What You Need to Know About COVID-19: Coronavirus Symptoms, Facts, and Tips

We’re all concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic (rightfully so!) and it’s resulting in panic and misinformation as we read daily posts online purporting new information. This is a serious public health issue, and we all have a role in bringing it under control, but it is important to discern the facts from the fictional stories circulating that was created supposedly to entertain and scare others. 

To help you know what you can do, we are going to provide you with some essential info. We’ll cover what you need to know about COVID-19, who’s most at risk, and some tips on how you can lower your chances of catching and spreading it.

The current pandemic has triggered unprecedented measures around the world aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. The outcomes in countries hit hardest by the virus show the importance of preventative measures so we rounded up the facts to provide you with a quick summary.

Essential Info

  • Visit Health Canada’s COVID-19 page for the latest updates and current recommendations.
  • The website for your local municipality may provide more details on the current situation and risk level in your area. Check it daily.

The Quick Facts

COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large category of viruses that typically cause mild illnesses similar to the common cold. 

The symptoms of COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to appear, and they include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing

The virus is spread through:

  • Respiratory droplets created by coughing and sneezing
  • Close contact such as shaking hands
  • Touching something with the virus on it and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands.

Who’s Most at Risk?

Most people who contract the virus recover on their own without the need for treatment. However, certain people are at a higher risk of developing complications requiring hospitalization, and in severe cases, it can lead to death.

The people most at risk include:

  • Older adults (aged 65 and over)
  • People with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease.
  • People with compromised immune systems

What You Can Do

The Federal Government of Canada recommends that everyone practice social distancing and proper hygiene.

Social distancing means avoiding non-essential gatherings and crowded places. It also means keeping a distance of at least 2 arms-length from others, as much as possible.

Proper hygiene means washing your hands often, especially when preparing food or after using the washroom. It also means disposing of any used tissues as soon as possible in a lined wastebasket.

If you are experiencing symptoms, it is recommended that you isolate yourself at home for 14 days. If you live with others, stay in a separate room and maintain a two-meter distance. Call your local public health authority or a health care professional, tell them your symptoms, and follow their instructions. 

How PharmacyGo Can Help

At PharmacyGo, the well-being of our patients and the communities we serve are always our main priority. We provide a number of services that can help you reduce your COVID-19 risk when seeking medical care. This includes Telemedicine services that let you connect with a doctor via video conference, free delivery on your prescription refills, essential Personal Protective Equipment such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and more. 

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19

Will wearing a mask reduce my risk of getting infected?

It is not recommended to wear a mask as a way of preventing infection. That’s because a mask can give a false sense of security, and it can actually increase the risk of spreading the virus through improper mask use and disposal.

However, health professionals may recommend that you wear a mask when seeking treatment if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. In that case, a mask can help by stopping the spread of tiny droplets when you cough or sneeze.

Are there any health products that can reduce my risk?

According to Health Canada, there are no approved products to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. In fact, it’s illegal for any company to make such claims, and it’s encouraged that if you come across these health products you should report them using Health Canada’s online complaint form.

Are pregnant women at a higher risk?

There is currently insufficient evidence to suggest that pregnant women are at an increased risk for COVID-19. However, pregnancy causes changes in the body that may increase the risk for some infections. So it is always recommended that pregnant women practice proper hygiene.


Health Canada COVID-19 Information

CDC Key Facts on Covid-19


Your 2019 Cold and Flu Season Guide

That’s right, it’s that time of year again. The dreaded Flu Season.

This guide will provide some essential tips on how to stay healthy this cold and flu season. It includes simple preventative measures and some tips on how to tell the flu from the common cold so you know how to treat them properly.

Staying Healthy 

Wash Your Hands and use Hand Sanitizer

The most important thing you can do to stay healthy at this time of year (though it’s also a great habit to have year-round!) is to properly wash your hands. This practice is one of the reasons why healthcare workers are able to remain healthy on the front lines even when they’re regularly in contact with people who have a cold or flu.

These professionals treat frequent hand sanitation as an essential step in their routines—and you should too! It won’t only help you to stay healthy, but it can also protect your loved ones or anyone you’re in close contact with.

Here are the most important times you should be washing your hands:

  • After being around sick people
  • After blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing
  • Before and after preparing food
  • Before eating
  • After using a washroom

If you are using a public washroom, you can avoid undoing the good of washing your hands by shutting the faucet off with a paper towel. Also consider pushing the door open with your shoulder, or using another paper towel to turn the doorknob on your way out.

According to the CDC’s guide on how to wash your hands effectively, you should scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. To help you time it, you can quickly hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

Hand sanitizer is great for those times when it’s not convenient to get to a washroom.  Even though we may love the fancy-smelling ones, ensure to choose an alcohol-based sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol.

Prepare Your Defenses

Another great way to avoid the cold and flu is to ensure your body’s natural defences are in place. How do you do that? Well, it’s as simple as taking a few measures that improve your overall health and boost your immune system. 

This includes:

Be sure to get your flu shot.  Speak to a Pharmacist to get your free flu shot in time. 

What Are Common Symptoms of The Flu vs the Common Cold?

When you think you or someone close to you may have caught a bug, it’s useful to be able to tell the difference between the flu and the common cold. This can be tricky because cold viruses cause many flu-like symptoms. Here are some tips for telling them apart.

  • Cold and flu viruses share symptoms like sore throat, coughing, and congestion. 
  • Flu symptoms tend to be more intense and come on more suddenly.
  • In adults, colds usually don’t cause fever (or only a mild fever), but the flu does.
  • The flu is more likely to cause severe muscle aches and soreness.
  • Extreme exhaustion is common at the beginning of the flu, but not colds.

If you are unsure if you’re dealing with the flu, one way to get help is with our Virtual Health service. This lets you text or video chat with a nurse practitioner through your smartphone, and they’ll help you get to the bottom of it.

Treating the Symptoms

Already too late and you’ve contracted the cold or flu? Be sure to check with your Doctor first and then a Pharmacist who can help you decide the best medicines to treat cold and flu symptoms. 

Good Luck Out There!

The flu is no joke. While most people can recover from it within two weeks, it can also lead to a variety of complications, from sinus infections to pneumonia. But with these tips, you should be able to make it through this cold and flu season with a clean bill of health!