How to care for yourself while supporting somebody with COVID

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Brencia Daphne

April 17,2021

If you are in a setting where you are taking continuous care of someone at home who is down with the Coronavirus, there is a lot to follow. It can be very stressful, risky and dangerous in a few situations, especially when you are negative. Most people have a mild illness and may recover at home, but those at greater risk for serious illness, such as older adults and those of any age with serious underlying medical conditions, should seek medical help as soon as symptoms appear. While you need to take care of the person, you need to take precautions and safety for yourself as well. The pandemic can get worse, and with the scary waves that it is bringing especially in a country like India, the whole condition can get very traumatising. Since hygiene, supplies and awareness about the pandemic are less in this country, our primary motive and aim should be to spread as much awareness about the virus as possible – starting with the facts (what it is, how it started, what happens to the person, etc.) and then going onto the importance of new events (precautions such as social distancing, products like hand wash, hand sanitiser, kits, gloves and more, etc.) is very central. Covering this up, facts and skilled advancements are the most effective amongst today’s generation. For example: wearing face masks and shields and not taking them off in public, hand washing for 20 seconds, sanitizing every time you touch something, etc. Here are some of the basic, advanced and important facts that will put a rest to your questions.

During the pandemic, self-care is the number one entity of every person and should be the same way. Self-care should include a wide range of activities that you enjoy while also benefiting your physical, social, spiritual, or mental health. Self-care refers to the actions you do to look after your health. It may include things like hygiene, diet, recreational activities, sports, exercise, and finding professional healthcare when necessary. And, amid a global pandemic, the need to look after our wellbeing — in all of its forms — is critical, because, let's face it, navigating this new normal isn't simple. If you haven't had a fever in at least 72 hours (that's three days without taking any fever-reducing medicine), stay at home, coughing and shortness of breath are among the other symptoms that have changed – and most importantly: it's been at least seven days since the symptoms first appeared. Whereas leaving home is only advisable if you have completed the quarantine period (14 days or so) and in case of no/ very less and minor symptoms are present. In other cases, only in case of emergencies, it is preferred to move out of the house. Keep an eye on the symptoms and contact your doctor if they get worse, and keep checking the oxygen level with an Oximeter. 93 below is considered “dangerous”. Maintaining social distancing is necessary for your and your loved one’s sake. Keep away from family members and pets at home. If you must be around someone, wear a facemask to shield them from your cough and sneeze droplets. Dishes, drinking glasses or cups, eating utensils, sheets, or other bedding should not be shared with anyone in your house. After each use, thoroughly wash these products. Clean and disinfect sinks, microwaves, refrigerators, toilets, showers, and bathtubs. Lastly, it all comes down to you. Make sure you get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, keep yourself hydrated, for a sore throat and cough, use a humidifier or a hot shower, reduce fever and alleviate aches and pains with acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen and finally - consume nutritious foods. After you blow your nose, cough, sneeze, use the toilet, and before eating or cooking food, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

If there is a person/ a few people who are sick, or down with the virus – here is how to take care of them and offering a helping hand. Assist the ill person in following their doctor's care and medication orders. Symptoms only last a few days for most people, and they usually feel better after a week. Check to see if over-the-counter fever medicines make the person feel better. Make sure the sick person gets plenty of fluids and rests. Assist them with food shopping, prescription filling, and other tasks. Keeping your environment clean is the most necessary precaution. Cleaning surfaces and items with a household cleaner containing soap or detergent reduce the number of germs on them and lower the risk of infection from them. In most cases, washing alone is sufficient to clear the majority of virus particles from surfaces. Clean high-touch surfaces and objects regularly (e.g., every day or after each use) and after guests visit. Pay special attention to high-touch surfaces and objects (doorknobs, tables, handles, light switches, phones, remote controls, and countertops). Clean other surfaces in your home as required or when they are dirty. If members of your household are more susceptible to COVID-19, clean them more often. If such conditions exist, disinfect the area. Surfaces should be cleaned with a substance that is appropriate for them. If at all necessary, get the goods shipped by a courier service. Take care of their pet(s) and, if at all possible, avoid contact between the sick person and their pet(s). Watch for warning signs: make a note of their doctor's phone number. If the person's condition worsens, they should see a doctor. In the event of a medical emergency, dial 911 and inform the dispatcher that the person has or may have COVID-19. In case of emergencies -- For COVID-19, look for emergency alert signs. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention right away: breathing problems, chest pain or pressure that persists a new source of perplexity, inability to get out of bed or stay awake, skin, lips, and nail beds that are pale, green, or blue, depending on skin tone and much more. The last and one of the most important points to be taken care of are avoiding physical contact. COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets, which are formed when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet). COVID-19 can be prevented by staying away from other people. Where practicable, the caregiver should not be someone who is at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 illness. The sick person should be alone. The infected person should be kept apart from the rest of the family. If at all necessary, make the sick person sleep in a separate room and use a different toilet. If at all possible, keep the sick person in their own "sick room" or place, away from other people. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from the sick person. If you must share space, make sure the room has adequate ventilation. These are pretty much all the important steps to be kept in mind to meet a better future, live in a society with a fully developed knowledge on the virus and its risks as well as precautions. This can help the world to fight the war with Covid and get everyone to join the force.