What to do if You Suspect You Have COVID-19?
Feeling a bit tired lately? Started coughing a little, maybe a few sneezes here and there? Oh no, is it the dreaded COVID-19? Is it time to panic? Hold your horses! You shouldn’t worry just yet. While some of those are indeed symptoms of COVID-19, you could just be having regular flu, especially since flu season is around this time of the year.
What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?
As mentioned, symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Sneezing is not a sign of having COVID-19. Unless you’re having a fever and shortness of breath at the same time, chances are you do not have COVID-19.
Should I go to the Doctor?
There are also a number of other reasons why you shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Let’s say you have become deathly afraid, so you immediately go to the clinic or hospital for a checkup to verify if you are actually infected. Bad news: some clinics are currently overwhelmed by the number of patients they are attending to. They are sending all highly suspect cases to government hospitals for immediate assessment, and thanks to our cheap public healthcare, the infamous waiting time for getting hospital treatment is between 2 to 5 hours long. Additionally, with all the other patients around, there is a risk of getting hospital-acquired infections (HAI), the irony being that it is possible for you to enter the hospital without COVID-19 and end up getting infected with COVID-19 at the hospital. So unless you are experiencing shortness of breath and fever at the same time, it is not advisable for you to go to the hospital, but to a regular clinic. Under normal circumstances, you should self-quarantine at home for 14 days, but the government has stepped in and made it so that everyone is quarantining themselves until the end of the month.
How Worried Should I be?
There are two opposite extreme ends in terms of how one should react in this situation, and both are incorrect. On one hand, people are hoarding and panic-buying household items to the point that supermarket shelves are left empty, although having a huge group of people in an enclosed space like a supermarket isn’t actually that safe in the first place. On the other hand, there are those who treat the restriction of movement as advice that they can ignore, rather than a warning. There is no need to be alarmed because the infection is fatal mostly for the elderly and especially those with preexisting health conditions, but at the same time, one should be concerned since one could be infected and in turn, infect those around who are particularly vulnerable.
- Do not visit the hospital to avoid overwhelming the doctors and also to avoid the possibility of getting infected there.
- Visit the hospital only if you are experiencing both a fever as well as shortness of breath.
- Don’t panic, but also be concerned.
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