What to Do if You Have COVID-19
Here are some useful tips that can help you and your loved ones manage and recover from COVID-19. Please share and don’t panic. Let’s also promise to mask up, stay safe and look out for each other during this difficult time.
1. Stay Calm and Self‑Isolate
As soon as you feel any symptoms including sore throat, a cough, loose motions or mild fever, isolate yourself immediately. This simple act of caution can save lives and help reduce the spread of COVID‑19. Please don’t panic either. Remember that most people recover from COVID‑19 and do not require hospitalization.
2. Consult A Doctor
Reach out to a doctor by phone who can assess your condition and advise you on the best course of action. They might recommend that you stay at home and manage the symptoms, or that you need to go to hospital.
3. Stay Apart
If you have been advised by a doctor to stay at home due to COVID-19, keep yourself away from the rest of the household and stay in a separate room (if possible) with all the essential items you will need for a 10‑day stay. This will help protect those in your household from contracting the virus. If it’s an option, self‑isolate in a room with an attached bathroom or toilet or washroom.
4. Wear A Mask
Make sure that you and anyone else interacting with you in‑person is wearing a triple‑layered mask that covers the nose and mouth completely. Do not touch the outer surface of the mask or your face.
5. Wash Your Hands
You have heard this often and it remains very important to help control the spread of diseases such as COVID‑19. Wash your hands frequently with soap or a 70 per cent alcohol‑based sanitizer. When you are self‑isolating because of COVID‑19 and want the room cleaned, please do it yourself with a disinfectant or soap. Utensils and dishes should be cleaned with soap/detergent and water while wearing gloves. The utensils and dishes may be re‑used. Don't share personal items like utensils and towels with others.
6. Check Your Oxygen Levels
It's important to keep an eye on your oxygen saturation levels regularly using a pulse oximeter. Put your finger in, press the button and wait to see your oxygen level and pulse rate appear on the screen. Check it every six hours or more frequently if your breaths are coming in too fast. The typical healthy range for oxygen saturation is between 95% and 99%. If it falls below 94% contact your doctor immediately and seek medical advice.
7. Monitor Your Temperature
Every six hours, use a thermometer and see if you have developed a fever. If you have a fever, check your temperature more frequently to see if the fever is subsiding or increasing. It might be a useful practice to note down the oxygen level and temperatures so it’s easier to keep track.
8. Do Tepid Sponging
Give yourself a tepid sponge refresh using tap water. Do not use cold water. Ideally, if you are very unwell, have a caregiver or family member available to provide care. The caregiver should wear gloves and a triple layered mask while giving any support.
9. Only Have Medicines if A Doctor Prescribes
If you are at home, a doctor may prescribe medicines to relieve symptoms. Do not self‑medicate. Home concoctions like garlic, camphor and carom seed (ajwain) bundles
cannot improve oxygen levels.
10. Trust Verified Information Only
Do not fall for false information from unverified sources. You should never self medicate, only take what the doctor prescribes you.
11. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well
Drink enough water and eat nutritious meals even if you are unable to smell or taste them. There is no food known to treat or cure COVID‑19 but eating healthy meals loaded with nutrients is useful to help your body recover.
12. Rest and Relax
Your body and mind both need to rest and relax when you have COVID‑19. Resist the temptation to doomscroll on social media and instead spend your time reading books, watching TV shows and films, listening to music, and having calls with your loved ones.
13. Look out for danger signs
When you or a loved one are isolating at home due to a COVID‑19 diagnosis and your doctor’s advice, look out for warning signs that indicate the need to immediately go to hospital and seek emergency medical intervention.
14. Practice Proning if Oxygen Level is Low
If a person’s oxygen level drops below 94% and medical attention is not imminently possible, proning at home is advised as an effective breathing aid.
Avoid proning for an hour after meals. Maintain proning for only as many times as it feels tolerable. One may be able to prone for up to 16 hours a day in multiple cycles as per the comfort level. Adjust the pillows slightly if you need to alter pressure areas. If someone is helping you they should be triple masked and wear gloves.
15. Continue COVID‑Appropriate Behaviour
To prevent COVID19, all of us have to continue wearing masks (the correct way), washing our hands frequently with soap, maintaining a distance of two meters, staying home and isolating if we have symptoms and getting vaccinated. Together all of these steps will be the weapon that helps us fight this pandemic.
It is a tough time and all emotions worrying about yourself or your loved ones are valid.
What can help is making sure that we are there for each other and stepping up to protect those around us.
Share this with everyone you care about.
Source/Reference: UNICEF INDIA