Everyone catches colds, especially this time of year. The end of winter is prime time for sore throats, sniffles, laryngitis, and everything else. Getting a cold this time of year is absolutely normal, especially for us. We seem to have gotten particularly prone to colds that seem to go on forever. What used to last a few days now lasts a week or more as we pass them back and forth between us.

The current known spread of the virus

Except now it’s different. With Covid 19 spreading rapidly and this cold that seems to be getting worse rather than better — and a lack of tests to even find out what we have got, telling anyone we have colds sets off sirens and alarms. Not only are we worried about our own health, but we are also worried about whether or not we are contagious and what exactly we are carrying.

The number of cases of Covid 19 doubled overnight and that’s just the tip of the iceberg because most hospitals and doctor’s offices don’t have tests. So really, all we know are the people who have been tested which doesn’t give us an honest result. It doesn’t give the medical community knowledge of what they are dealing with or what they might be dealing with soon. Even our pathetic version of a government has had to come forward and admit we don’t have nearly enough tests or any accurate idea of how many cases we already have in this country.

It leaves us a little bit at sea. I’m not entirely sure what the symptoms are. I know what some of them are, but not all of them. I’m sure that even this government has this information available. We might not have tests, but there have been tens of thousands of cases worldwide. Surely this has given them a pretty good idea of the symptoms for which we should be looking.

Symptoms of the novel coronavirus can mimic the flu or even a common cold. (Image: © Shutterstock)

No matter how many times I look up “symptoms for Covid 19,” I get vague answers. I don’t know what I’m looking for and I’m sure neither does anyone else. Shouldn’t there be a valid, high-quality explanation of what those of us who are sniffling and have other physical problems that make getting this disease dangerous? People with bad hearts and valve implants, who already have other kinds of illnesses which reduce immunity should know.

I need to know and I don’t.

I’m supposed to go to the hospital tomorrow to have my pacemaker checked. Should I go? What if this cold is more than a cold? I’m assuming it’s just a cold but maybe it isn’t. Someone should be giving out this information, It should be clear and unambiguous, don’t you think?

Categories: Health, healthcare, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography

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39 replies

  1. We’re confused too….

    BUT: Here’s a message a friend sent me from one of her contacts on Facebook:
    Gary Osborne (her friend’s name)
    March 1 at 6:18 PM ·
    Last evening dining out with friends, one of their uncles, who’s graduated with a master’s degree and who worked in Shenzhen Hospital (Guangdong Province, China) sent him the following notes on Coronavirus for guidance:
    1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold
    2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
    3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees. It hates the Sun.
    4. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
    5. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours – so if you come into contact with any metal surface – wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.
    6. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it.
    7. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
    8. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but – a lot can happen during that time – you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
    9. You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
    10. Can’t emphasise enough – drink plenty of water!
    1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days
    2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.
    3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
    4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you’re drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.
    Don’t know how accurate this is, Marilyn. But it made sense to me. Take good care of you! xo Bette


  2. I agree, Marilyn. My whole family has the sniffles at the moment. Normal for us during Autumn. Could it be Coronavirus – maybe? I was in a meeting with a man who had flown in from Milan about 12 days ago. I also don’t know for sure what the symptoms are especially for mild cases. At least you are in a first world country. OUr government will never control a virus here, not with half our population unemployed and living in abject poverty.


    • We are not getting any more information than you are. And that is both scary and frightening. I still don’t really know what the symptoms are and what I should be looking for. We don’t have enough tests. The hospitals can’t test for anything.

      We USED to be a first-world country. Now I think we are a banana republic.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely agree! Everybody is talking about symptoms but in the end we don’t know what these exact symptoms are….but because I guess they don’t know either…it depends so much from person to person….some have fever and sore throat, some have coughing, some doesn’t have any and are positive….this is scary, not knowing!
    What I suggest is to stay away from crowded places as much as possible!


  4. I too am in a high risk category (actually three of them) and yesterday (at my final, in-person, medical appointment with my PCP) I was told some frightening things. It was my final appt. because from here on, I, along with others with higher risk categories, will be having video appointments. (This is with the University of Washington Medical centers). She doesn’t want me coming back to the clinic for a while and told me to stay home. (The U.W. predicts 3 to 9 weeks for the virus/panic time to run its course.)

    And the new “rules” for my family members will be interesting to observe…shoes and outer-wear off, and hands washed BEFORE even entering the house. That’s because the six men I live with spend every day in crowded public places. They are pretty macho so we’ll see what protocol they honor.

    The worst thing is there are no supplies anywhere to stock up on! Shelves were stripped the minute that Kirkland, Washington case was announced. I’ve seen the stores look like this in the South during Hurricane prep. No paper products. No bread, flour, sugar, water, and definitely no cleaning/sanitizing supplies or masks anywhere.

    With all the danger (and illness) I’ve lived through in my life, it’s gonna piss me right off if I am taken down by a stupid bug!! 😝


    • That we live in the boonies is probably a plus. Other than bottled water, which we don’t need since we have a well, they never sell out of everything, even with a blizzard on the way. This isn’t a major population center, either. So as far as food goes, we are okay. But the lack of information is a problem. You don’t even know what you are looking for and while I don’t think this area has been hit — we really are far away from the cities — still, knowing makes it easier to deal with than ignorance.


    • That’s how I feel about it, too. To survive two kinds of cancer, heart disease and surgery and all the rest of the stuff and go down with a superflu? Sheesh.


