In a hilarious segment on Wednesday night’s episode of The Project, hosts Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar lost it over comments about “anal swabs”.
After informing viewers about the COVID vaccine, Helliar asked Dr Paul Griffin, an expert in infectious diseases, how long it will be until he can hug strangers again after getting the jab.
“Can I hug the person who gives me the vaccine …? Can I hug somebody when I get home? Or wait for finals in September before I start hugging strangers?”
Dr Griffin answered: “The simple answer there is it takes a few weeks to generate immunity. We don’t yet know how much they block transmission, so it’s probably better to avoid any interpersonal contact except with first-degree relatives, if you can. Hopefully you won’t be hugging anyone in September when Collingwood get knocked out early.”
“I had another question, but I might wrap it up there …!” said Helliar.
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“I was interested in your other question!” urged Bickmore.
“OK, doc. A fresh outbreak today in Beijing,” he began. “I’m sure you’re across it. They’ve decided that anal swabs [he pronounces it incorrectly as “schwabs”] are the best way to do the testing now. Obviously it makes the drive-through testing a bit harder, I would imagine. Are there any plans for anal swabbing to become a bigger thing in Australia? If so, do we have to change the way we test? Do we all go a through a Liquorland or something? How does it work?”
“We know our testing in Australia has been a huge part of our success,” answered Dr. Griffin. “One of the concerns we have about those swabs when we do those nose swabs is we can induce a sneeze or a cough reflex. Certainly if we went to those other types of swabs, there are similar reflexes there that, in close proximity to someone’s face, might be a problem.”
“I think we’ll stick with what we’re doing now.”
“Have you ever heard of these ‘schwabs’ that Peter Helliar speaks of?” Carrie asked.
“Schwabs …! I was concentrating on the word ‘anal’,” laughed Pete.
“The ‘anoos’,” he continued, receiving fits of laughter from the panel.
“Thank you for tolerating us, Doctor! Have I been pronouncing it that way my whole life? I don’t know,” Pete concluded.