With more than a fifth of the world’s population locked down, and a considerable portion either in quarantine or isolated, reiterating facts like the viruses’ high death rate (>18%!), and its severe impact on the global economy (damages >$1 trillion!) isn’t required to cement the gravity of the situation.
But let’s shift our focus from global events to what’s really important in this critical time – your own well-being.
Regardless of if you’re a full-time student, a parent, or a workman, you must understand that putting yourself above others is the best thing you can do right now – not just for you but for others too.
Reading up on how you must proceed in the coming weeks and months is the first thing you should do. However, most instructions available online can be vague, and the real information is often hidden behind the jargon and the stigma.
We shall have none of that.
Let’s begin by looking at the precautionary measures you can take to protect yourself from the virus.
The coronavirus primarily spreads from person-to-person contact, and can also spread via respiratory droplets produced when a person sneezes or coughs.
You could also get infected by touching contaminated objects or surfaces.
Since there is no vaccine for the virus, the best way to avoid getting sick is to circumvent any possible exposure to the infection altogether.
To reduce the risk of getting infected, you must:
- Work from home, and avoid leaving your home unless absolutely necessary
- Ensure that you maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and other people if you’re outside
- Wash your hands often, and for at least 20 seconds
- Use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol content if soap and water are not available
- Avoid touching your face
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue if you need to sneeze or cough, else use the inside of your elbow
- Keep frequently touched surfaces clean and disinfect them every day
Coping, Planning, And Preparing
It is important not to panic: you must remember that keeping calm will make the people you care about and the community as a whole stronger.
Here are some indicators of stress, so you don’t brush it off:
- Worrying about your or your loved one’s health
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Chronic health problems getting worse
- Increase in use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
Taking care of yourself is very important at this time. Speaking to family and friends can help you cope with stress.
Exercising, meditating, and eating healthy are some natural ways to lift your mood. Making time for your hobbies is also a great idea.
Taking breaks from social media and the news (in every form) for at least a few hours a day is highly recommended since listening to the reports can often be disheartening.
Having a minimalistic approach to staying informed is the need of the hour. You don’t need to be posted about every detail 24/7, and looking at the news once or maybe twice a day at the most should suffice.
You must ensure that you are updated with the latest information about COVID-19 – and you can find this information on your local government’s website.
Planning for the worst circumstances is just as critical as staying informed is. Pick a room in your home that can be used to separate the sick members of your household from the others. Create a list of local institutions that you can seek help from in case of an emergency.
Also, make an emergency contact list that includes family, friends, neighbors, and the local hospital/health department so you can get help whenever you need it.
Stock a few days worth of supplies– do not panic-buy essentials for months in one go.
Preparing for the worst in this way can help you and your family feel and stay safe.
What To Do If You Are Sick
The symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Trouble breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Bluish face or lips
If you are sick or suspect that you have COVID-19, you should contact your healthcare provider for medical advice as soon as possible. Since most people only have a mild illness, chances are, you can rest and recover at home.
However, if the symptoms are severe, you shouldn’t hesitate to call an ambulance.
You must also take the necessary steps to ensure that the infection doesn’t spread to other members of your household. Wear a mask, and keep away from the others as much as possible. Do not share any personal items, and wash everything you use thoroughly.
If you’re sick, the precautions listed above must become the working rules of the household for a few weeks.
Spend some time practicing on your hobbies, or with your family, and wait for time to pass. Things should ease up in a few weeks.