During these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that you take exceptional care of yourself and others to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Have you contracted COVID-19, or do you think you might have been infected with COVID-19? Here are 10 steps that health experts recommend you undertake to take care for yourself and help protect other people in your home and community from getting exposed to COVID-19.
Self-care Advice: 10 Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You Have COVID-19
- Except when going to get medical care, you’re advised to stay at home
To most, COVID-19 is a mild illness from which they recover at home without requiring medical assistance. However, to help slow down its spread, you are advised to stay indoors unless getting medical care and avoid public areas. Take care of your body by ensuring you get enough sleep and rest. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and caffeine-free fluids.
- Quarantine yourself away from other people
To minimize the risk of spreading the virus within your household, try as much as possible to stay in a specific room. Avoid pets and people and let your close contacts know you have been exposed to the virus to allow them to take protective measures.
- Closely monitor your symptoms
Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever, difficulty in breathing, and others. Follow the instructions given to you by your physician. You may take prescription medication, such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Advil), and cough medicine, to manage your symptoms.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately If:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored face, skin, lips, or nail beds.
*This list of symptoms is NOT exhaustive; you’ll need to get in touch with your healthcare provider for any other concerning symptoms you may have.
If you are having any of these symptoms, call your local emergency facility or 911 and notify the dispatcher that you need care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
- Before visiting your doctor, call in advance
Cancel all non-urgent routine care medical visits. Alternatively, these appointments can be done over the phone or using telehealth technologies. For appointments that cannot be canceled, notify the hospital beforehand and let them know you may have COVID-19 as a protective measure.
- Get tested for COVID-19
If you are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, get tested. You may also want to consider getting vaccinated against COVID-19, depending on your test results and your provider’s recommendation.
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
Before interacting with other people and animals, ensure you wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth. When unable to put on the mask due to reasons such as difficulty in breathing, maintain the recommended social distance of at least 6 feet.
- Ensure you cover up your coughs and sneezes
When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and dispose of it in a lined trash can. In case you don’t have access to tissue, use the inside of your elbow to cover up when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands frequently
Frequently wash your hands using soap and running water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing, bathroom visit, blowing nose, preparing food, or before eating. If unable to access water and soap, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub until dry. Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with your unwashed hands.
- Do not share personal household items
You are advised not to share personal items such as bedding, dishes,cups, towels, dishes, eating utensils, or drinking glasses. Wash your personal items thoroughly after use with soap and hot water.
- Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces in the house everyday
Each day, clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your room, such as countertops, doorknobs, faucets, light switches, keyboards, remotes, phones, tables, touch screens, toilets, and sinks. Ensure you wear disposable gloves when cleaning.