Is someone you live with sick? Are you confused if they’re infected?
Are you worried if the deadly Coronavirus has made its way to your home?
If yes, then here is the answer to clear your confusion. The major symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, or feeling super tired for no reason. There are some less common symptoms like diarrhea and sudden loss in their sense of smell or taste.
If they experience such symptoms, then they may be infected and they need your help. While you take care of them you should be careful to follow a few necessary steps.
The first and foremost thing you have to do is call their regular doctor’s office or any of your country’s health departments to report about the symptoms and see if they can arrange for a test. If yes, then immediately take them to the location. While you do so, make sure both of you wear a mask or cloth over both mouth and nose.
Here are a few rules that you need to follow without fail:
- Maintain 6 feet of distance from the sick person, unless any of you have your mouth and nose covered with a mask or a cloth.
- See that the sick person coughs or sneezes into their mask or cloth, or their elbow or tissue so that the virus particles do not come in contact with air. Throw away the tissue after one use.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Wash off the surfaces with soap or disinfectants.
- Unless your hands are washed do not touch your face.
If your loved one has COVID-19 symptoms, but they aren’t so sick that they need to be at the hospital, then you can treat them at home. While they need your supportive care, you should also protect yourself. But, how will you manage to do both things?
Here are 15 ways to do so:
The sick person should stay in a separate bedroom
While they stay at home, see that they are in a separate bedroom and avoid coming out for any reason. Unless it is absolutely necessary, no one from the house should spend time in that room. Children and pets should strictly stay away from that area. See that the room has a proper ventilation facility. Provide them with enough tissues for use and see that they’re disposed of properly after every use.
If there is just one room in the house, then give them that room and you can stay outside so that you can use the living room, kitchen and other spaces while they’re inside.
If possible have a separate bathroom for them
If your house has two bathrooms, then make one of them as the sick person’s and see that none others use it. If there is only one bathroom for your house, then you have to clean each and every surface they touch after they get to the bathroom, so that it is always clean while someone else uses it.
Keep a track of their symptoms regularly
See that you keep a note of temperature multiple times of a day, without coming in close contact with them. Pen down the readings, so that you are aware of any new symptoms.
Make sure they’re hydrated
Ensure that they drink lots of water regularly. They can also consume any non-alcoholic clear liquids.
Educate them about the medication
Inform them about the medication process, as to how often they can take medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen to reduce fever. To understand the dosage, read the label on the bottle and follow it. Then instruct them about the dosage that is acceptable. If they have a severe cough, help them understand the dosage of cough medicine to take and when can they take them.
See that they follow the dosage strictly and do not overdose any medicines or consume alcohol while they medicate. Track the number of medicines they have taken and when did they take. Also, if they have their regular medicines, then let them continue to take unless the doctor advises stopping.
See that they’re not bored
To keep them entertained, ensure they have blankets and pillows, books, magazines, and a computer or TV to pass the time. Also, a charging point close to their bed will be perfect. Better maintain silence in the house and outside so that they sleep well and rest. While you do all of this, maintain an appropriate distance.
Keep distance while you give them food
Use a tray or cookie sheet to provide them with food and drinks when they need.
If they can come out of bed, keep the food and drinks on the tray and place it outside the door. They can take it from there, eat in their room and put the tray outside the door pacing it on the floor.
If they can’t come out of bed, then you should cover your mouth and nose with a mask better entering their room and see that they’ve covered theirs as well. Keep the tray on a table beside their table and then after a while goes, pick it up.
Ensure that their dishes are washed thoroughly with hot water and soap. After handling their dishes, do not touch your face until you wash your hands thoroughly.
Have a separate laundry for them
If any of the residents have their belongings in their room, then get them out of there immediately. Ensure to keep a separate basket, hamper, or bag in the sick room to put their clothes, towels, washcloths, and bedding. Once the basket is full, ask them to put it outside the door. If you have to go in and collect, then cover your mouth and nose thoroughly. See that their clothes are washed separately from others.
Clean the entire house thoroughly
Make use of disinfectant sprays or wipes to clean everything that the infected person has touched during their early days of getting sick or when they were contagious before developing symptoms.
No guests allowed
Ensure that no visitors or anyone working inside, come to your house during this period. If there is a genuine necessity, then meet them outside the house, mainly outdoors, and maintain 6 feet distance with them as well. If they have something for you, then ask them to put it on the floor and after they step back to pick it and take it in.
Make efficient use of technology
Yes, it is weird to have a video call or a voice call to someone just in the next room. But, this will cheer up the sick person as they can connect with you virtually without spreading the virus.
Avoid going out
While you have an infected person at your house, there are chances that you may also be infected. So, avoid going out and make contact with people. If the situations are unavoidable, then wear a mask or a scarf to cover your mouth and nose before leaving the house.
It’s ok to ask for emotional or moral support
Do not worry about telling your friends, neighbors and family about the sick person at your house. Doing so they can help you in getting any stuff from outside. While you experience such a difficult time, you will need emotional support and connection to get through it. But make sure you connect with them with proper maintenance of safety measures.
When to stop isolation
For someone who was infected, they should stay at home and away from others for at least seven days from the start of the symptoms till they are free of fever and without any medicines for three days. Also, their cough or shortness of breath should be gone completely. All three things must be true before they step out.
After isolation is over
After the person is out of isolation and can go out, make sure the sick room is cleaned thoroughly by wiping all hard surfaces, washing bedding including blankets, and vacuuming.
As COVID-19 is a serious and deadly virus, it is quintessential that the person infected should strictly follow the rules to avoid the spread to their loved ones. Also, the person taking care of them and other people at home should be very very careful. As a result of COVID-19, many nursing conferences are postponed and some are conducting the conferences virtually to educate the public. Follow the rules and prevent the outbreak.