You haven’t been feeling like yourself lately and, naturally, your first thought is that you’ve contracted the coronavirus. Don’t jump to conclusions just yet. There’s likely another explanation for that scratchy throat and achy body. It could just be the common cold. Or, it could be that you unintentionally pissed off a sorceress from Greek mythology, causing her to cast a spell transforming you into a wild beast.
First of all, it’s important to differentiate between the three things. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a novel strain of the coronavirus not previously discovered in humans. The severity of its symptoms range from mild to potentially life-threatening. The common cold, on the other hand, is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract that is typically harmless and goes away within a few days. Lastly, metamorphosis (or shapeshifting) is the biological process of transformation from a human into animal form, often as a result of a magical potion (i.e., elixir) or spell.
Where it only takes a couple of days to get sick with the cold after being exposed to the virus, symptoms of COVID-19 may take up to 14 days to present themselves, so it’s necessary to consider where you’ve been and who you’ve interacted with. For example, have you traveled in the past few weeks? If so, it’s possible that you have come in contact with someone who was carrying the virus and didn’t even know it.
Also, during your travels, did you happen to come across a sorceress by the name of Circe, daughter of Helios, God of the Sun, and Hecate, Goddess of Witchcraft? And during your interaction, did you say or do anything that could have ticked her off, to the point that she would want to cast a spell on you transforming you into a wild beast, such as a pig, boar, bear, or sea monster? It could have been something seemingly innocuous, like a comment about her hair, or maybe you snorted when she said she was a nymph because you thought it meant something else. Afterward, did she give you a look like, “Are you being serious right now?” and then suddenly act all quiet, causing her friends to check in on her to see if she was okay, and even though she said she was “fine,” she obviously wasn’t? Did this happen?
While symptoms between all three conditions are similar, there are a few key differences to watch for. For instance, both the coronavirus and a cold are likely to result in a persistent dry cough and sore throat, which could cause you to lose your voice. Meanwhile, you will most certainly lose the ability to speak as you metamorphose into a non-vocal animal, and the pain in your throat will be much, much worse.
Another important distinction to make is that, while the coronavirus has been known to cause severe headaches — and those dealing with a cold may experience similar symptoms due to sinus pressure — this is very different from the mind-numbing pain associated with having horns sprout out of your forehead. In any case, the WHO recommends taking acetaminophen over non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen), which may actually worsen your condition.
COVID-19 is also unique from a cold in that it often leads to shortness of breath. It is possible, however, that you experience similar difficulty in breathing as your human jawline morphs into that of a pig’s snout. Take note of any sudden urges to root around in the mud to forage for food. This is a dead giveaway that you are indeed in the early stages of transforming into swine.
The main difference between the coronavirus and a common cold is that the latter rarely results in a high fever. If, however, your temperature suddenly and drastically plummets, it could be an indication that you are turning into a cold-blooded critter, in which case your body temperature will regulate according to your environment. You may need to invest in several UVB reptile heat lamps, or else move to a climate that is more conducive to your situation, such as Arizona.
Chances are it’s just a simple cold, but if you still suspect that you have the coronavirus, do not leave your home unless you are in need of medical care. Thankfully in most cases the illness is mild enough that you will be able to recover on your own. Just remember to drink lots of liquids and get plenty of rest.
Likewise, if it turns out that you are in the midst of shapeshifting into a wild beast of some sort (this should become evident fairly quickly), it’s best that you avoid contact with others as much as possible, for their safety and yours. Unfortunately, the only way that you can return to your human form is by tracking down Circe and forcing her to reverse the spell. Just remember that you will have to wait until travel restrictions have been lifted before you can venture out.