It has been nearly a year since the first coronavirus case was reported in China. Since then, more than 62 million cases have been reported, and about 1.45 million people have passed away. With many major countries in the middle of a second wave, the experts are warning about dramatic jumps in new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

It is true that the coronavirus has a high survival rate for anyone under the age of 60. But since this is still relatively new and we are continuing to learn more about it, there are still many unknown variables, mostly regarding the long-term implications for your health, such as permanent lung damage or difficulty breathing. That said, even if you suspect that you have COVID-19 or you have a couple of the symptoms, it is always better to be safe than sorry and practice good judgment.

Ultimately, with winter on the horizon, it is more important than ever before to properly prepare for COVID-19: wear a mask, wash your hands, and socially distance.

But what happens if you think you have contracted the coronavirus? First, it is a good idea to know what the mild symptoms are. Next, you need to get tested by a COVID-19 screening tool. If your symptoms line up with COVID-19, you need to take proactive measures immediately.

Here are seven mild COVID-19 symptoms to watch for this winter:

Symptom #1: Aches and Pains

Unless you have been tested, it can be difficult to differentiate between the coronavirus and influenza. This is one of the symptoms: aches and pains, which is something you normally associate with even the common cold.

Symptom #2: Sore Throat

A sore throat is another mild COVID-19 symptom. However, it can also be symptom for other medical problems, such as a cold or the flu. This is why medical authorities recommend staying home if you feel something as small as a sore throat because it could be a sign of something greater.

Symptom #3: Headache

Sure, it might be caffeine withdrawal or the result of listening to too much Art Blakey at maximum volume. Or it could be the beginning of your bout with the highly infectious respiratory illness.

Symptom #4: Loss of Taste or Smell

The loss of taste or smell is, in fact, one of the most common symptoms that you have COVID-19. If you peruse the data or watch interviews with individuals had been diagnosed with the coronavirus, you usually find that they could not taste or smell anything for several days.

Symptom #5: Skin Rash or Discolouration

While you are not going to be scratching your skin for the next two weeks, you will notice rashes pop up throughout your body. For some, it is a small spot on your elbow, but for others the rash may be more noticeable on your skin.

Symptom #6: Diarrhea

No, it was not the eight servings of nachos that triggered your diarrhea. If you have diarrhea for more than just a couple of hours, you could be suffering from COVID-19.

Symptom #7: Dry Cough

A dry cough is one of the most challenging aspects of the coronavirus. This is especially true if you don’t think you have it and you surround yourself with people – your household or strangers – without taking the necessary public health precautions.

So, now, if you think you have the coronavirus, what should you do? Here are five steps you can take to care for yourself and prevent others from contracting COVID-19:

1. Stay Home for Two Weeks

The recommendation since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic has been to stay home if you experience any of the symptoms of COVID-19. Or, if you have been officially diagnosed with the coronavirus, you need to self-isolate for 14 days without question. This is the only responsible way to mitigate the public health crisis.

2. Keep in Touch with Your Physician

Whether you think you have the coronavirus or you have tested positive, it is critical that you stay in touch with your family doctor. It is important to note if your symptoms are worsening or your condition is improving. All this information will be added to your file for further review by your physician.

3. Take Care of Yourself

The best way to tackle COVID-19 is to take great care of yourself. The best method? Get plenty of rest. Even for the common cold or influenza, every medical professional recommends getting lots of sleep for the next little while until you are fully recuperated.

Here are some other tips to take proper care of yourself:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water.
  • Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen.
  • Stay clean by routinely washing your hands.
  • Consume multivitamins that have vitamin D.

4. Do Not Be Around Others

This ties into the first step, but it is still crucial to note that you must not be around others for the next two weeks. This could be easy if you live alone, but if you live in a multi-person household, you must find a room to self-isolate in so that you do not expose others to the coronavirus. And, of course, be ready to spend the next two weeks to call the room your new home.

5. Monitor Your Symptoms

Finally, it is vitally important to monitor your symptoms. Everything from your taste buds to breathing, you need to keep track of your condition, which will then need to be conveyed to your family doctor. The best thing you can do is to keep a journal of what is happening with your health.

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