How to Care for a Loved One With Coronavirus

There is a non-ignorable elephant in the room here – a few, in fact. First, the supply chain for medical equipment such as masks and gloves is so swarming that fashion designers like Christian Siriano have stepped up to try to make more for healthcare workers, and medical shows like Grey’s anatomy are donation of supplies to hospitals. If you don’t already have surgical masks, it’s not easy to find them remotely at the moment. Even if you make have some masks, you are supposed to throw them away after each use, CDC. If, for example, you brought the patient to breakfast while wearing a mask, you should technically wear another to bring him lunch.

There are a few options to try to resolve all of this if you are caring for a sick person. First, as SELF previously indicated, you can try asking the health care provider or facility you have informed of your loved one’s COVID-19 case if they can offer you a mask as a caregiver . This can be especially important if you yourself are at high risk for complications from COVID-19. But the reality is that shortages are so severe that they may not have to give you because they should prioritize protecting staff as much as possible.

In this case, says Dr. Meyer, using something like a scarf or shirt to cover your nose and mouth is better than nothing. (The CDC note that these types of homemade masks are a last resort and are best used in combination with face shields, another thing most of us don’t have at home.)

According to Dr. Wagner, who is also medical director at Stanford’s Department of Emergency Medicine, it’s important to think about putting on and taking off a mask (or a mask-like substitute) without potentially contaminating yourself by accidentally touching your eyes. , your nose or mouth. “Untrained individuals who wear masks [can] end up touching their faces more often by fiddling with them, which increases the risk, ”he explains.

5. Disinfect very sensitive surfaces at least once a day.

Especially when someone you live with or spend a lot of time with you is sick, it is important to clean and disinfect your home surfaces to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to you or anyone else living in it. At least once a day, be sure to disinfect shared items in your home such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops and table tops.

Staying on top of the laundry is also very important when someone you are caring for is sick with COVID-19. “Because SARS-CoV-2 lives on inanimate objects, it is important to thoroughly clean all clothing and bedding,” says Dr. Meyer. “Caregivers may want to use gloves when handling dirty clothes or dirty dishes, but when they are not available, good hand washing is an acceptable alternative. If the laundry is visibly dirty, wear gloves and / or wash your hands well. “

Here is a complete guide to cleaning and disinfecting your home to reduce the chances of getting COVID-19.

6. Treat your loved one’s symptoms with the advice of a doctor.

As we mentioned, healthcare systems in the United States are already at risk of being overwhelmed by this crisis. That’s why experts insist that people with symptoms they can manage at home don’t rush to the emergency room or their doctor’s office. If you are caring for someone in this situation, you may feel like you are navigating uncharted territory by caring for them at home.

But, according to Dr. Meyer, the best treatment for most cases of COVID-19 is really “supportive care” at home, which means things like adequate rest and plenty of hydration. “People can take acetaminophen every four to six hours for fevers or body aches,” she adds. “Some initial reports suggested that ibuprofen and other NSAIDs were associated with [COVID-19] clinical outcomes but the World Health Organization indicated that ibuprofen should not be avoided. “

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