Covid-19 symptoms can vary from mild to severe. By consulting a doctor, you’ll be able to get the best advice so you can recover as early as possible. One thing’s sure, people with coronavirus symptoms but aren’t yet confirmed positive should stay at home for quarantine.
If you stay in a home with a sick person, you must take precautions to avoid infection while assisting the afflicted person in recovering. Because the human body is intended to combat viruses, the patient’s body could quickly recover if given the proper medication at home.
1. Protecting Yourself
Because the coronavirus is contagious, looking for someone who is infected in the same home can be risky. To avoid contracting the virus, you should observe protective measures all the time.
Dedicate an Isolation Room for the Patient
COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets, which are emitted when someone speaks, coughs, and sneezes. Therefore, a separate room should be dedicated for the sick person. If that’s not possible, keep a two-meter or three-step distance between you and them. A medical mask should be worn by the sick individual and anyone else in the same room.
The reserved room must have its comfort room, so it won’t be necessary for the patient to go outside the room. Moreover, ensure that there is good airflow in the room by opening the windows and improving ventilation to eliminate respiratory droplets in the atmosphere.
Wear Your PPE
When entering the isolation room where the patient stays, always observe proper wearing of a mask. Remember that you can still catch Covid-19 even if you’ve been vaccinated. Therefore, being fully vaccinated doesn’t make you completely resistant to the virus, so wearing PPE is advised.
When you touch or come into contact with the patient’s blood, stool, or even bodily fluids like saliva, mucus, vomit, or urine, always wear your gloves. Discard your gloves in a lidded trash can and wash your hands immediately.
When washing the utensils used by the sick person, do it using gloves and hot water. Wear gloves while handling the dishes, glasses, and silverware. You can wash them in the dishwasher either with soap and hot water.
2. Cleaning and Disinfecting Surfaces
To prevent the spread of infection, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects regularly. Cleaning surfaces and items with a household cleaner containing soap or detergent minimize the number of microorganisms and lowers the chance of infection from surfaces.
However, when dealing with big institutions like hospitals and clinics, cleaning with soap and detergent would not be enough to disinfect. You must seek professional help from the experts who would do on-site infection prevention and control assessment that helps prevent an infection furthermore.
Take note that cleaning and disinfecting are two different jobs. Cleaning removes dirt, grease, and debris from surfaces, typically with water and detergent. Cleaning may eliminate certain infections, but the cleaning cloth or sponge might spread germs to other surfaces.
To clean efficiently and adequately, you must first clear any visible matter from the surface by scrubbing it with a detergent.
On the other side, disinfecting kills the great majority of microorganisms on surfaces by using the right chemical product and applying it for the right amount of time. You can buy commercial disinfectants in the store, or you can make a homemade version for yourself.
Pay special attention to high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, handles, tables, light switches, remote controls, phones, and countertops.
Using chlorine bleach, make your disinfecting solution. Before using chlorine bleach, make sure your skin and eyes are protected with rubber gloves and safety glasses. All you have to do is mix 50 parts water and 1 part chlorine bleach (5%) in a 50:1 ratio. This solution is an intermediate disinfectant that will effectively disinfect all surfaces.
3. Buying the Essentials
There are certain supplies that you need at home so you can take care of the patient well.
High fever can manifest, so keeping the patient hydrated can help alleviate discomfort. In addition, coughing, sneezing, and even breathing can cause nose irritation, and water can help in minimizing it. Water also aids in the healing of torn membranes, preventing the further spread of bacteria.
If the patient has respiratory conditions, taking the routine respiratory medicines is essential so store enough supply until the patient recovers.
Over-the-counter cough medications are ineffective in treating Covid-19. However, it can be tried if the patient is willing. Coughs may also be relieved by pure honey or cough drops with honey.
A sick person’s body temperature should be monitored twice a day so you can observe if the fever has gotten worse so you can seek medical assistance right away.
You can give the thermometer to the patients so they can keep track of their body temperature by themselves while in isolation.
Even catching a typical cold can be distressing now since the Covid-19 early symptoms are similar. Vitamin C can be part of your viral preventive approach as the caregiver. However, take note that COVID-19 is a far more dangerous respiratory viral infection that can result in pneumonia.
If the patient has any other chronic illnesses, Covid-19 puts them at a higher risk of severe problems if they have diabetes, heart disease, or immune system disorders. That’s why routine medications should be available in the house.
While in isolation, taking care of mental health is also necessary. You can give the patient books or get them to watch movies by themselves to get entertained while being alone.
4. When to Call a Doctor
As a caregiver, you should ask for the contact details of the patient’s doctor in case of emergencies. There are indications or warning signs that need medical attention right away.
Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department if the patient’s symptoms grow severe, especially if they have difficulties breathing, chest pain or pressure, bluish lips, or are disoriented.
Observe if the patient’s skin, lips, and nail beds are gray or pale, depending on the patient’s skin tone. If this shows, you have to call the doctor right away. The doctor will assess whether the patient needs to visit a medical facility, be tested, or be taken care of at home.
Staying with a potentially infected family member can be stressful. Although it’s not yet confirmed if the sick person is Covid-19 positive, you should take the situation as if the patient is infected so you can deter further spread of the virus in the household.