I’ve been on this planet for nearly seven decades, and I’ve never seen anything like what we have today with COVID-19. When I was a baby, Polio was epidemic, but that’s before my memory. So, what do you do when something is so new and terrifying? For me, the answer was look to the past. 

One of my favorite authors, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, gave me direction when he said the following, “You’ve got to act as if you might be carrying the virus… my youngest daughter’s birthday was yesterday — we canceled her birthday party… It is within our control to totally change the fate or alter, the fate of what’s happening … How I behave affects your health. How you behave affects my health. Never, I think, have we been so dependent on each other, at least not in my lifetime, and we should rise to that occasion,” — Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

So, my question was if we act as if we have the disease, how should we behave? I understand that COVID-19 is not the flu, or rather it’s more than the flu, but it’s new – it’s something we haven’t experienced. So, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to research how to act if you have the flu from some of the most respected healthcare organizations in America. All these articles were written before the COVID-19 pandemic. My point is, we know what to do. If we all act as if we are carriers of the virus, then we should follow the advice that we already know works.

CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

“Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.” Healthy Habits to Help Prevent Flu

Mayo Clinic 

“The important things for people to know is that if they have influenza-like illness, stay at home, meaning don’t go to work, don’t go to school, get plenty of rest, and get plenty of fluids. This is really the hallmark of how you take care of yourself during influenza season.” — Have the flu? Stay home! 

The New York Times 

“Remember: It’s not just about you. Even if you can battle the flu by enduring a miserable week, it can be deadly for others especially pregnant women, young children, and older people. And no matter how many precautions you take, there’s no way to eliminate risk to people around you.” — If You’re Sick, Stay Away From Work. If You Can’t Here is What Doctor’s Advise.  

WebMD

“You can give other people your cold just by being around them. Your sneezes and coughs can send virus particles as far as 12 feet through the air where they can land in someone’s mouth or nose or be inhaled into the lungs. Others can also catch your cold if they touch you or something you’ve come into contact with and then touch their mouth or nose.” — How long should you stay home with a cold or flu?  

Prevention Magazine

“If you have a fever, it doesn’t mean you are contagious, and when you are contagious, you may not have a fever. So don’t use having it as a guideline of when you should stay away from other people. — Prevention: 6 fever myths busted.

Take Care of Yourself and Respect Others

Today, I need to fill a prescription. I’ll go through the drive-through. However, I really want to go inside the store, but I won’t. I even asked my wife if she needed anything, hoping I’d have an excuse to wander the aisles. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has had this inclination. My point is, I and all of us must look at the bigger picture. It may not be what we want, and it might not be easy, but we all know what to do. We know how to stop COVID-19. 

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