A very close member of my family, someone I'm in contact with at least once a week, has a coronavirus.

We always hug and shake hands and embrace each other. That's how we were brought up.

This week when I saw him, I didn't shake his hand or hug him and kept my distance. Why? Because he's sick. He has nasal congestion and briefly felt like he had a fever with fatigue and lots of sneezing and coughing.

At the urging of his close family members, friends and co-workers, he got tested for COVID-19. He tested negative for the "novel coronavirus", but he has another coronavirus, the common cold.

So, we kept our distance and I washed my hands after we met this week. That's what we always do. That's what many health-conscious people do.

If you've ever looked on the back of a can of disinfectant, you'll notice that almost all of them kill coronaviruses. When the pandemic started last year, this briefly brought out the conspiracy theories that "this thing was planned"! Coronaviruses have been around forever, but this new one, COVID-19, was something new and deadlier.

The point is, in the past year, if anyone has a sore throat, runny nose or a cough, we think the worst. The common cold is still out there and you might catch a cold if you live a normal life.

My family member goes to the gym, still flies on planes regularly and lives his life. We were both happy to know the common cold is still around and that not everything you catch is going to be THE BIG ONE.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis's own.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM