Medically reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD and Marianne Madsen, University of Utah
You wake up and your throat aches, your nose is running, and you have a cough. That awful thought comes into your head: “Do I have Coronavirus?” You reassure yourself that maybe it’s just the flu. After all, 14 days alone without company, shopping, movies, or eating out sounds rather boring, doesn’t it? What is the correct course of action when you feel these symptoms, and why does it seem like everyone is in quarantine?
According to the latest statistics, almost 170,000 people have become infected with COVID-19 with almost 6,500 deaths worldwide. Although many are recovering, there is really no cure for this virus–and it is highly contagious. Scientists are working around the clock to find vaccinations and, even better, an antidote to a disease the likes of which none of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Until they find the cure, the responsibility is on us to try to thwart the spread of this highly contagious common enemy. So if you have ANY symptoms, it’s on YOU to prevent it from spreading.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that if you think that you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop fever or other symptoms (coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing), you should contact your healthcare provider or national medical call center for medical advice. Do not go into any medical facility unless instructed to do so by your medical provider–the virus is airborne and highly contagious, and the medical facility closest to you may not have the procedures in place to help you get well and help others avoid infection. Stay away from friends and family until you have determined whether you have been infected–make sure you are not one of the people spreading this disease.
If you think that you may have become infected with COVID-19 and you have followed all the instructions of your doctor, it seems that your only option really is to stay home, tune into NETFLIX, and order your groceries online. After all, it’s all of our responsibility to stop the spread of a global pandemic, the likes of which the world has not encountered in more than a century.