway, I vaguely recall my parents speaking to me on one of those happy hours — I was on my fourth WhistlePig — as if they were some authority on antibody testing for COVID-19.

But they aren’t.

Ok, maybe, I should clarify something. It’s not that we don’t understand the concept of antibody testing for COVID-19. You go to a healthcare provider or laboratory, someone runs a test, and they determine whether you have COVID-19 antibodies. I figured that much out from watching Doogie Howser re-runs on Lifetime.

But, what does it mean if you have COVID-19 antibodies?

According to the CDC, “a positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, or possibly from infection with a related virus from the same family of viruses (called coronavirus), such as one that causes the common cold.”

Oh, that clears things up. Thanks. 😕

Then, there’s this CDC postscript: “We do not know yet if having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 can protect someone from getting infected again or, if they do, how long this protection might last.”

So, then, should you require employees to get tested for COVID-19 antibodies as a condition of returning to work?

What do you think, Smokey?

How about you, old man?

And U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, what do you have to say about this in the updated COVID-19 guidance that you released yesterday?

(Sorry, wrong clip. Let’s try this instead)


So, let’s break this down:

  • COVID-19 test as a condition for returning to the workplace? Aye, aye, captain!
  • Temperature or other health screening? All good.

Just make sure that you’re administering these policies consistently.

But antibody testing? The results are about as medically reliable as — spoiler alert (and NSFW) — the final scene of Rambo: Last Blood. So, don’t make it a condition of returning to the workplace.

And by “it” I mean the antibody testing. But, don’t allow your managers to reenact Rambo either.

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”
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