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Physician offers Q&A on COVID-19

How do I know I might have the virus?

Most people with the virus have fever. Many people also have fatigue, sore throat, headache, cough or muscle aches. Remember: it’s also allergy season and lots of other viruses are still around.

Jenny Hinson

How strict should I be with staying home?

You should not go out right now unless you require medicine, groceries or absolutely have to work away from home. You should not have playdates, or go to the gym or church. Try to only be around your immediate family right now. You can go for walks and be outside, as long as you avoid personal contact with others.

Even if I am young and healthy, should I stay home?

Yes. This will save the lives of people you love, senior citizens, healthcare workers, and maybe even your own.

Should I be worried if I have it?

No. Most (maybe 8 out of 10) do not get dangerously sick.

Who might get dangerously sick?

Seniors citizens, those with diabetes, heart or lung problems, cancer, immune problems and those who are pregnant. Though it’s less common, we are also seeing the young and healthy get dangerously sick.

How do I avoid getting the virus?

Wash your hands. Avoid touching your face. Stay at least six feet away from other people. Keep closer interactions as brief as possible.

When should I go to the hospital?

For emergencies, like trouble breathing, bluish lips, confusion or ongoing chest pain. Otherwise, you should call your doctor and they can help you decide.

Should I get tested?

At this point, it’s best to ask your doctor or the health department. Test supplies are improving but still very limited.

Is it safe to go outside?

Yes, as long as you stay at least six feet away from others.

Are we seeing the virus in people who haven’t been to a place or with a person known to have it?

Yes.

Why am I being asked to stay home?

Until we have a vaccine or treatment, the only things that save lives are staying at home and frequent handwashing. Social isolation keeps your neighbors, co-workers and loved ones alive. Being late to this pandemic can help Stanly County do so much better than other places if we all do the right thing.

Dr. Jenny Hinson is a physician in Stanly County, and her views here are solely her own. She adds that there is still a lot we don’t understand, and we learn more every single day. She was just on a webinar with doctors from several other countries, and was amazed by their ingenuity and desire to help all of us. She remains hopeful.