Two weeks after returning to school, my seven-year-old daughter came home on Monday afternoon with a cough.
We found ourselves on the official government website, trying to book a Covid test. However, the process was far from straightforward.
Despite both being computer literate, particularly my husband, who designs websites for a living, the system was cumbersome and anything but user-friendly.
We were applying on behalf of our daughter, but it was unclear whether we should enter our details or her details as we worked through the form.
The result was that we made several unsuccessful attempts to book an appointment, including one we could not cancel.
This is particularly disturbing, given that we know the testing system is coming under increasing pressure at the moment, with even healthcare workers reporting difficulties in making appointments.
At a time when we are trying to encourage people with symptoms to get tested, it seems counterproductive to have a booking system that is not simple to navigate.
But that is not the worst part of the whole experience.
It emerged last week that because of a technical glitch, people in Northern Ireland were being offered appointments in Stranraer. Seven days later, it appears it is still happening, as it was one of two sites offered to our daughter.
The only alternative location offered was Craigavon, approximately an hour away from where we live. So, yesterday morning, after my daughter had spent all night awake with her cough, she was loaded into the car for the 50-minute drive to the testing centre.
Again, it does seem questionable that we are asking people who are potentially ill with Covid-19, and who otherwise would have to follow strict self-isolation rules, to make such a long journey that may require stops for petrol along the way.
The test process itself is also distressing.
Instead of my daughter being swabbed by a trained medical professional, my husband - the web designer - was expected to carry it out.
At seven years old, my daughter was able to understand the importance of submitting to such an invasive test, regardless of how unpleasant it was.
My three-year-old son, however, would be a completely different matter.
Now that he is attending pre-school and spending five days per week playing with around 30 other three-year-olds, the reality is that he will develop at least one of the Covid-19 symptoms in the months ahead, so he will require one of these invasive tests.
Families have told of one parent holding a struggling and screaming toddler down in the back of the car while the other swabs the hysterical child's nose and throat.
It is a prospect that fills me with dread.
Anyone who attends for a test understands the importance of rapidly diagnosing people with Covid-19.
The experts have repeatedly said that an efficient test and trace system will prove crucial in stopping a second surge of the virus.
However, given our experience over the last few days, I can say the process is anything but efficient.
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