Spotting the Differences


Alessio Martinez, Student Writer

It’s that time of the year when sneezing, runny noses, and coughs NONSTOP! They are considerably normal occurrences–well, that is … before March 2020 when a new and infectious COVID-19 variant surfaced. The common cold and flu are more prominent than ever during these cold months. The problem is that it is causing cause confusion and misdiagnoses in the wake and face of the pandemic.  The first thing a person should do at the outset of these “normal” symptoms is to get tested for Covid (to rule out that nasty virus).  If the test comes back negative, then nine times out of ten, Covid-19 (Delta and Omicron, too) can be eliminated from the equation. Until a test is performed, it is highly recommended for an ill person to stay home until a negative test is achieved. Just so everyone is clear what is and is not Covid, here are some tips on how to tell the difference:

COVID (Omicron) Symptoms–According to the CDC Guidelines:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you want more information about the Omicron symptoms click on the link below

The symptoms of the Flu (also known as Influenza) are very similar to the Omicron symptoms. The only evident way to tell the two apart is the loss of smell/taste. Although the Flu is considered more harmless than COVID, individuals should still be cautious. If chest pain is detected, it is essential to see a specialist.

The common cold is a frequent annoyance that comes on heavily in months of December and February. Out of the three illnesses, the cold is the least dangerous because a person is less likely to be hospitalized. The symptoms often involve a cough, stuffy nose, and sore throat. Because the symptoms are usually more minor in nature, it is easier to tell when people have a cold. As advised, though, always get tested before self-diagnosing. It is better to be safe than sorry.