One of the most common questions that people are asking in relation to COVID-19 is, “What do I do if I think I have the virus?” It can be particularly difficult to self-diagnose based on symptoms, simply due to the fact that the symptoms associated with COVID-19 are very similar in nature to other types of illnesses such as the common cold or influenza. Symptoms, for example, that can include things like fatigue, fever, coughing, sore throat, nasal congestion, and general body aches and pains.
This is why, whether you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you’re still awaiting test results, it is important that you self-isolate until your results are back and your symptoms have subsided. This means that during this time, you should not be going out to any public places. If you are in need of essential items like food or medication, you should text a family member, friend or nearby neighbour to see if they would be willing to pick up any necessities you might require and drop them off at your door. It is imperative that we follow the orders and advice put forth by our public health officials in order to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in our communities. In adhering to the rules, we will hopefully be able to get back to some semblance of normalcy sooner than later.
If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and they are mild, you should closely monitor yourself. If you feel the need to see a physician, it’s important to note that you should not just go to your doctor’s office or nearest walk-in clinic. While this might be the easiest thing to do, it’s also a very risky thing – especially if you aren’t sure whether or not you have COVID-19. Instead, pick up the phone (or e-mail, if you are able to do so) your physician’s office. You will be able to discuss your symptoms with the staff and they will be able to advise you what, if anything, you should do. In many cases, several medical clinics across Canada have also now implemented other methods for their physicians to stay in communication with patients, such as via video and tele-visits, as there are also patients with other medical conditions who require care and need to be seen by their physicians regularly. Some pharmacies also have the option of having medication delivered to patients homes for those who have or are at risk of COVID-19 and do not want to risk going out in public.
If you develop symptoms that are more severe, such as tightness of the chest, cough (including coughing up blood) or trouble breathing, then it is recommended that you call 911.