A Covid Journal, Day 9 of my Self-Quarantine –  1st Day of Spring arrives, along with distinctions between Covid, a cold, allergies, and the flu

By Bruce A. Smith

Happy Spring, everyone! It comes early this year, March 19, 2020, due to the leap year and other astronomical perturbations that occur once every 400 years or so. Usually, spring arrives on March 21 but can fall somewhere between March 20-22 depending on those quadrennial leap years.

It feels like spring, too – the sun is shining and it’s 60 degrees outside – another delightful day here in the Pacific Northwest where the number of Covid cases has passed 1,000. New York has double that number as testing there has greatly accelerated.

Nevertheless, the kids are still partying down at Fort Lauderdale. But many of us are in quarantine. That means we’re safe, but also dependent upon the heroic efforts of food producers, truckers, grocery store workers to keep us going – and of course all the health care workers and first responders everywhere to keep us healthy and secure.

The following ideas are preventive measures to thwart Covid that a variety of Mountain News readers have sent me. I think they’re relevant and useful. Some “facts” are speculative, but others have been corroborated by the New York Times, such as Covid lasting on metal surfaces for nine-twelve hours, thus requiring frequent wipe-downs with a disinfectant.

  1. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees. It hates the Sun.
  2. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
  3. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours – so if you come into contact with any metal surface – wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.
  4. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it.
  5. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
  6. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but – a lot can happen during that time – you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
  7. You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
  8. Can’t emphasis enough – drink plenty of water!

According to these guidelines, my “Hillbilly Haz-Mat Suit” – aka my jeans, polar fleece vest and baseball cap – will be Covid-free after a night airing outdoors. Covid can also last on cardboard surfaces for a day or two, which means that Amazon packages will be okay when they arrive, unless the driver sneezes on them.

In addition, I am taking 1,000-2,000 mg of Vitamin C every day, along with a couple of tabs of Vitamin D-3 to mimic the efficacy of the Sun and it’s beneficial UV-rays.

Also, many people I’ve talked with during my quarantine are wondering if their runny nose is Covid, or what their persistent hack means. Here’s some information that might be helpful.

What is Covid and what is a cold? Variations in Symptoms – Overview:

  1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold.
  2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.

All the above comes from my friend Jane in Minnesota, who has family members working in the Mayo Clinic, and the information is derived from their contacts. In addition, these sources add:


  1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3-4 days
  2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5-6 days further.
  3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
  4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you’re drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.

The new Coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days. By the time they have fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, the lung is usually 50% Fibrosis.

Such advanced impairment is why so many Covid patients need ventilators o help them breathe. In addition, Jane added the following advice, which I have received from several others:

Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning. Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no Fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicates no infection.

In critical time, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.

Also: Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat are moist, never dry. Take a few sips of water every 15 minutes at least. Why? Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill all the virus. If you don’t drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs. That’s very dangerous.

Update – Friday, March 20, 2020

USA Today is reporting the following distinctions between Covid, a cold, seasonal flu and seasonal allergies, citing research from Dr. Maria Granzotti, chief medical officer at Ascension Texas.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus, allergies or flu? Here’s the difference between COVID-19 and other illnesses .


  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever (above 100 degrees)
  • Dry cough
  • Gradual onset (two to 14 days after onset)
  • Sometimes headache
  • Sometimes aches and pains
  • Mild sneezing
  • Sometimes fatigue, but it’s not predominated like the flu
  • Diarrhea is rare


  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Red, swollen eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Tickle in the throat
  • Rarely a fever


  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Aches and pains
  • Mild dry cough
  • Rarely a fever


  • Sore throat
  • Painful swallowing
  • Fever


  • Fever is common
  • Dry cough
  • Quick onset
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Sometimes a runny nose
  • Sometimes diarrhea

Lastly, I went for a drive through town yesterday evening. Traffic was down, and it was quiet throughout Eatonville. The air seemed sharper, too, as if it as cleaner in some new way. Our grocery store, the Plaza Market, was closed oddly, and has instituted new, shorter hours, 8 am-8pm. The Cruiser Cafe was open for take-out at 8:30pm, but I decided to keep driving whereas normally I would have stopped for an ice cream cone. I didn’t see any customers or cars, either. Our big restaurant, Bruno’s, was closed. The gas station was open. Lots of vehicles parked at MotorWorx and Sorenson’s Auto Repair, so I guess folks are still getting their cars fixed.

