The coronavirus pandemic has already claimed almost 90,000 lives globally. The world economy is struggling, people have locked themselves indoors, doctors are working day and night to save lives and governments all over the world are trying to contain the spread of the virus. In short, coronavirus has created unprecedented havoc. Everyone is scared, anxious and paranoid. When a member of the family sneezes or coughs, everyone gets stressed. What if it is coronavirus? But if it is indeed coronavirus? What if your symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 and they persist or get worse?
Matthew Reynolds with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA has listed out some steps that you can take to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. Here is how you can manage coronavirus at home and prevent the spread.
1. Stay at home
People who are mildly sick with COVID-19 should self-isolate at home during their illness. Restrict your activity to your home, except for getting medical care.
2. Monitor your symptoms carefully
In case you have a cold or fever or any other coronavirus symptoms like diarrhea, make sure you monitor your symptoms carefully. Keep a log of your body temperature to monitor the severity of your infection. If your symptoms worsen, seek medical help.
3. Rest and stay hydrated
Taking proper rest and staying hydrated is important even when you are not sick. But in case you think you might have coronavirus, make sure you limit your activities and drink copious amounts of water.
4. Call ahead
If you think you have might have coronavirus, make sure you call ahead before visiting your doctor. Inform them about your symptoms and that you suspect you have COVID-19. This would enable them to take necessary precautions so that others at the clinic or hospital do not get infected by you. Ensure that you wear a mask and gloves, and touch surfaces as little as possible when you step out of your house for the check-up.
5. If your symptoms are severe, visit a hospital
If your symptoms are severe, make absolutely no delay in visiting a hospital. There are several apps launched by the state governments as well as the central government to help patients in need of medical aid. Aarogya Setu is one such app. These apps can help you assess your symptoms. If these symptoms match those of coronavirus, the apps also guide you about what steps you should take next.
6. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
Every time you cough or sneeze, make sure you use a tissue paper and dispose it of properly as soon as you have used it. In case, you don’t have a tissue paper, sneeze/cough into your elbow. Do not cover your mouth with your palms.
Self-isolate yourself. This cannot be stressed enough. If you roam around the house, you might infect your family members as well.
7. Clean your hands often
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. The virus can stay on objects that were touched by an infected person. Which is why hand hygiene is the key to containing the spread of COVID-19.
8. Stay away from others in your home
As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room, away from other family members. Also, use a separate bathroom and clean any surfaces that you ought to touch. Self-isolate yourself. This cannot be stressed enough. If you roam around the house, you might infect your family members as well.
Ensure that you have minimal contact with family members living under the same roof. Cooking for yourself, washing your own clothes, utensils and cleaning your surroundings are some of the measures you can take to cut off physical contact with family members.
9. Avoid sharing personal items
The virus can stay on the objects you use and touch. Therefore, you should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
10. Clean all surfaces that are touched often
You should keep all the surfaces clean, especially the ones that are touched often. High-touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables. This ensures that the virus doesn’t stay on the objects.
Ayushi Aggarwal is an intern at SheThePeople.TV.