NEW YORK — Are you able to get out of bed and have a normal day when you wake up with a fever or chills? Then you’re part of the one in four Americans who identify as “power through-ers” when it comes to getting sick.
In a new survey of 2,005 respondents, almost a fourth of Americans say they prefer to “power through” common symptoms of illness, with coughing (58%), stuffy noses (57%), and sore throats (55%) coming out as the symptoms least likely to make a person alter their day.
I ain’t afraid of no cold
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mucinex, the survey also found the top reasons they power through are being able to ignore the symptoms (46%), being afraid of repercussions at work or school (43%), and feeling like they have no other choice (41%).
Of those able to work remotely, 59 percent say they’ll turn their camera off during meetings when they’re sick to spare their colleagues. On the other hand, almost seven in ten (69%) are more likely to skip an event after contracting a minor illness than they were before the coronavirus pandemic started.
Respondents named fevers and chills (36%), headaches or migraines (30%), and sore throats (21%) as the most debilitating symptoms to try to power through. While 37 percent would consider skipping a party, 35 percent would skip a meeting and 35 percent would skip a concert if they had a sore throat.
Getting sick at the wrong time
Just under three in 10 respondents would seriously consider skipping a wedding if their sore throat got worse. When asked about the worst times to get a sore throat, 46 percent believe it would be before giving a speech in public, while 39 percent think it would be before performing or singing.
“The impact of a sore throat can be underestimated—that is, until you have one yourself. Sore throats are inconvenient, painful, and can ultimately make people miss out on things they want and need to do,” says Dr. Omid Mehdizadeh, MD, an ENT surgeon based out of Santa Monica, California in a statement.
“When a sore throat presents, it’s important to remember that there are options like throat sprays and lozenges to quickly relieve the pain and get back to feeling more comfortable and ready to take on the day.”
COVID changed our attitudes about being sick
While 66 percent will still go out in public with minor symptoms, they’re also more prone to take increased precautions.
Those safeguards include wearing a mask (61%), social distancing (59%), and limiting their time outside (54%), all habits encouraged during the ongoing public health crisis. The majority of the poll (78%) add they will either judge or actively avoid interacting with noticeably sick people in public.
“Sickness, symptoms, and the anxiety surrounding them have ruled the lives and minds of so many of us for the last 18 months. While the arrival of yet another cold and flu season presents added stress and worry for many, we aim to help people who are suffering from sore throats, whether they need to focus on work, keep their household up and running, or simply want to relax without pain,” says Mark Pearson, Vice President of Marketing at Reckitt.