COVID-19 or the viral illness caused by novel coronavirus has stumped the whole world. With cases increasing at an alarming rate, and even death numbers doubling, the panic amongst people is real.
Though panic will not help you, instead of panicking you need to be careful and prepare yourself. Some people are panicking, and some people still are not taking this pandemic seriously. You don’t have to be these people, you have to be a person who is conscious and aware, and is doing their bit to keep themselves and the world healthy.
The reality is that, until and unless your symptoms are severe, you won’t get into the hospital. Some of you will have to quarantine at home or in quarantine sections created by the government. It is because if everyone runs to the hospitals, healthcare will overload. They are reserving ICUs, ventilators, and isolation wards for serious patients.
Thus, you need to ensure that you know what to do if you come in contact with a COVID-19 patient or you get it. How to care for the same, and so on? Knowing this information is crucial as it prepares you for every situation, and takes the panic off.
WHO has said that 80% of those infected with this disease will get better on their own, and only 20% of them will need ventilators? It is a piece of good news, and with relentless scientists trying to find a vaccine or even a cure, better days will come.
Till then, it is important to prepare ourselves and social distance from people.
The main symptoms are cough, fever, and shortness in breath. If you have any of these symptoms, be vigilant, and don’t walk into a hospital or clinic unannounced. Call the national helpline or inform the clinic before you go. This way they will tell you what to do and where to do, limiting the risk of you infecting other people in the process.
Also, as a community, spread this information on your social media using posters or creating posts using a visual tool like Canva.
Certain people are at high risk of contracting COVID-19, they are:
- People living with a person who has a confirmed case or may have corona
- People who may come into close contact with people showing COVID-19 symptoms like eating together
- People with a history of traveling to hotspot places of the disease. Though traveling is not open and everyone is under lockdown, the symptoms take 1-14 days to show. So, if you have been to such places, let the authorities know.
COVID-19 doesn’t spread from:
- Living in the same building as a COVID-19 patient, unless you were in close contact
- Through pets
- Through eating Chinese food
Procedure for testing
All around the world, there is a shortage of test kits. The procedure of the test is simple, they swab your mouth for saliva, and send it for diagnosis. The recent developments in tests make it possible to get the results within some hours.
But not everyone with symptoms will get a test. If you have a fever or a cough, you can also have the flu or the cold. Thus, people with a history of traveling or coming in contact with a COVID-19 patient are getting the test first.
Furthermore, with every passing day, governments and healthcare providers are testing more random people. It is a protective step to stop community transmission in highly-populated areas like India.
One of the best preventive measures you can take is to be cautious and safe. That means:
- Practicing social distancing during COVID-19. No matter whether the person is infected or not, till the pandemic is here, stay 6-feet away from people.
- Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and water, especially after you come from outside. If you are out, you can even use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Wear a mask if you have a cold and cough. For others, you should wear masks too when stepping out to buy essentials. Wearing gloves is also a good idea.
- Keep your house clean, sanitize the groceries and wash vegetables/fruits thoroughly. Disinfectant all doorknobs and so on.
Things to do when you are sick
If you think you have COVID-10, take these steps:
- Call your health department or clinic for further guidance
- Stay home and in isolation unless further notice. Don’t even let your family come near you
- Ask the delivery people to drop the groceries or food at your doorstep, if you live alone
- If symptoms worsen, call your health advisor immediately.
How to take care if you or your acquaintance is sick?
If you or your family member has COVID-`19, there are a few things that can happen.
- First, if the condition is serious or you have some underlying health issues like heart problems or hypertension or diabetes, you will be shifted to ICU.
- If you are young and fit, you will be asked to quarantine at an isolation ward. They will give you medicine and will discharge you only after your report comes negative.
- For people, living or caring for an infected person who tested negative for Coronavirus, they need to isolate themselves for 14 days at your home. If they show symptoms, the doctors will tell then what is the next step? Otherwise, after 14 days, they will take another test and if that comes negative, they are safe.
Preparation for family
Since lockdown is going on, it is not safe to go out every day to buy things. So, stock up on items that last for 3-4 weeks. After that, one person can go out to buy essentials for the next few weeks and must wear a mask and gloves to do that.
Also, stock up on food items, dairy products, medicines, cleaning products, and anything that your kids or family needs. But please, don’t hoard as it means a lot of people will have nothing.
We don’t have an end-date, but it will end. Panicking has never helped anyone; it leads to more problems like people hoarding things leaving basically nothing for others. Or it leads to racism, both of these situations are not good.
So, prepare for the virus, by knowing the symptoms, and things to do if you or someone close to you contracts COVID-19. Be safe, be hygienic, and maintain social distancing, and above all hope for better days.