  5. Here in Australia the fear of Covid 19 is spreading fast. I believe that’s a good thing because our government hasn’t been very helpful either. Yes, they imposed travel bans and mandatory quarantine periods, but not for everyone and certainly not for every country. Slap dash is probably a valid description. Negligent may become a more valid one as the scarcity of face masks for even GPs and other front line medical practitioners becomes an issue.

    So I think that expecting the worst, and perhaps being pleasantly surprised, is the best option.

    Now, as to symptoms, I would highly recommend a series of Youtube videos by an English gentleman who has a PhD in nursing and related medical research. He is not a medical doctor, but what he says makes an awful lot of sense. So:

    Dr John Campbell

    This is his Youtube channel:


    He explains all sorts of things, including how to best wash your hands, the difference between ‘droplets’ and ‘aerosol’ dispersion [of viruses] etc.

    There’s a lot of autoimmune diseases in my extended family so I’m taking this very seriously. My immediate suggestion would be to ring your doctor, describe your symptoms, and ask him whether you /should/ come in or not.

    I’m sure you’re okay. -hugs-


  6. I was just saying the very same thing, worried about just how bad it is and where it will go. I’d say go to hospital and tell triage nurse what you think, they’ll probably take precaution, better safe than sorry, hospitals are where the very sick are, so be wary and keep distance, wear a mask. Best wishes I hope it’s just a cold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Called my doctor. He called back after calling in a mountain of prescriptions. He thinks it’s a sinus infection that we both have. He said it’s “going around.” They call it the laryngitis cold because that is its primary symptom — that and a really bad headache. By the way, everyone is saying do NOT go to the ER. Make an appointment if you don’t have a family doctor you can call. For most people who don’t have other medical issues, it’s not serious. For people who have heart problems or some other immunological illness … and especially if they are, as we are, old … it’s much more dangerous. So aside from going out for food, we are in lock-down. We have antibiotics because sinus infections are bacterial and usually won’t go away without them. Cough medication. Anti-mucous meds. Prednisone to kill laryngitis. I’m really hoping we feel better soon. This hasn’t been a lot of fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Coronavirus is a real thing, BUT it’s just a severe cold. Apparently highly contagious and dangerous to folks with compromised immune systems (the elderly, diabetics, chronic illness sufferers). Common sense is the best weapon in the face of something that the medical profession hasn’t got a great handle on (yet). If I go out (being diabetic and in a ‘high risk’ category), I will wear a painter’s mask (hospital mask) and if sneezing, I’ll use my clothing as a shield. I’ll use the hand sanitizer provided and wash my hands thoroughly upon getting home. If I catch cold (which is common with me, especially at this time of year), I’ll treat it just like any other cold. Drink plenty of fluids, stay warm and dry, and best of all I’ll stay home and suffer alone. I hope you don’t miss out on an apparently important hospital visit because people are afraid. We’re uninformed about this newest germ, and fear of the unknown is what, in my opinion, causes the panic and idiotic (to me) behavior of otherwise sensible people. ‘Course Coronavirus might be more prevalent in your area than mine. So far Utah hasn’t had but one case. And yeah, more are coming I’m sure. But that’s no reason, to me, to go out and hoard TP and water like Armageddon is here. To me? Lack of common sense and fear mongering are the real villains in the piece.


    • It’s a severe cold for you, but it’s deadly for me and anyone else with heart problems or some other immunological illness. And I’m asthmatic, which doesn’t help. But the doctor thinks we have sinus infections, which is kind of what I thought too. People our age are always at risk for diseases that affect breathing. In any case, we already have a case of masks from when we were cleaning out cupboards and discovered all that dust was a problem and I always buy enough TP to last a generation. Our water comes from our own well so no hoarding is required.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The problem with hospitals is that they are great places to get sick. That’s the REAL reason they get you out of there as soon as possible. They are afraid you’ll come out with a new disease with which you did not come in. It’s one of the dark secrets of American hospitals.


  8. You don’t know and they don’t know Marilyn, no one knows.


  9. Of cours, you should have more info. But with a presi who also lies about this virus, who can be blamed for their walk in the dark. I shouldn’t be in danger but there are no products vailable anywhere in any shop. So what I do is wearing and NOT taking off gloves and I pull a very heavy scarf right over my lower face. Home again, long hand washing…. good luck tomorrow.


    • Our community is pretty isolated. So far, so good. We have sinus infections.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was really worried. Thanks for the (relatively) good news. All the best, although I can’t see how you could improve anything out there in the sticks. Talking to the birds and dogs maybe for a bit of Feel Good?


        • On the downside, we have less of everything that you find in bigger cities. On the good side, we have fewer diseases, fewer people traveling overseas, no piers for ships, no airports. So while we don’t have a lot of testing kits, we also don’t have a lot of people who have been exposed — that we know about. But I think so far, we are pretty safe.


  10. It might be wise to wear a mask if you have one. Not so much because you might have it but you never know who might be at the hospital who does.
    There is so much fake news going around it’s hard to tell what’s what right now. I’ve heard it’s airborne, I’ve heard that there have been cases of people getting it without having been in contact with someone who has it. I don’t really know what to think but I’m glad that I am less likely to come into contact with people who have been travelling in my isolated community.
    I have a tendency to have bouts of sneezing for no apparent reason, I don’t think it’s hayfever because it happens all year round. I know I’m not sick but I can imagine the reaction of people if I do it on the bus or something.


  11. A great posting. Thank you for this, Marylin! Here (Germany) we get the information only in parts, too. Best wishes, stay save. Michael



  1. HAVING A COLD IN A TIME OF PLAGUE – Marilyn Armstrong — Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth – Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

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