Signs You May Have COVID-19, Plus Ways to Help Your Body Feel Better Fast
Updated: Sep 22
COVID-19 turned our lives upside down when it appeared in 2019.
The good news is that we have learned to live with it so we can regain some semblance of normalcy. The bad news is that as variants continue to evolve, it has become clear that the virus is here to stay.
It continues to be important to know the symptoms of COVID-19 so you can quarantine yourself if you have this virus, but it’s also important to know the symptoms so you can treat them and feel better fast.
Symptoms of COVID-19
The symptoms of COVID-19, according to the CDC, include:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath
Muscle or body aches
Loss of taste or smell
Stuffy or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
You may experience some, but not all, of these symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms may be very mild. In others, symptoms may be more severe.
Signs you should seek emergency medical attention include:
Pain or pressure in your chest
Difficulty waking up or staying awake
Pale, gray, or blue-colored lips, skin, or nail beds
More symptoms may be added to the list as variants evolve. It’s important to notice any symptoms that are out of the ordinary so you can get tested and talk to a medical provider as soon as possible.
By taking a COVID-19 test and talking to a medical provider, you can determine whether you have COVID, the flu, or something else. By knowing what you have, you can better treat your symptoms.
Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir-ritonavir) and Molnupiravir (Lagevrio) are antiviral medications that are now available under FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the treatment of non hospitalized adults (ages 12 and up) with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of disease progression. They can be administered to you if you are within 5 days of symptom onset. These medications can be taken at home to help keep high-risk patients from developing complications that they would need to be hospitalized for. So if you test positive for COVID and qualify for antivirals, you can take these pills at home and lower your risk of having to go to the hospital.
Tips For a Fast Recovery
Whether you’re taking prescribed medication or not, there are things you can do to ease your symptoms and help you get back on your feet faster.
The immune system weakens without proper rest. When you’re sick, you need more of it. That means sleeping when you’re tired and getting more than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep you’re used to. That also means skipping your workouts.
If you're having trouble breathing, surround yourself with steam. You can start a hot shower, stand over a steaming bowl of water, or turn on a cool mist humidifier. It will loosen mucus and make it easier for you to breathe.
Take a lukewarm bath. Water that is warm, but not too hot, can help boost your circulation and bring your temperature back to normal.
Taking over-the-counter medications can be helpful too. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce a fever and lessen body aches, cough drops can soothe a sore throat, and decongestants can help break up excess mucus.
Don’t wait if you think you might have COVID-19. Initiate a telehealth visit so you can confirm your diagnosis, potentially receive a prescription, and get advice from a qualified medical professional on how to start feeling better fast.