Outcry Over Positive RAT Sale

Outcry Over Positive RAT Sale

Shitposter RATted out to Police

A local caused a minor uproar when he claimed to be selling positive COVID tests for just $49 on the Facebook group Otago Flatting Goods. It is unclear from the post whether the four tests on offer were being sold separately or as a pack, or if it was even a genuine offer.

The post first asked Facebook users, “Have you been overworked due to high demand and short staff? Feel like a 10 day break?” It then offered “4 positive tests for sale (aka) get out of jail free cards.” The poster also claimed the tests were in “very good condition”. In an ODT article the same week, Professor Michael Baker, an Otago Epidemiologist currently favoured by the media spotlight, claimed that the post was “not funny”. Critic was not able to reach the original vendor for comment.

Dr. Brett Nicholls, an Otago expert on media, stated “[h]umour is probably the most difficult thing to analyse because it is highly complex and doesn’t travel well across discourses and contexts. We might say the ironic post is signalling the novelty of the situation along with this tension in Dunedin student culture between studying and leisure… it comes with risks. Irony produces unintended effects and there is no way of knowing how the joke will be read.”

Baker stated, “It’s no joke. If you are using some method to defraud your employer by having them support you with a period of sick leave, I would have thought that was criminal behaviour.” 

The original poster is laying low and has not made any comments about the post. As of last Wednesday, the ODT had reported that police were now investigating this shitpost-gone-wrong, which may explain the silence.

One last thing, Baker added, “[what] I think is particularly distressing about this sort of behaviour is that we know one of the features of the Omicron wave is that not only does it make people very sick and put them in hospital, it also puts a huge strain on essential services.” Presumably, a bogus 10-day sick leave would add undue stress to an already stressed workforce. While buying and selling fraudulent tests may be illegal, it remains completely within your rights to go around licking doorknobs or huffing the air coming out of the Octagon protest. If you’re that desperate to catch a virus, that is.

This article first appeared in Issue 3, 2022.
Posted 12:31pm Sunday 13th March 2022 by Sean Gourley.