While the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, it’s likely that you know someone whose life has been affected by the COVID-19 disease. With almost 2.5 million cases confirmed cases worldwide, it’s important to know what to do if you think you have the virus. Living situations vary greatly, you might live alone, with a roommate, or in a household with your family or a significant other. If you’re helping care for others, self-isolation can be difficult or completely impractical. Here are recommendations for how to adjust if you suspect you or someone in your household has COVID-19, but is not sick enough for hospitalization.
At the first sign of coronavirus symptoms, call your doctor or local health department immediately to list your symptoms and seek advice. Your doctor can work with the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make a decision if testing is recommended. While you may be tempted to travel to a doctor’s office, it is important to call instead because it reduces the chance of exposing others and yourself, since you will have another illness, like the flu. Also, take care to tell your doctor of any underlying health conditions, if they are not already aware, because it allows them to recommend medication that should and should not be taken as well as lifestyle adjustments, including what vital signs you should monitor as the virus progresses.
As soon as you begin developing symptoms of COVID-19, it is important to isolate yourself from others. While, this could be especially difficult while living with others, try and stay in a separate bedroom. If there are no extra rooms, make sure to wear a mask or face covering and maintain a 6-foot distance at all times. Also, anyone you interact with should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Any surfaces you touch should be disinfected and avoid sharing anything with anyone who isn’t sick.
While there aren’t any current specific treatments for coronavirus, there are ways to alleviate your symptoms to help make you more comfortable. To help lower your fever and relieve any aches and pains, take paracetamol but don’t take ibuprofen, because it can dampen your immune reaction and aggravate pneumonia symptoms. As for your cough, drink hot lemon and honey tea.
It’s vital to create sure you stay hydrated and nourished while you’re ill. You should be drinking enough so your urine is clean. While water is best, you can also drink teas or diluted juices. Eating foods with high water content, like soups, jelly, and fruit, can even help you stay hydrated. It isn’t unusual to lose your appetite while sick so you may find eating difficult. However, nutritious, simple food, like soup, rice, and oatmeal, are easy to eat, but be sure to also incorporate as many fruits and vegetables as possible. The BRAT diet, standing for banana, rice, applesauce, and toast, also works well as it’s bland while being gentle on the stomach.
While isolating at home, you will find yourself feeling lonely and restless. It is important to make staying connected with loved ones a priority through regular phone calls, messaging, and video calls. Additionally, to assist with restlessness, it is important to keep yourself engaged. Since a typical symptom is shortness of breath, exercise may be difficult but stretching and yoga are good light ways to remain active. Breathing exercises might also help with breathing difficulty because it causes you to be mindful of your lungs’ current capacity. If you discover those too laborious in your current state, keep your spirits up through taking note of music, watching shows or movies, and any other calming hobbies you enjoy.
Through all of this, if you have been tested, the CDC recommends that you can leave your home after no longer having a fever, improvement with other symptoms, and two negative test results in a row 24 hours apart. If you cannot get tested however you can still leave after having no fever for a minimum of 72 hours, improvement with other symptoms, and a minimum of 7 days after your symptoms first appeared.
No one enjoys being sick, but thankfully recovery from coronavirus takes about only two weeks on the average. This may feel like a long time, but you can use that period to take care of yourself and focus on small activities you enjoy, whether that’s catching up on your favorite shows, getting back in touch with loved ones, or reading that novel that’s been waiting on your bookcase. Remember that this too shall pass and you’re going to be okay.