COVID-19’s silent symptoms perpetuate need for precautions


Many people don’t have any symptoms for some time. It can take anywhere from 5-14 days to develop them.


Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert was preparing for another basketball game, or so he thought. Here was a professional athlete, 27-years-old, feeling completely healthy as he did before every event he competed in. It’s even possible he did even more push-ups than usual because the Jazz were in a tight race for first place in the Northwest Division.  

So it was a shock that Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 right before the game started. It was an even bigger shock when the NBA made the pioneering move to suspend the rest of the season. The sports world followed shortly. And so did the government. The ripple effect has seized the country with fear, a type of fear we haven’t seen since that grueling morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Some experts say the reaction is possibly worse than 9/11, considering the Coronavirus is more than just New York City, it’s more than just the East Coast, it’s more than just the country.

It’s the entire world.

And like Gobert, citizens might not even realize they’ve been exposed to the Coronavirus. The testing provided by the country has been periodically distributed, so not everyone is able to be tested properly and some are even being told to not test if some symptoms aren’t present.

“With the flu, one usually comes down with symptoms only a few days after being exposed, and once you do you hopefully self-isolate while you try to get better,” said Biology teacher Colleen O’Rourke. 

“This helps keep you from spreading the flu virus around your community. With COVID-19, it appears that it can take up to two weeks after initial exposure to begin to show symptoms, and during that time you might be spreading the virus to other people unknowingly,” O’Rourke said.

So what are the symptoms of this rapidly-spreading virus that often seems like a death sentence with wings?

According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms are producing a dry cough, dealing with nasal congestion, aches and pains, sore throat, or tiredness. A fever is also a top attribute one may develop. The reason someone might not know they have COVID-19 is because their symptoms are still developing and they will soon climb gradually. According to health experts, the virus takes two to 14 days after contact for someone to start feeling any signs of anything.

Speaking of contact, that is the main way of acquiring the Coronavirus. It’s currently unknown if the virus is airborne, but national officials are urging Americans to stay home and away from other people in hopes of slowing down the spread. San Francisco has even taken the extreme measure of shutting down most leisure places and keeping the essential locations open as a part of their “shelter-in-place” exercise.

“If someone thinks they have the coronavirus, they should stay home and self isolate first,” said USF nursing student Denise Santos. “Certain individuals like those with lower immune systems or even those who smoke or vape are at a higher risk and may be needed to be admitted to the hospital so the medical staff can watch them closer.”

Although this virus carries an 80 percent recovery rate without medical treatment, it could be deadly. The most targeted in that department are the elderly, whose immune systems aren’t as strong as they once were, and those with already weak medical histories. The latter includes diabetics, those with weak immune systems, asthma or cancer, and people who smoke.

“Long story short is to stay inside,” Santos urged. “Self isolate as much as possible and wash your hands. Monitor symptoms and if they get worse call the ED before going in. Symptoms may vary from person to person, that’s why it’s important to call your doctor for advice.”

This story was originally published on The Crusader on April 1, 2020.