How to Sniff Out RATs in Your Area


Welcome to Squid Games 2.0, Australian summer edition.

Current wait time for PCR results: 2023. Current stock of Rapid Antigen Tests at any chemist, convenience, or mini-mart within a 200-kilometre radius of your home: Fuck all. The biggest, most boring, and unfortunately all-consuming news of the Christmas and New Years period has undoubtedly been the Great RAT Race of ’21/22.

Thanks to the Australian government’s complete failure to provide us with the tools to keep ourselves and our communities Covid-safe this summer, those little pieces of plastic have now become harder to find than a decent bone in ScoMo’s body.

And since all the help we can expect at the moment is ScoMo’s suggestion to ‘ride the wave’, looks like we’re back to sorting ourselves out. Oh, and paying through the nose for it too, so to speak. Which is where these helpful resources come in, one of which sprung up just last week in response to the current RAT shortage. Good luck out there, you’re gonna need it.

Find a Rat 

Developed by software developer Matt Hayward, this testing kit locater is a countrywide resource for anyone looking for testing kits in their area. The website uses data crowdsourced from its users to update info on what locations have ‘no stock,’ ‘low stock,’ and which are ‘in stock.’ Definitely check this one out if you’re on the hunt.

@bondi_lines

One for our Sydney friends: Instagram account Bondi Lines is providing real-time updates on RAT stockists and prices across the city, helped along by user polls. They’ve also been updating information on when stock at these locations runs out, which helps save you an unnecessary journey. Gotta move quick for this one, but a great real-time resource if you’re in Sydney.

Woolworths RAT locator

Last and very much least, is the Woolies stock locator on their site. The upside is that stock levels are updated on their website every two hours so you should have a pretty accurate idea of what’s actually in stock or not, and prices won’t swing as wildly (in theory, at least). The downside is that you’re putting your money back in the pockets of the corporate fat cats… but that’s another story. 

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