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The Difference Between a cold, the flu and COVID-19 infection

The Difference Between a cold, the flu and COVID-19 Infection

     This may be a long winter and many of us may come down with some type of respiratory illness that makes us feel very ill. But how do you know if you have a common cold, a serious case of the flu or the dreaded COVID-19 infection?

     A cold usually starts very slowly. You may have an itchy sore throat, a mild cough, a runny nose or even an infection in the ear. It starts as if it was nothing and slowly builds until it is very annoying. If all the symptoms are from the throat upwards, nothing down towards the chest then you have a common viral cold that needs nothing except plenty of fluids and bed rest. Products such as Natural Factors Anti-Viral and Oil of Oregano products are very effective at treating symptoms.

     The flu is a very different animal. You wake up in the morning and you want to die. You have severe muscle aches, fever, nausea and vomiting and possible diarrhea. You are thirsty and very dehydrated. You must take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce your fever and there is a very effective health food product known as Oscillococcinum. Don’t even try to pronounce it. Just ask your health specialist for Vitamin O made by Boiron. They will know what you want. Because the flu has such a rapid onset, many people keep this product on hand for immediate use. It’s hard to run to the store when you are that sick.

     COVID-19 is very tricky to diagnose because people experience such a wide variety of symptoms. Some people may have an unproductive cough but can feel a little bit of tightness in their chest and slight shortness of breath. If symptoms do not change it should dissipate in about 5 days but you should get a COVID test.

If you have a fever, sore throat and you are having shortness of breath, you may have a regular pneumonia or you may have COVID pneumonia. In any case you must get to the hospital. If you are obese, have an auto-immune disease or taking chemotherapy and you develop a sore throat and or tightness in chest and have a fever you must go to Emergency immediately. In a normal year you would go to your family doctor and get thoroughly checked over to see exactly what is causing your symptoms. But this is no ordinary year

     Physicians have been able to get a billing code from the provincial government so they can bill you for a phone call without physically seeing you. To me this is disgraceful. We have thousands and thousands of doctors and nurses working as front line workers in hospitals, nurses in nursing homes, emergency medical responders running all over for 911 calls. All of the above are wearing protective gear. The dentists are taking a myriad of precautions to treat oral and gum diseases. And yet these so-called family physicians are just sitting at home and taking calls and collecting money. This puts such a burden on Emergency wards that have to test every person for COVID-19 even if they only have a broken arm. Family physicians in their offices could certainly put on the equipment and see patients personally and diagnose the different colds, flus and real COVID-19 cases.

     Prevention is the key. One of the most important supplements to take this winter is Vitamin D-3, at least 2 or 3 thousand units a day. A study in Scotland showed that 75 per cent of all their COVID patients were deficient in Vitamin D so the government of Scotland started distributing this treatment to their entire population.  England looked at this study and is considering doing the same thing. Vitamin D is the vitamin we get from direct sunlight. If you look at a global map of the world right now you will see that the highest amount of cases and the huge increase in cases are in our northern hemispheres because the sun has travelled south of the equator. I cannot stress enough the importance of Vitamin D.

     Along with that we should be taking at least 1000mg of Vitamin C daily, a multiple vitamin or a high potency B complex, Omega-3 fish oil and possible some form of Anti-Viral or Oil of Oregano.

     But supplements are not the only answer. You must eat well. It kills me that restaurants are barely open but people use Skip the Dishes and Door Dash to order the most unhealthy fast food on the planet. This is wrong. You must go shopping and secure fresh fruits and vegetables and eat healthy portions of fish and chicken. A balanced diet protects you against most transient illnesses.

     Prevention is also about getting a good night’s sleep. This is when your body repairs its damages and you must give it time.  Exercise is essential. Whatever you can do to put your body in motion for at least 30 minutes 5 days each week.

     Finally it is extremely important to wear a mask and physically distance yourself from others. The cases are going up and up and this is the holiday season. I understand. We are all feeling covid fatigue. We hate this isolation and distancing; not being able to give our loved ones a hug. But if you break down and start relaxing these precautions during the Christmas holidays you may be one or two short at the table by next Christmas.

     Please eat healthy, drink moderately, exercise, sleep well and take preventative supplements. But most of all wear your mask and physically distance not just for yourself but for others.