New COVID-19 Guidelines From the CDC
By Willy Unterkoefler
Symptoms include dry cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, and, in rare cases, death. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call your primary care physician. If you are one of the 330 million Americans without adequate health insurance and cannot afford a primary care physician, please seek alternative medical assistance. By recommendation of the CDC, options for alternative medical assistance may include urgent care facilities, your roommate who is studying for the MCAT, moving to a developed nation, and, in most cases, death.
Given the shortage of tests for the virus and increased demand for medical professionals, your primary care physician may instruct you to not contact them unless your symptoms are severe. Please do not overburden our hospitals and urgent care facilities. In fact, do not burden them at all.
Please keep in mind that it is still flu season. Flu symptoms include cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, and, in rare cases, death and/or runny nose. Unless you are in an area with a high rate of cases, have travelled to an area with a high rate of cases, have come into contact with someone who has tested positive, or have come into contact with someone who has travelled to an area with a high rate of cases, you probably have a cold or the flu. In order to determine the real cause of your symptoms, the best option is to get tested. Tests are available at select hospitals, but only for those patients experiencing symptoms so severe that even your idiot roommate who is destined to fail the MCAT could tell you that they aren’t “just the flu”.
Another key indicator in discriminating between the flu and the novel coronavirus is the wetness of your cough. Wet coughs are more typically associated with the flu, while dry ones indicate something worse. If you are unsure of how wet your cough is, cough onto your roommate’s face. Ask him if his face is now wet. This works best if his face was previously dry. If your cough is wet, you’re all clear.
Keep in mind, however, that a wet cough is also a symptom of early stage pneumonia, a common complication associated with COVID-19. If your roommate’s face is visibly wet, seek medical attention immediately. Unless, of course, he just got out of the shower.
The second tell-tale sign of coronavirus is shortness of breath. If you feel out of breath, a tightness in your chest, or difficulty breathing, it is likely that the novel coronavirus has embedded itself in your lungs and is restricting the flow of oxygen to your blood. This can only result in a slow painful death on the floor of a hospital that ran out of beds, surrounded by careless masked figures who are only there to count the dead. You cough, dryly, but you are still counted. Due to travel restrictions, no one attends your funeral. Due to casket shortages, you are tossed into a poorly constructed mass grave whose dirt will be washed away by the floods next year and your body will float into the river and then be devoured by geese.
If you are experiencing any symptoms, it is imperative to quarantine yourself for at least 14 days. While you are isolated, it is important to keep a positive mindset! Excessive thought or knowledge of current events may result in anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety include difficulty concentrating, chest pain, shortness of breath, and, in all cases, death.