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PS5, Xbox Series X stock trackers are now tracking COVID-19 tests

PS5, Xbox Series X stock trackers are now tracking COVID-19 tests
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There is no easy way for people in the United States to access COVID-19 tests. President Biden said in December that Americans would soon be able to order free home tests from a government-run site — 500 million tests that would be available through that program, eventually. But in the meantime, Biden had a different suggestion: Use Google.

The Omicron surge — which has essentially broken the US COVID-19 testing infrastructure — has made testing more difficult to access. Rapid antigen tests are sold out almost immediately in stores, and testing facilities are constantly booked, with some people waiting for hours in line. The US Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that the country may need 3 to 5 million tests every day By late January to early February. This is more than the United States is doing in the millions at the moment.

Google simply doesn’t work with a lot of people, who are turned down by test centers that are too full and empty shelves. So people trying to track down COVID-19 tests have found an unexpected “solution”: turning to video game console restocking experts, who have begun tracking COVID-19 test kits along with Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo devices. Current generation consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have been in short supply since their launch in 2020, creating a culture of console tracking; Twitter users who keep track of restockings have gained massive audiences across social media platforms, simply by informing people when consoles are in stock. The grim paucity of COVID-19 tests, and their difficulty in obtaining them, reflects the console-tracking culture — but on a more pressing need stemming from the country’s failing infrastructure.

Josue, a US Twitter user who runs a profile Tweet embed The account, started in 2017 to help Animal Crossing fans keep track of “rare and hard-to-get Nintendo products,” as well as highlight news and updates for the beloved Nintendo series. Back in 2020, Josue helped nearly 200,000 followers track Animal Crossing: New Horizons A special edition Nintendo Switch console, for example.

“Because I’ve always been experienced with being able to find some of these searched products — I’ve had no issues pausing our traditional posts to help others find PPE,” Josue told Polygon. “Due to my family’s exposure to COVID-19 and its adverse effects – I have heard their stories of having to wait in long lines for testing, PPE shortages during the COVID-19 spikes, and how difficult it is to get it due to massive demand and limited availability in retail and online.”

Accounts like Josue’s are required by law to disclose that they use affiliate links, which will give the affiliate partner a small commission for each sale. That’s why you’ll see these posts tagged with #ad.

Photo: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Other remasters have joined in, too: one of the biggest is @wario64, a Twitter account dedicated to video game deals and restocking, which has over 1.1 million followers. Video game deals still stand out, but they’re tough Not noticing COVID-19 tests between transactions dated Sega Ages Virtua Racing and sell to Ori and the will of wisps. It is bleakly reminiscent of the headline displayed on a satirical website on the hard drive: “US government reaches agreement with Wario64 to announce availability of COVID vaccine.” Wario64 did not respond to Polygon’s request for comment.

Josue of ACPocketNews said there is little opposition from Twitter followers who are “questioning its appropriateness,” to posting COVID-19 testing kits to an Animal Crossing fan account. “But [the majority of the responses] It was very positive and some of them shared their stories and how hard it was to get it [tests].

“I believe we can all help use our platforms to keep others safe, and to provide visibility into the resources that are involved.” […] It may not be easily accessible or known to the general public.” They also moved to Retweet links with useful local info for followers.

Ryan, who runs Tweet embed He has nearly 150,000 followers, he said some followers don’t want to hear about COVID.

“But at this point, I’m OK with them not to continue,” he said. “The first time COVID-19 tests were published, there was an immediate outpouring of gratitude from parents, families, and players looking for their parents and loved ones. This is more than enough reason for me to continue monitoring COVID-19 test restocks. They can go to the store for tests, resort to online sales, and if the tests can be sold in 5 minutes or less, it helps to have someone with experience keeping track of the items needed.”

For Ryan, it simply made sense to start tweeting about the COVID-19 tests. He frequently monitors PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X sites and graphics cards, which he said he’s seen sell out in seconds in some cases.

“I’ve been tracking these coveted items for over a year and with this experience, it’s never a problem to add another item to the list,” Ryan said. “I noticed the demand for in-home tests was again in high demand, so I decided to start rolling out these restocks as well. COVID tests can sell out fast PS5.”

PCR tests, which Vox has called “the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19,” are tests that health professionals perform – nasal swab – and sent to a lab for results. A lot of places require these types of tests to allow someone to return to work or school, which is why they are in demand. This has increased the demand for at-home tests, and while at-home tests are not as consistent as PCR tests, they are still very good. Like video game consoles before, quick tests have been targeted by speculators, people looking to profit from the dearth of testing, but there are other reasons as well. for one, a for you of people are searching for it, and according to Vox, “Workplaces and schools purchased several rapid tests available in large quantities earlier this year.”

Simply put, it is a mess that the United States was not properly prepared to deal with. (You’ll probably remember that in December, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki quipped when a reporter asked about free COVID-19 tests for all Americans. However, many other countries offer free tests.)

“The pandemic has been difficult for all of us,” Josue said of the ACPocketNews Twitter account. “In times of need, helping others and getting off your regular posts to make sure everyone is safe is how we will all get through this. This doesn’t just affect one person – we are all susceptible to COVID-19, so let’s keep each other safe and encourage Others do the same.”

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