But it's not COVID

Woman sitting on the floor blowing her nose

Just because you don't have COVID, it doesn't mean you're not sick enough to rest.

I was Facetiming my older sister in Melbourne this week. She was bedridden with a sore throat, headache and stuffy face. She came up negative on a rapid antigen test and so proceeded to get ready for her shift at work, despite how ill she obviously was. It wasn't until my brother-in-law told her that she should absolutely not go to work in her condition that she got back into bed.

Living in a pandemic society, it was government regulations that would tell us to stay home if we were sick, with the intent to minimise the spread of COVID-19. If we didn't have COVID, we were still expected to work, even if it was from home. In some cases, even if we did still have cold and flu symptoms. As my sister was getting ready for work, she said she was thinking, "Well, it's not COVID, so I don't have a reason to stay home."

I hadn't realised I had subconsciously adopted this same mindset. COVID-19 to me has been presented as this virus reigning supreme over all other kind of minor illnesses. To the extent where even a severe cold wouldn't stop me working. After having COVID at the start of the year and experiencing its horrible symptoms, I felt as though any other cold and flu symptoms I got from then on out paled in comparison. Like my sister thought, if it wasn't COVID, I didn't think I was sick enough.

Winter has finally encroached Adelaide. Mornings are freezing and I find myself snoozing most of my alarms until I have the courage to brave the world beyond my bed. My nose is running and my fingers are icicles. I sit here while I write this, scarf wrapped around me with my honey green tea soothing my throat I didn't realise was sore until now.

If you start to feel run down in the cold season, remember that any sickness constitutes as a good enough reason for rest. No one should feel the need to rely on legislation to tell them when they are allowed to rest. It's our bodies - we know it best and we're allowed to take a rest as we see fit.

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Tagged in What messes with your head, covid, winter