Here’s an article I would have rather researched than speak from experience, but it started with a positive COVID result for my husband. He has a mild case thus far, and test results are pending for the rest of us.
In the meantime, our teenagers are running the house, exemplifying my strong belief in this next generation. I’d love to say that we were leading well in our COVID life here, but we’ve been sent to our rooms by our kids. They have created a response in accordance with all CDC regulations, thinking one step ahead of us in every detail.
Responding to COVID Symptoms or Diagnosis in Your Own House
1. Follow all doctor orders and CDC recommendations and protocols.
My sister-in-law is a respiratory therapist in the area, and works tirelessly these days on the rising number of critical patients. No matter where you fall personally on your thoughts on COVID, consider the heroes in healthcare and other essential workers. For their sake, please don’t be cavalier about compliance.
2. Isolate the patient, as soon as possible. Place him or her in a separate room from everyone else, with no shared spaces, as much as this might be possible with small children.
3. Avoid shared items or touching the same items to avoid any chance of contamination from surfaces.
Consider paper plates, plastic utensils, and other disposable items that the patient can throw into a trash bag inside their own room.
4. Get a good thermometer and oximeter.
This will allow you to monitor the most concerning symptoms, including fever and oxygen saturation levels. Ask your doctor about the fever symptoms and oxygen levels that warrant seeking immediate medical care.
5. Notify all persons with whom you’ve had contact within six feet for more than 15 minutes during the days prior to symptoms. Confirm with your doctor about recommendations for who you should contact.
6. At our house, the kids and I tested five days after above noted contact to monitor our own status.
In the meantime, I am completely isolated in a separate bedroom than my husband, sharing a bathroom and wiping all surfaces in between each use. Our teenagers are doing quarantine in the rest of the house, dropping food just outside our doors, using all disposable items.
7. If my kids step inside the door to speak to me from about 10 feet away, we both have on N95 masks.
Helping Friends or Family with COVID Symptoms or Diagnosis
1. Drop paper products to their porch or have them delivered.
Paper plates, paper bowls, plastic utensils, disposable coffee cups not only reduce dishes to wash, but they also allow used items to be trashed after use by the patient. If you find the most coveted item of 2020 – toilet paper – then drop that by as well.
2. Deliver cleaning supplies, such as paper towels, trash bags, cleaning wipes, and disinfectant spray.
3. Other helpful items to send include disposable gloves, which you may find as food preparation gloves or at a beauty supply store, and disposable masks.
4. Deliver healthy snacks or meals, or purchase a food delivery gift card that can be send digitally so that the patient can have restaurant food or groceries delivered.
5. If you live in the same community, let them know when you are running an errand to see about grabbing something they need and delivering it to their porch.
6. Send the patient a list of your favorite shows to watch or books to read.
7. Check in on them with a text or phone call.
I know I’m not alone in the pandemic fatigue, beaten down by all the events of this year. But let’s not lose our humanity now. Let’s be mindful of the needs of those around us and lighten the load in even small ways. As our family is learning right now, you never know when you might be the one who needs a little helping hand.