Here’s how I don’t get the flu every year: I don’t go to the doctor.

I’ve always figured if you don’t go to the doctor, you can’t be diagnosed with the flu therefore everything must be fine. 

I was actually feeling so sick a few months ago and I went to the doctor, and sports writer Caleb Turrentine said to me, “Woah, you must really be feeling bad if you’re going to the doctor.”

I don’t like going to the doctor; it makes me feel kinda queasy just thinking about it. And I really don’t like going to the dentist; I had a bad experience in college and it’s never been the same again (but that’s a story for a different day).

Ultimately, I try to stay away as much as possible. That’s how you don’t get the flu.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Don’t be me. Don’t think like me. Don’t act like me.

Especially now, it’s so important to be taking care of our physical and mental health.

If you are feeling symptoms of the novel coronavirus, call ahead but get to a doctor right away. You might be like me and think you’ll be OK because you’re young and fairly healthy, but you need to know what you have so you can stay away from others. You could be saving the life of your grandmother who you won’t visit for a few weeks because of it or a close friend who is immune-compromised and could be in serious danger if she catches it from you.

What’s so scary about COVID-19 is how much information is out there saying a person could be asymptomatic for up to two weeks — or may never even exhibit symptoms at all. Imagine what you could be doing and touching and breathing on in two weeks without ever even knowing it.

A lot of people have said the names of those who have tested positive should be released to the public so anyone who has come into contact with those people for two weeks prior can be quarantined. But think about what that really means. 

Think about that convenience store you stopped in 10 days ago to grab a Coke; do you know the clerk’s name? Would you know you had been in contact with him if his name was released if he tested positive — or vice versa, would he know yours? Of course not.

Think about all those strangers you went to see a movie with weekend before last before the threat became more serious in the United States. Would you know the name of every person who was in that theater? Or the girl who sold you popcorn or the guy you purchased your ticket from? Of course not.

The point is in typical situations, it’s incredibly hard to pinpoint everyone you’ve been in contact with for two days much less two weeks. So, it’s so important we take caution, follow doctors’ orders and stay as isolated as possible.

Doctors are on the front lines of this thing and are putting their health and wellness on the line for us every day. As the meme circulating Facebook goes, they’re trying to save lives -— the least we can do to help is sit on our couches and watch TV.

It’s also important to pay attention to our mental health though. I don’t — nor do I think any doctor would — recommend actually sitting on your couch and watching TV for the duration of this pandemic. Try to be as active as possible. I plan to go out and take a hike this weekend with my boyfriend and our dogs; all we have to do is stay 6 feet apart.

Take a walk with your kids, go golfing, brush off an old board game (after washing your hands), play hide and seek inside.

We all have different ways of taking care of ourselves but it’s important to know doctors locally and around the world are doing everything they can to ensure a speedy recovery to everyone who contracts the coronavirus and working hard to keep those who don’t safe. 

Don’t be like me and think a doctor’s office is a scary place. After talking to the wife of a person who confirmed his positive test of the coronavirus, I actually felt a lot better. By following doctors’ orders, her husband was getting better by the day.

That’s what we need to remember now more than ever — it is going to be OK and there are people around to help, and that starts with our doctors.


Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor of Tallapoosa Publishers.

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.