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Home of COVID-19!


In a Q&A format, MD virologist Clyde Goodheart answers questions about COVID-19–just as he’s been doing for family and friends throughout the pandemic. His easy, down-to-earth style and touch of humor will make you feel as if you’re chatting with him in your living room. 

COVID-19! is available in softcover and ebook editions at Amazon.

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AND-Meet the Authors
 “Who Is Dr. Goodheart?” A lighthearted introduction 

Dr. Clyde Goodheart is a Phi Beta Kappa with MD, MBA, MS, and BS degrees from Northwestern University, and a Postdoc in Virology from CalTech. His background includes virology research, teaching and lecturing in virology at several universities and medical schools, and clinical practice of medicine.

“About Me” by Barbara Goodheart, ELS

The coauthor is award-winning medical writer Barbara Goodheart, ELS (Certified Editor in the Life Sciences), who has written five books and contributed to six others. She has also written dozens of articles for leading consumer magazines, and is an award-winning scriptwriter. She is a contributing writer for Addiction Treatment Forum website ( Her articles appear monthly in Addiction Treatment Forum (, where she has been a contributing writer for more than 15 years. 

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Jan 4, 2022
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Although the lists of common symptoms and severe symptoms remain basically the same as when the book was published, some new information has become available, including symptoms associated with the omicron variant. (The data so far suggest that the omicron symptoms are different from the symptoms we’ve been aware of before now.)

We’re updating this section because when any of us develop a new symptom these days, our first thought tends to be, “Do I have COVID?”

Common Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 usually appear from 2 to 4 days after someone is exposed to the virus, but they may take as long as 14 days. Some people who become infected never develop symptoms, but they can still pass the disease to others.

  • Cough (a new cough, or worsening of an existing cough)
  • Fever or chills
  • Feeling very tired
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The Mayo Clinic adds three symptoms to the above list:

  • Chest pain
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Rash

Severe Symptoms

CDC advises seeking emergency medical care immediately if someone shows any of these signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake up or to stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds (changed from bluish lips or face)


It’s been reported that stroke has developed in some COVID-19 patients, but rarely. Because stroke is such a serious event, it’s important to keep it in mind as a possible symptom of COVID.

The American Stroke Association and other groups suggest using the acronym FAST to remember the symptoms of stroke and the importance of acting promptly if someone shows the symptoms.

  • Face. Is one side of the face drooping, or numb? Is the smile lopsided?
  • Arms. Is one arm weak or numb? If the person tries to raise both arms, does one arm sag?
  • Speech. Can the person speak clearly? Ask the person to repeat a sentence.
  • Time. Every minute counts when someone shows signs of a stroke. Call 911 right away.

Omicron Symptoms

The omicron variant is associated with symptoms that weren’t linked with COVID-19 until now.

  • Headaches
  • Night sweats
  • Vomiting and loss of appetite
  • Sore throat (can be severe)
  • Brain fog (inability to remember things, concentrate; lack of clear-headedness)

The lists in this update are not all-inclusive. If you’d like more detail about symptoms, you might want to try this source: 98 Symptoms Coronavirus Patients Say They’ve Had.


The Mayo website says that although symptoms are usually mild or moderate, some people develop severe complications that lead to death. Here’s the Mayo list of complications:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pneumonia
  • Organ failure in several organs
  • Heart problems
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); this is a severe lung condition in which the amount of oxygen that enters the bloodstream to supply the body’s organs is very low
  • Blood clots
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Additional viral and bacterial infections

Nov 3, 2021
What is a variant, and why are variants so dangerous?

All viruses carry instructions to tell cells of an infected individual how to make more viruses like themselves—a process known as viral duplication. The instructions are encoded within the virus.

Mutations in a virus—changes in the genetic code—occur during duplication. Each duplication carries a small chance of an error that can result in a mutation, but an infected person will duplicate the virus millions of times, giving many chances for a mutation. That’s why bringing the pandemic under control means reducing the number of cases in order to lower the chance of mutations.  

As in all viruses, SARS-CoV-2 variants result from one or more mutations, and have properties that are different from those of the original virus. Most variants die out, but some variants have properties that improve their chance of survival. The delta variant, for example, has a higher rate of infectivity, and thus spreads more easily within a population of susceptible people.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, already has many variants, and more are likely to occur until the number of cases becomes much lower than now.