Contracing Covid: One Tip You Should Follow NOW!

As of this writing (January 17, 2021), according to the CDC, Covid cases are again on the rise.

For my “day job,” I work in healthcare. Part of my job requires me to work in a health center that does Covid-19 testing, sometimes even transporting Covid specimens to a shipment center. As such, I daily hear or see firsthand the crazy variety of symptoms (and sometimes complete lack of symptoms) that patients experience who test positive for this dastardly virus. I’m also privy to the thoughts a bevy of brilliant doctors who daily study this disease and its effects on the human body. Lastly, both my husband and I personally had coronavirus, so I can speak with experience about what it’s like. (Hint: it really sucks!) Therefore, I want to share with you some tips–one very important tip, really–to help you prepare for the possibility (some say likelihood), that you develop Covid-19.

Prepare! Prepare now! If, God forbid, you are diagnosed with Covid, your next instructions will be, “Go home. Isolate.” That means, Do Not Pass Go! Do not go to the grocery store. Do not go to the pharmacy (unless you’re visiting a drive-through pharmacy window to pick up a prescription). Go straight home and stay there, until you reach the end of your quarantine period AND are fever-free without the help of fever-reducing meds for 24 hours.  That also means you should prepare now for a Covid diagnosis.

What should you have on hand at home? For starters, right now—as in right this minute!—purchase these “Covid Cocktail” ingredients recommended by the College of Emergency Medicine. Unfortunately, hubs and I didn’t have all these items on hand, so we had to wait two days for an Amazon delivery to receive everything. We definitely saw an improvement in our symptoms with this cocktail, and neither of us ended up in the hospital, which is the ultimate goal. According to the College of Emergency Medicine (and several of my providers), there’s evidence that one week’s worth of these at-home remedies can reduce the severity of Covid-19 and therefore may help prevent hospitalization.

  • Vitamin D – suggest 4000-5000 units per day
  • Vitamin C – 2000 mg twice a day
  • Melatonin – any standard dose, twice a day
  • Aspirin 325 mg daily – NOTE: Do not take if you have a bleeding disorder or are already taking anticoagulation therapy (blood thinners), such as Coumadin.
  • Honey – 1 teaspoon or more daily (I recommend in a cup of hot tea.)
  • Zinc lozenges – every 2-3 hours as tolerated
  • Listerine or similar gargle – four times a day

It sounds like quite a list; however, I found the vitamins and zinc (as well as a few other known immunity enhancers) in one simple supplement called Immune Defense, on Amazon. (No, I don’t get a kickback if you buy this. Simply trying to help you out.) We also liked the little packets of Emergen-C, which made it easy to get an extra dose of vitamin C each day. In fact, we still take those now!

It’s also important to stock up now on comfort items you’ll want if you’re stuck at home for two weeks. Think about what you want or crave when you have a bad cold or the flu. Fortunately, we have grocery delivery where we live, and our list included chicken noodle soup, saltine crackers, oranges, tangerines, soft tissues, cough drops (necessary for that dry Covid cough which constantly tickles your throat), ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever. Buy (or make ahead now and freeze) simple-to-prepare meals, as you won’t feel much like cooking if you develop Covid, yet you’ll still need to eat well to give your body fuel to fight the virus. Keep some cash on hand, as well as some small envelopes, so you can tip your delivery drivers without being face-to-face, or simply tip on your card. Tip generously. These folks are bravely helping you through an awful sickness.

Additionally, I recommend buying a pulse oximeter. You can find these in most pharmacies, or even some grocery and superstores. Shortness of breath is a scary, even life-threatening symptom of Covid, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your oxygen level. Head to the ER if your oxygen level drops below your doctor’s parameter (usually 92). If you do develop Covid, you should do daily deep-breathing exercises to help clear your lungs and raise your oxygen level. Simply take a very deep breath, hold it for five seconds, and let it whoosh out. Repeat six times. On the sixth time, cough out as hard as you can—but be sure to cover your mouth, or better still, step outdoors alone to do this exercise. Fresh air will do you good!

Here’s hoping you don’t get coronavirus, but if you do, I hope you’ll be better prepared now that you have these tips. Remember that prevention is best, so wash your hands, wear your mask, socially distance, and when it’s available to you, get the vaccine!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor. Follow your doctor’s recommendations. Get vaccinated!

How to Survive Self-Isolation: Seven Tips and an Important Warning!

