My friend has coronavirus. This is what the doctor told him.

11 days ago, I did a YouTube video on whether you should you travel during coronavirus. Since then, the U.S. cases went from 158 to over 8,700 (as of March 19).

This virus is spreading fast, and not a lot of people know whether they have it or not due to lack of testing. I encourage adults and children, families and teens: DO NOT TRAVEL right now. I know it seems like a needless thing to say, but have you seen the clips of young people partying in Miami and Bourbon Street in New Orleans?

Now, something personal to me. I spoke to a friend yesterday (let’s call him Ron), who sounded a little stuffed up on the phone. When I pointed this out, he reluctantly told me he was showing coronavirus symptoms. It turns out he has a consistent dry cough and he’s congested, but nothing worse than that. Over the phone, his doctor confirmed he has it. The doctor recommended Ron quarantine himself for minimum 14 days and advised him not to go to the hospital or emergency room because he would definitely get it if he didn’t have it—but also, he could put other people at risk. He also told him if his symptoms worsened, like if he got a high fever, then definitely go to the hospital.

TSA just overturned this rule for the first time since 9/11 – but does anyone care?

Ron told me one other thing. He told me his co-worker tested positive for coronavirus, and one of her symptoms was that she lost her sense of smell. She could not smell anything. Believing he contracted coronavirus from her, Ron, also, could not smell anything for three days. He said he put on cologne, and couldn’t even smell that after two sprays. It is a brand-new symptom that is just starting to come out in media. I hate to use The Sun and Fox News as the sources here, but it’s the only reference I found in Google searches. Frozen 2 actress Rachel Matthews has coronavirus, and she publicly stated one of her symptoms was loss of scent.

While the doctor did not physically test my friend, Ron, he didn’t have to. His symptoms proved it. There’s a moral to that story. Even if you have the slightest symptoms, you should just assume you have it. Quarantining yourself ensures you will not be in contact with anyone else and potentially spread it. 

That should convince you to take coronavirus a lot more seriously. Anyone could have it. Anyone could be a carrier.

Cashier line at H-Mart.

I returned from Catskills last weekend to find that people here in the East Village were on Citibikes (without gloves), families were in the playground (kids can still transport the virus), and groups of students were just chilling out together. Listen. I know that self-quarantine is hard, and as someone who has worked from home for 20 years, I offer 9 tips to get through it, but let’s remember we’re all in this together. If you have to go out, try to be extra safe, for you and others around you.

Best coronavirus mask in East Village?

Also, I know it’s a crazy time in the world right now, and people are stressed, anxious and freaking out. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath, and take it day by day. Remain positive and be supportive of each other right now! 

If you need supplies, try to get things delivered. Many places still deliver, like Walgreens.

Weekly Deals from Walgreens

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Happy travels!

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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