As Beijing, Shanghai and other cities in China are going through a wave of COVID infections, chances are you’re already 🐑 (阳 yáng), positive.
If not – hang in there!
This week, we’ve prepared a list of medicine items that can help you relieve the COVID-19 symptoms.
🐑 Why “Sheep”?
Before we begin, let’s clarify: what’s the deal with sheep?
Turns out that the word “positive” in Chinese sounds identical to the word “sheep” (羊, yáng):
And since being “positive” is a rather serious and unpleasant matter, in order to avoid any discomfort or discrimination against people who’ve tested positive, the Chinese internet has adopted a soft, cute nickname “sheep” to refer to them. It can come in a variety of shapes, forms and emojis:
🐑 / “羊” / yáng
COVID Symptoms + Medicine
We are a Chinese language school, not doctors, but we want to help. Use this list for reference, but in case you’re feeling really bad and/or cannot find the medicine you need, go to the hospital. This is the most secure way to get the right medicine.
01. High Fever
The first covid symptom that might require medicine is high fever:
to have a fever
(lit. “to emit-heat”)
To reduce the fever, you’d want a medicine that can make the fever “retreat”:
fever-reducing medicine; antipyretic
(lit. “to retreat-fever-medicine”)
The general recommendation is to take 退烧药 (tuìshāoyào) if the fever is higher than 38.5. Otherwise, it’s better to give your body a chance to fight the virus on its own.
Let’s look at the names of some common 退烧药 (tuìshāoyào).
Bù luò fēn
Duì yǐ xiān ān jī fēn
Pū rè xī tòng
Paracetamol (loan word)
02. Muscle Pain / Soreness
Another unpleasant symptom might be muscle pain:
浑身疼 / 全身疼
húnshēn téng / quánshēn téng
(lit. “all over-body-hurts”)
In case you experience it, there’s a drug that can relieve the pain:
Fù fāng ān fēn wán àn jiāonáng
Compound paracetamol and amantadine hydrochloride capsules
⚠️ It’s not advised to take this drug together with paracetamol.
Besides this drug, ibuprofen and paracetamol can also help relieve the pain.
03. Runny / Stuffed Nose
One more unpleasant symptom can be a runny nose:
(lit. “to flow-nose-mucus”)
Quite descriptive, isn’t it? In case you have it, these drops can help:
Xī tì lì qín dījì
And in case you have a stuffy nose, or 鼻塞 (bísè), this spray seems helpful:
Qiǎng jiǎ zuò lín pēnwùjì
Oxymetazoline nasal spray
⚠️ It’s not advised to use this spray for more than 7 days.
04. Sore Throat
Another common symptom is sore throat.
to have a sore throat
咽痛 yāntòng • sore throat (a bit more official)
喷雾剂 pēnwùjì • spray
One of the recommended sprays against it is:
Kāi hóu jiàn pēnwùjì
And there is a version of it for children, too:
Kāi hóu jiàn pēnwùjì (értóng xíng)
Kaihoujian spray (for children)
止咳 zhǐké • to relieve cough
化痰 huàtán • to reduce phlegm
口服液 kǒufúyè • oral liquid / syrup
To relieve cough, search for these cough syrups:
Huì fēi níng kǒufúyè
Huifeining oral liquid
Fú ěr kě dìng kǒufúyè
Forcodine oral liquid
To reduce phlegm, these pills might be helpful:
Ān xiù suǒ
06. Loss of Taste / Smell
Finally, one last common symptom is:
shīqù wèijué hé xiùjué
loss of taste and smell
Unfortunately, doctors online say there is no medicine against that. These senses come back naturally within a few weeks.
“Yin” and “Yang”
Have you noticed how similar the characters for “negative” and “positive” are?
In order not to confuse the two, you can remember that:
🌛 阴 – “negative” is “cold”, with a moon (月) on the right;
☀️ 阳 + “positive” is “hot”, with a sun (日) on the right.
TIP: If even that doesn’t help, remember that “negative” (阴) is the one with tiny legs. You can still go to work/school/other public places if you’re negative.
Practice with Teachers
To discuss the most common medicine
with Chinese teachers,
book a free trial class with That’s Mandarin.