01/7Things changed when coronavirus was detected
Ever since COVID pandemic has hit us, the common cold has been paid extra attention. Up until 2020, the common cold was always left unattended till it waned away. You would rarely have heard someone talking big and serious about having a common cold. Every time the season changed, atleast 10 people in the office would be down with a runny nose and sore throat but would be still working without any complaint.
02/7Common cold was very "common" and “seasonal” back in those days!
People would wait for the common cold to complete its course of action and there was absolutely no worries if it spread through an entire community.
No two people sneezing or coughing at each other had the slightest guilt in mind of spreading the infection to the environment.
No mask, no sanitisation and no covering up face while coughing and sneezing. Things went on smoothly during the common cold season as it was in other parts of the year.
03/7Things changed when coronavirus was detected
In December of 2019, when COVID hit international headlines, the need to adopt new hygiene practices emerged.
The novel coronavirus spread like forest fire engulfing country after country and no one had any clue how to stop it. The only measure that seemed usable and effective was to stop the entry of the virus into the human body.
It was then health agencies worldwide imposed wearing masks, keeping a distance of 6 feet away from others, sanitising hands and isolating self.
04/7Why should we continue following the same precautions for the common cold as for COVID?
Just like the COVID, common cold is also a viral infection. This infection is caused in the upper respiratory tract. The common cold is mostly caused by 100 different human rhinovirus serotypes (viruses within one species with the same number and type of surface proteins). Common cold human coronaviruses, parainfluenza viruses, and adenoviruses also cause common colds.
The reason why we frequently get common colds is because while our body develops immunity to one type of virus, in the next season it gets exposed to another. In several cases, just like COVID, the viruses mutate and escape the immune system of the body, exposing us to the infection once again.
Therefore, it is essential to keep practicing the COVID precautionary measures to keep the rate of common cold in check.
05/7Runny nose and sore throats are not common these days
These days people do not hesitate to get tested for COVID if any symptom of common cold is seen.
Before 2020, nobody thought about going to a doctor for a common cold; unless and until it's a kid or an elder person in the house, the common cold was always allowed to take its toll on the health with the belief that it would go away on its own.
However, these days, people not only treat it from day one, they also follow hygiene practices in order to keep themselves and others free of the disease.
06/7Quarantine is essential
How many of you had ever quarantined yourself before 2020 for a common cold? Nobody, for sure!
When COVID was announced as a global pandemic, the first important step that all the government health agencies and experts took was quarantining infected people and their close contacts. This practice cut the chain of transmission of the infection. People were kept under quarantine till the incubation period of the virus.
Two years later, even after vaccination and booster shots, people are being told to get quarantined if they have come across any COVID infected individual. The practice of being in quarantine is being encouraged and also followed for common cold symptoms like fever, runny nose, sore throat, headache, etc.
07/7Isolation after infection is a must
Before 2020, hardly anybody took the common cold that seriously. While people knew it as a communicable disease, it was medically not paid attention because it waned after its due course of infection, mostly within 3-5 days.
Even if one was sick, they did not bother to keep it to themselves or keep it away from others. There was no provision or rule that asked people to remain isolated during health issues like the common cold.
These days, employees are told to remain in isolation until the symptoms subside. With work from home opportunities opening up, people are finding it easier to adhere to quarantine and isolation rules.