Most cases of Covid-19 (a strain of coronavirus) have manageable (if uncomfortable) symptoms, similar to influenza or even a bad case of common cold, in people who have otherwise healthy immune symptoms. Covid-19, however, is highly contagious, so if you’re exposed, your doctor will certainly recommend self-isolation. How on earth do you handle that? How will you survive fourteen days trapped inside your home alone or—possibly more concerning—with your family? Here are some suggestions to make your quarantine more manageable and—dare I say it?—possibly pleasant!

First, don’t think of it as isolation. Mindset is everything! Consider this a two-week recuperation from all things hectic: no work frustrations, no crowds, no traffic jams . . . sounds heavenly, doesn’t it! Rest and hydration are two of the most important factors in recovery from this virus, as well as recovery from influenza, common cold, and other viral miseries. Be sure to take whatever meds your doctor prescribes, and eat healthy foods as tolerated, especially those containing vitamin C. Push fluids by keeping a glass of water beside you at all times, and take a sip every time you even glance at it. Wash your hands often, and disinfect hard surfaces in your home. This is especially important if you are quarantined with friends or family, as you don’t want to infect or re-infect one another.

Next, be prepared. No, I’m not talking about stocking up on a year’s supply of toilet paper! Truly, folks, don’t lose your mind here. While this may be a zombie-prepper’s dream, it’s only a break for a couple of weeks, and you’ve long needed that kind of R & R, haven’t you? There’s no need to go crazy here. Shop now for the comfort foods you prefer when you’re home with a cold or flu: chicken broth, soups, oatmeal, oranges, etc. And since you may not feel bad for the duration of your quarantine, purchase ingredients for a couple of recipes you’ve long wanted to try but haven’t had the time to make. That 28-ingredient homemade pasta dish, for example. If not now, when? Helpful hint: canned goods, dried beans and pastas, root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, and fruits like apples and citrus foods have a longer shelf life, so you don’t have to worry about spoilage over your two-week isolation.

toilet paper shortage

Quarantined without warning? No need to panic! Most large-chain grocery stores (Publix, Walmart, Kroger, etc.) offer home delivery. Pay by debit/credit card and ask the driver to ring the doorbell and leave your packages on your porch. (An Isolation – Please leave packages here sign on your front door will suffice. Be kind and tape an envelope containing a tip below your sign.) This is an excellent time to make use of your Amazon Prime account, because they’ll deliver anything you imagine to your door free of charge in a day’s time. And hey, most pizza delivery and Chinese food delivery places offer hot soups, fresh salads, and steamed veggies that’ll help support your immune system while you’re recovering during this mini-vaycay.

Catch up on entertainment. Now’s the perfect time to binge watch all those Netflix series that your friends have been talking about. And that stack of to-be-reads on your nightstand? Curl up with a cup of tea, a warm blanket, and a fur-baby by your side, and you’re in self-care heaven!

Enjoy a spa day at home. Once you’re on the road to recovery, enjoy a steamy bath with a cup of Epsom salts, dried oatmeal, bath oil, or lavender buds. Turn off the lights and burn a scented candle, then follow your relaxing soak with a slathering of rich body cream. Next up? A self-serve mani-pedi, perhaps while watching that chick-flick only you wanted to see.

Do something creative. Now’s the time to drag out that cross stitch kit or art project that’s been hiding out in your spare closet. Write a poem or a story. Send a handwritten letter to a parent or favorite aunt. Organize a drawer or rearrange a shelf. Declutter a closet and start a box for charity. Be sure to limit physical activity to thirty minutes or so at a time. You don’t want to overdo it while you’re recovering.

Reconnect with your family. Isolated with your spouse or kiddos? Once everyone is feeling up to it, break out the Monopoly board or Yahtzee game. Teach your kids some card tricks. Watch a classic movie—you know the one—the one that was your favorite when you were their ages. (Prepare for eyerolls and groans, as well as laughter.) Over a steamy bowl of soup at the dining table, take turns answering “200 (Not Boring) Questions To Ask To Get To Know Someone Better” from this great list from Women’s Health. Ten years from now, you’ll be laughing as you say, “Remember how silly we were that time we were all isolated with coronavirus?”

While no one wants to be kept home sick, with the right attitude toward rest and recovery, you can make the best of your quarantine while avoiding cabin fever. By the time your two-week self-isolation is over, you’ll be recuperated, relaxed, and ready to return to work or school with a self-indulgent smile.

IMPORTANT: If you experience worsening symptoms such as fever of 102 or higher while on fever-reducing medication such at Tylenol or Advil, difficulty breathing, delirium, or chest pain, call or your doctor or 911 immediately. You may be experiencing a true medical emergency.

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