Unveiling Invisible Illnesses

Coronavirus Hype or Not?

It must be lovely to be a healthy individual during a health epidemic such as the Coronavirus COVID-19. Those in general populations may be at a lower immediate health  risk; however, those in larger populations with international locations, such as airports, may have an elevated risk. Elevated risks also include those who are in the healthcare industry and those who have family or friends that have recently traveled. The Coronavirus is an infectious respiratory illness that has symptoms similar to the flu, yet it is a different virus.

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Yes, the flu does have a significant amount of cases and deaths in comparison to the Coronavirus, though numbers are dramatically increasing. Many healthy people will exclaim that they “don’t buy into the hype.” Media can create hype to increase website traffic and viewers. Hand sanitizer and protection masks are sold out everywhere online.  People become scared and start to panic. The smartest thing you can do is always just be a little prepared in general, epidemic or not. Make sure your medications, water, nonperishable foods, and other amenities are stocked to avoid contact in high traffic locations. Unfortunately, when you go out to eat at a restaurant or retail location, most employees are not able to call out sick if they are short staffed. Decreasing your chance of  exposure is one thing, but if you are sick, please avoid exposing others.

What healthy individuals fail to consider is that a flu may knock them on their ass for a few days or weeks, but they get over it. They continue to go to the store, to work, the gym, out to eat, etc. They continue to spread the virus to an unsuspecting passerby that may have a compromised immune system. This person already feels like they have the flu 24/7, 365 days a week. A simple flu could put them over the edge and kill them. So may be you are not buying into the hype and you’re be cool as a cucumber, at least just consider others.

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Hand washing is claimed to be the hope and savior for preventing illness, but it’s not going to do shit in reality, so stay home. Viruses are typically contracted through droplets up to six feet away, being inhaled into the lungs (CDC). Washing your hands is very important since the virus can remain stable on surfaces for days and enter your body just simply by you touching your eyes or nose. The virus can attach itself into the epithelial layer that lines your nostrils and other inner cavity surfaces. According to WebMD, you are contagious from 1 day before symptoms occur to up to 7 days after you feel sick. We are talking an entire day (or longer) before you even realize you are sick that you are spreading germs, and then again for the rest of the week. For someone who could potentially die if I contract the flu or Coronavirus, I not only have to worry about the common seasonal flu that is rampant this year, but a double whammy: another virus. Though you may not be worried about the Coronavirus per se, factor in the number of hospitalizations and deaths from the flu as well. I would say when you factor in both deadly viruses, we should worry a little. Numbers add up.

Once again for those in the back: if you are healthy, good for you. Please keep those who are not into consideration. Remember that invisible illnesses exist. There are people like me who are not elderly or obviously compromised. There are people with heart conditions, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, weakened immune systems and other chronic health issues that may not be apparent to you, hence the term “invisible” illness.

Hype or not, it’s kind of a big deal.



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