We all had been in this scenario. While sitting in an office or any other public place with people all around you not wearing a mask, someone who’s coughing will definitely take your attention. If this coughing becomes deeper, you would start to feel queasy.
Most likely no one would say anything. But for the person who just coughed, in today’s era of Covid-19, they would have to make a declaration: “Don’t worry, it’s not Corona (Covid-19)!”
Such declaration is being conscious and from a perspective, is a way of being polite rather than wantonly showering anyone with a deadly virus. It has recently become clear that a negative corona test (you do not carry the virus), especially in the early days of symptomatic illness, does not guarantee that you will not be infected.
On the other hand, if you got a fever and a cold for example and just because you do not suffer from Corona, this does not mean that you throw the face mask and go on a plane or to a gathering and next to other people, as this is undoubtedly harmful and may carry a lot of rudeness because you – If I can say – may ruin someone’s vacation and maybe one of those is going to see his parents, causing death or hospitalization of one of them. So, let’s not destroy the lives and plans of others.
Especially over the past two years, our community has undergone an intensive and indirect training course through various means to prevent the transmission of the Coronavirus.
We have learned the importance of medical testing, physical distancing, isolation and ventilation. Thus, these lessons also apply to more common pathogens such as influenza, coronaviruses and their various strains that have truly reshaped our lives. The obvious thing is that we now understand better than ever how sick you can be and here we will see if anyone uses this knowledge to apply it in practice!
This leads me to believe that the first and most important rule when you are feeling sick is to stay home. And I assert here that this directive is the easiest and the most difficult at the same time. Easy because it’s so simple: stay home! No technical experience is required. On other hand is difficult because following it involves major disruptions in anyone’s daily life.
In addition, it is also a good practice to notify people with whom you may have been in contact – even if it seems embarrassing -, just when we have been encouraged to do so with Corona. If, for instance, you have a fever, isolate yourself as much as possible until at least 24 hours after it’s gone. Also if you don’t have a fever, you should be clear to get back to those around you after your symptoms are gone. On the other hand, if you are still showing symptoms after the isolation period, or if you must get out before it ends, due to your work and the difficulty of getting sick leave, you must wear a high-quality mask.
In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all formula that gives us the right answer in every case and for every type of infection and possible isolation. Even for the most responsible people among us, this ambiguity can lead to some embarrassing calculus. Can you afford to miss out on family lunches and family gatherings and would it be difficult to cancel those travel plans...should you?!
Dr Yousuf Ali Al Mulla is a physician, medical innovator and a writer.