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!