FAMILY HEALTH

Being Positive During the Covid-19 Pandemic read

May 06 2021

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At the onset of 2020, the world as we know it was shook to its very core by an unprecedented global pandemic. A little over a year later, a lot has changed but if there’s one thing that hasn’t, it’s the bitter fact that the Corona virus is here to stay for the time being. With people falling victim to its second wave at an increasingly alarming rate, it’s now more vital than ever that we not only take care of those near and dear to us, but also focus on our own safety and wellness.

So how do you go about protecting yourself as well as others against this invisible nemesis? Well, for starters, prevention is better than cure, isn’t it? Simply follow a handful of golden rules to do your bit towards stopping the spread and flattening the curve.

  1. SUIT UP: Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth completely
  2. RINSE & REPEAT: Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and frequently
  3. STAND OUT: Avoid crowds outside and poorly ventilated indoor spaces
  4. BE IN YOUR ZONE: Socially distance yourself by staying 6 feet apart from others
  5. TAKE A SHOT: Get vaccinated at the earliest when it is available to you

Now that we’ve covered the basic protocols for staying safe, let’s address a common dilemma. Someone is sick at home? Feeling unwell yourself lately? Already assuming the worst has happened? Leaving no room for doubt can be as easy as picking up on early signs of Covid-19.

Most Common Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Dry Cough
  • Tiredness

Less Common Symptoms:

  • Aches & Pains
  • Sore Throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache
  • Loss of Taste or Smell
  • Rash on Skin
  • Discoloration of Fingers or Toes

Serious Symptoms:

  • Difficulty Breathing or Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pain or Pressure
  • Loss of Speech or Movement

Are you or a family member currently experiencing symptoms of Covid-19? First things first, DO NOT PANIC. Easier said than done? Of course! Extremely important? Yes! Pull yourself together and take measures to prepare for the inevitable scenario at home. After all, life goes on even with a Covid-19 patient in the house, right?

 

KEEP ALL YOUR CONTACTS HANDY

For Health Information and Care:

Your Doctor, Health Facilities, Health Centre, Hotlines & Medical Emergency Numbers

For Your Support Network:

Relatives, Friends, Neighbours, Colleagues, School & Office Numbers    

 

PREPARE FOR HOME QUARANTINE

Health & Safety: Stock up on supplies such as common medicines, disposable masks & gloves and cleaners/disinfectants.

Home Deliveries: Arrange a support network for medicines, groceries and other essentials.

Once your preparations for isolation at home are in place, it’s better to confirm your suspicions by getting a Covid-19 test done for those who are showing symptoms. If the result indicates positive for the virus, you might find your mind flooded with a flurry of questions. How do you know when emergency care is needed? How long is isolation necessary? What can you do to prevent the virus from spreading at home? How can you support a sick loved one and simultaneously manage your stress?

The good news is that in most cases, people with the Corona virus infection tend to lay low for a couple of weeks with mild illness and usually recover in the confines of their home without the need for hospitalization. However, when it comes to supportive care for a family member down with Covid-19 or caring for your own health and safety, following certain ground rules can help you curb further spread of the virus and make quarantine life seem like a routine.

Create an In-House Bubble

Identify a bedroom where the patient can be isolated for the duration of the quarantine i.e. 10-14 days, until proven Covid-19 negative by a RT PCR test.

Keep a window open so that the room is always well-ventilated with sufficient air circulation.

Designate a washroom to be used only by the patient and no one else in the house. 

Help Monitor Symptoms

Remind the patient to check their oxygen level with a pulse oximeter thrice a day. If it is consistently above 95, there’s no need to worry. If it drops below 93 at any point, contact a doctor immediately.

Set a reminder for the patient to monitor and note down their temperature and pulse every 6 hours. If 1020 F temperature and pulse above 130 persists for 3 days, contact a doctor.

Provide Sufficient Hydration

Ensure the patient consumes 2.5-4.5 litres of water daily depending on their body size.

Avoid giving the patient fruit juices and caffeine-rich drinks as they cause dehydration.

Instead, provide a glass of coconut water every day to supplement their body with natural electrolytes.

The patient can have a concoction of ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, fennel seeds and lemon mixed with warm water, up to twice a day as a supplement.

Nourish with Healthy Food

The patient ought to have 5 small-medium meals or 3 regular meals daily.

Ensure the patient gets at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This will promote cell regeneration of all types.

Provide food with healthy fats to fasten the healing process with their anti-inflammatory properties.

Avoid excess sugar as increased blood glucose levels can increase the chances of bacterial infection.

Anti-oxidant-rich fruits are recommended such as apple, pomegranate, muskmelon, orange, papaya, kiwi or an occasional mango.

Encourage to Stay Active

In the first week, the patient can try simple Pranayam and Anulom-Vilom for 10 minutes, 2-3 times a day to focus on breathing.

It is important to not stress the body and hence, cardio and any sort of strength training is to be avoided.

The patient must walk within their room for 8-10 minutes, twice a day to stretch their legs.

Lying down on the stomach from time-to-time is advisable for the patient to breathe better and increase oxygen saturation.

Remember, weight gain or loss is normal in these circumstances. Be patient with it.

Provide Safe Room Service

If the patient can get out of bed: Put the food and drinks on a tray and leave it outside their closed door. The patient can get the tray, eat in their room, and then put it back on the floor outside the room once they’re done.

If the patient can’t get out of bed: Wear a mask over your mouth and nose when you go in their room, and have the patient cover theirs too. Place the food and drinks at their bedside and go back after a while to pick it up, wearing a mask again. Don’t touch your face after handling their dishes and wash your hands thoroughly after you touch anything they ate or drank from. Wash their dishes thoroughly with hot water and soap.

Keep the Laundry Separate

Ensure the patient has a laundry basket, hamper or bag in their room to put their clothes, towels and bedding in. Ask them to leave it outside their door when it’s full or wear a mask when you go in to get it. Wash their laundry separately from everyone else’s.

Ease their Discomfort

Keep the patient comfortable and entertained at all times with blankets, pillows, books, magazines, laptop/tablet, and/or a television to pass the time like a breeze.

Always Stay Connected

Uplift the patient’s mood and morale by being in touch virtually. Although it may seem a bit absurd to video chat or voice call with someone in the next room, it’s these little things that can make a big difference to their emotional wellbeing.

Whew! That was a long list of DOs and DON’Ts, wasn’t it? But now that you’re well-versed with all the care and safety measures to be taken at home for a Covid-19 infected family member, the only question that remains is what to do once the quarantine period is over, right?

If the patient is not tested again: Isolation can end if at least 10 days have passed since the symptoms started and at least 24 hours have elapsed with no fever, that too without medication.

If the patient is tested again: The doctor will determine when it’s safe to be around others based on the test results.

With the Corona virus continuing to wreak havoc in countless lives, it’s imperative that you don’t shy away from seeking help from people, whether it’s coping with an elderly family member’s physical challenges, the stress on your mental health or even trying to stay afloat financially. The key to winning this battle lies in fighting it collectively. We can. We will. All we need to do is Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Together. 

 

 

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