covid test, fake covid results
Photo by Steve Nomax on Unsplash

Fake COVID-19 test result certificates are springing up, thanks to social media oversharing.

Look, we get it. That suspiciously stuffy nose is giving you anxiety. Have you really lost your sense of smell? Maybe it's just congestion? You start kicking yourself. Was the grocery store trip to get Haagen Dazs really worth it?

To ease the worry, you do the next responsible thing: you get tested. Hooray! It’s negative! Your instinct to announce the good news to the world is both urgent and insistent.

However, that negative test result you post to social media might have some less-than-positive outcomes.

A warning has been issued that negative test results posted online are being used to supply fake COVID-19 passes. And doctoring them is quite easy.


One man reported to a local British newspaper (the Lancashire Telegraph) that he was given a negative test by a friend, and then it was only a matter of changing the name and birthdate before that COVID-19 test passed as his own. Even the date can be edited to better reflect the required time limit.

“People are doing this as you can’t get a Covid test if you have to travel to Pakistan in case of an emergency. It is difficult to get one unless you are a key worker,” he told the Telegraph.

For some, this is an attempt to avoid the exorbitant prices being charged for legitimate tests through private clinics.

Shabaz Ilyas, who paid to have an authentic PCR test, told the Telegraph:

“This is in addition to the extortionate prices the airlines are already charging…As usual, a mini industry has been created to exploit people. This is just another example of discriminating against the poor, who are already facing financial problems.

These counterfeit tests have become the new fake IDs — sold for somewhere around £50 (about $68) in the U.K. — and can be used to enter venues and, as mentioned, travel. Which, of course, defeats the purpose of getting tested in the first place and risks the safety of those in close proximity to the person using the black market results.

fake id, covid travel requirements bart simpson episode 20 GIF Giphy

Shahzad Ali, CEO of security training platform Get Licensed, marked the use of fake COVID-19 passes as “inevitable” according to Wales Online, saying that “there is obviously going to be a market…because there will be people who want to go about their life like normal and not have to take Covid tests for things they didn’t have to before.”

And it's not like similar situations haven't been happening already. Stories of fake vaccination cards made from social media posts have been making headlines since early 2021. Though it's a disappointing aspect of humanity, this is certainly nothing new.

"Whilst grossly unethical and potentially very dangerous, it is also illegal to use/supply/distribute fake Covid passes and could see you rack up a fine of £10,000 should you be caught,” he added.

In order to avoid this “new complication,” Ali’s advice is, of course, to avoid posting on social media. Not as cathartic, perhaps. But infinitely safer.

Forbes also shared that another travel solution in the near future might be using an app called CommonPass, which gives users a secure digital health pass, including a private COVID-19 test status.

Forbes writes:

“After downloading the app, a traveler can get a Covid-19 test at a participating lab and pull the results right into the app. The traveler can also complete any additional screening questionnaires required by the destination country. Finally, CommonPass confirms that the traveler is compliant with all entry requirements and generates a QR code which can be scanned by airline staff and border officials.

As always, social media can be a force for good and for ill. As this pandemic continues, so too does the motto, “stay safe.” That includes online.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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It can be hard to find hope in hard times, but we have examples of humanity all around us.

I almost didn't create this post this week.

As the U.S. reels from yet another horrendous school massacre, barely on the heels of the Buffalo grocery store shooting and the Laguna Woods church shooting reminding us that gun violence follows us everywhere in this country, I find myself in a familiar state of anger and grief and frustration. One time would be too much. Every time, it's too much. And yet it keeps happening over and over and over again.

I've written article after article about gun violence. I've engaged in every debate under the sun. I've joined advocacy groups, written to lawmakers, donated to organizations trying to stop the carnage, and here we are again. Round and round we go.

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