There's no shocker in saying this, but the current fourth round of global pandemic is really putting a strain on the system shoddily built to detect, treat, and handle Covid-19 in America.

All-day, every day, we hear about the limits of hospitals, medical personnel, personal protective equipment, and now that strain is affecting testing sites. If you haven't seen the lines at Cameron University, people waiting for their Covid-19 tests, it's staggering at times. Cars backed up for a long time.

In an order to reduce this bottleneck of congestion, the US Department of Health and Human Services is about to start shipping Covid-19 home tests to every home in Oklahoma and America, completely free.

This probably couldn't come at a better time.

One of the main reasons this current spike in Covid-19 cases is so high is it mimics all sorts of other really common afflictions. Hay fever, seasonal allergies, the common cold, flu, etc... After years of the media sensationalizing the worst symptoms and the relatively small percentage of serious cases, the masses have become deaf to it.

Covid-19 isn't the first thing people are thinking about when they get the sniffles anymore, but with the new Omicron variant of the virus, it should be.

Does that mean your little sniffles are probably the rona? No, but maybe... Wouldn't you rather know for sure rather than run around town as usual with what you think is just a regular old common cold?

Since people are more likely to test themselves at home rather than be inconvenienced enough to wait in the long lines this current spike is producing, the federal government is giving each home in America four free at-home testers.

Here's another thing... The at-home Covid-19 tests are different than those you'd be administered at somewhere like Cameron University, you won't have to touch your brains with the swab.

If you've had a Covid-19 test already, you know just how far they shove that long q-tip into your sinuses. Mine felt like they were scratching my brain with it. Deep enough in your nose to trigger a quasi-gag reflex. It sucks.

The at-home test only requires a person to barely stick the swab into their nostril and spin it around a few times. The official measurement is "about three-quarters of an inch," which is far more comfortable than the other tests.

Here's a relevant question... How accurate are home Covid-19 tests?

Officially, nothing is 100% accurate 100% of the time. Not even the long-form, 3-day wait tests are 100% accurate. False negatives and positives still happen with a regular occurrence. The current excuse is if you're feeling sick but are given a negative, it merely means you're not contagious at that moment.

Still, officials maintain that these at-home tests are accurate enough to let someone know if they should stay home from work or if their child should stay home from school.

If you'd like to get your free tests for your household, you'll want to visit COVIDTests.org starting January 18th. You don't have to enter payment details, it's 100% free. Provide your name and address, they'll send them out as soon as they can.

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Where to Find the many murals by Justin Hackney's Spreading PAINT in Lawton, Fort Sill.

If you've driven around town you've probably seen all the murals we have in Lawton, Fort Sill. If you take the time to look you'll notice that they're everywhere. We're lucky to have so many talented artists that share their work with us regularly by painting murals. One name you've probably heard before is Justin Hackney and Spreading PAINT. His work of masterful murals can be found all over town. He's done some of the very best and has painted everything from rock stars to celebrities and everything in between. He has a style all his own and has painted murals in full color, vivid transposed negative style, and in black and white. Be on the lookout for his latest mural masterpiece he's going to keep painting them so long as people want them and there's wall space. Looking forward to seeing his next one! Check out the gallery below of Justin Hackney's Spreading PAINT murals and where to find them. We'll continue to add to the gallery as he paints them.