The world just looks different. And feels different, somehow. Whatever it is, I like it. Along those lines, my friend Jeff, from Austin, Texas, wrote to say he is revealing in the quietude of the quarantine, celebrating the loss of rush-hour traffic and its noise.

To see all of these Covid Journal stories, click here: https://themountainnewswa.net/category/covid-19/

2019, 6, DSCF5104, flannel, best

Yours truly. Pix courtesy of Luby M.

This entry was posted in Covid-19, Culture, Eatonville News, Health, Politics, preparedness, Self Reliance, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Covid Journal, Day 9 of my Self-Quarantine –  1st Day of Spring arrives, along with distinctions between Covid, a cold, allergies, and the flu

  1. brucesmith49 says:

    Editor’s Note: The following report on Life with Covid in Minnesota comes from long-time Mountain News readers Lynn:

    Thanks! Hey, you like Loreena McKennitt – listened to her a lot during university, particularly her haunting cover of Greensleeves.

    Definitely Covid mode here. Every public non-essential facility is shut, all events cancelled. Hubby works at a hospital caf that is essential but also commercial but they’ve been assured they’ll get paid and their jobs are safe. Hours may be lower though, and it’s a bit unnerving for him being in a hospital right now. My work is sending us all home to work – will take me till Friday to be able to fully work from home as they have to set up my computer to proxy admin tasks and there are a few of us like that. But the place I work will be a lot emptier and safer than usual, with 50-100 ppl milling about. My main stressor is the bus, which is like the Mos Eisley cantina at the best of times. But it’s odd and somewhat comforting to know most people in the world are stressed about the same thing (though there are a few Floridians that seem to have missed the memo, lol): https://kfor.com/news/national/video-shows-packed-florida-beach-amid-coronavirus-warnings/

    Home today bc work gives us a paid day off for our b’days and mine is Saturday, which I don’t work anyway, so they gave it to me today. Looking forward to working from home, the cats miss us when we’re away. (Really. A cat matches up with its owner, and we talk to and play with our all the time. The little black girl cat, Dave’s baby Aja, has learned something called “foxy boxing”, wherein she play-boxes with us, claws in. Stands up on her hind legs to do it, lol.) The two boys are Danno, a big cuddle baby of a British Shorthair, and Spats, a tux we got because we didn’t know AJa was pregnant when we adopted her. He’s an owl-eyed cutie and his brother and sister are in good homes now.

    There is hope in the world. Our ex-roomie just had a successful kidney transplant after his friend turned out to be a perfect and generous match. He came out of hospital and adopted an adorable new puppy. My siblings and I, who live in different cities and provinces, have been communicating a ton over the last few days, starting with Covid but moving on to our lives, memories, recipes (lol – we’re all curious eaters; Mom was a very exotic cook for Newfoundland and loves trying new things.) Sometimes the busy-ness of life means we don’t talk as much as we should, though Facebook has been a boon that way.

    What can ya do? It’s stress but everyone knows it’s not their own fault, and most other people are in the same boat. China’s curve has flattened, ours will too. And tbh – am a homebody a lot of the time anyway. Lots of reading, writing, web surfing, TV watching, painting, crossword puzzles. Am working on book #2 per contract, this one on the William Desmond Taylor murder case if you know it – it’s almost 100 years old (1922) and a total cipher. Weird that it happened just after the Spanish Flu epidemic that ended in 1920.

  2. brucesmith49 says:

    Luby M adds the following:

    Hi Bruce,
    I got the journal and I am reading it. I have read this about the virus will die at 26/27. Not true, in my opinion.
    First, you should add a “C” to indicate Celsius.
    Second, the body normal temp is around 36,5C. So if the virus enters this temp it would be killed on the spot. Not too logical. You could investigate this further.

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