The COVID-19 Virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of common cold. The COVID-19 virus is characterized by signs and symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal.
The novel virus which started with a small cluster in Wuhan China is now responsible for over 25,000,000 confirmed cases globally in over 180 countries (World Health Organization- August 2020). The virulent outbreak of this novel virus puts every individual at the risk of exposure hence the current trend of mask-wearing globally in aim to protect self against the potentially deadly virus. Passing through daily, it’s impossible to ignore a sizable uptick arrays of face mask in self-imposed muzzlings on people’s face. Another daily lifestyle we have all come to adopt is the judicious use of hand sanitizers and hand wash for hand hygiene. This trend is which was only seen on POE airport staff, has now become a part of our daily lives.
The gold standard for the COVID-19 testing is the Polymerase Chain Reaction test (PCR) as this test is both sensitive and specific for detecting the COVID-19 Virus. Upon testing individuals are subjected to the company of 2 words – Positive or Negative. The psychological effect of getting a positive result cannot be overemphasized however panicking is not an option as most people will have mild illness are able to recover from home. If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus or you have tested positive, there are 9 basic tips you can adopt for self-isolation and self-care that can help you cope and recover fast.
Tip 1: Stay home except to get medical care
- Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
- Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen (and nothing more), to help you feel better.
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
- Avoid public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
Tip 2: Separate yourself from other people
As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a mask.
Tip 3: Monitor your symptoms
Actively monitor your signs & symptoms
- Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or other symptoms.
- Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. Your healthcare provider may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.
Tip 4: When to seek emergency medical attention
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If you show any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
Tip 5: If you are symptomatic, wear a mask over your nose and mouth
- You should wear a mask over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home).
- You don’t need to wear the mask if you are alone. If you can’t put on a mask (because of trouble breathing, for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people around you.
- Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2 years, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is not able to remove the mask without help.
Tip 6: Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw away used tissues in a lined trash can.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Tip 7: Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Tip 8: Avoid sharing personal household items
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.
- Wash these items thoroughly after using them with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.
Tip 9: Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom; wear disposable gloves. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but you should clean your bedroom and bathroom, if possible.
- If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other people should wear a mask and disposable gloves prior to cleaning. They should wait as long as possible after the person who is sick has used the bathroom before coming in to clean and use the bathroom.
High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
- Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
- Use household cleaners and disinfectants. Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.