Robin Schoenthaler, MD
2 min readJul 6, 2021

Dr. Robin’s Covid-19 Updates

Kleenex? Check. NyQuil? Check.
Covid Test? Check

Getting a cold in the middle of a global pandemic

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Guess what happened when we took off our masks and started hanging out with each other again? The natural order was restored and we started having viruses comes out of our noses and mouths and we’ve started infecting each other again!

It’s like the germ floodgates have opened and viruses are just pouring out. All the Old Familiar Summer Bugs — strep, RSV, older corona viruses, rhinovirus, coxsackie, the list goes on and on — are leading to lots of people getting “colds” and “flus” and “sinus infections” and it’s such a shock to our systems! Many of us lucky ducks haven’t had a single upper respiratory symptom since maybe the winter of 2019 so we aren’t used to these miseries.

The one thing you need to remember is that if you or your kids get a “classic cold” or “bad allergies,” you should still get Covid tested. Why?

1) Although Covid cases are wonderfully on the decline in well-vaccinated areas, Covid’s still out there, and we need to know if it’s Covid or one of the Other Summer Bugs since they get treated differently.

2) This newer Delta variant is tricking a lot of people into thinking, “This can’t be Covid,” because it’s giving people different symptoms.

People who think of Covid as fever, bad cough, shortness of breath or loss of smell — Delta’s trying to fool ya. Delta Covid causes more headaches, runny noses, congestion, sneezing.

So you can’t just say, “My sinuses are killing me” or “Dang, I can’t stop sneezing, the pollen is terrible” — you really need to go get a Covid test.

3) If it’s a regular virus, you should stay home until you’re better (please, please, please stay home! And when you’re better, lobby your work for more paid sick time.) If it’s Covid, you should still stay home and isolated for ten days, just like always. And tell your contacts so they can know they’ve been exposed.

Robin Schoenthaler, MD

Covid-Translator. Cancer doc: ~Three decades at MGH. Writer and storyteller: Moth Grand Slam Champion. Mom., @robinshome,