What To Do If you Actually Get the COVID-19 Virus (Tips From a Nurse)
A friend of mine is an Infection Control Nurse in Oklahoma.
Recognizing that we're mostly only seeing what to do to prevent getting the COVID-19 virus, she recently took to Facebook with some To Do's if you actually find yourself with a confirmed case. "Basically," she says, "prepare as though you know you’re going to get a nasty respiratory bug like bronchitis or pneumonia."
1. Have the Right Medications
"Things you should *actually* buy ahead of time: Kleenex, Acetaminophen (Tylenol) in 325 mg tablets, Ibuprofen (Advil) in 200 mg tablets, Mucinex, Robitussin or DayQuil/NyQuil, whatever your cough medicine of choice is."
2. Invest in a Humidifier or Inhaler
"If you don’t have a humidifier, that would also be a good thing to get. (You can also just turn the shower on hot and sit in the bathroom breathing in the steam). If you have a history of asthma and you have a prescription inhaler, make sure the one you have isn’t expired and refill it/get a new one if it is."
3. Symptom Management
"For symptom management, use the meds I mentioned. For a fever over 101, alternate Tylenol and Advil so you’re taking a dose of one or the other every 3 hours. Use both cough suppressants and expectorants (most cough meds have both). Drink a ton, hydrate hydrate. Rest lots."
4. Don't Leave the House (Unless Necessary)
"If you're sick, you should not be leaving your house except to go to the doctor, and if you do, wear a mask (regular is fine, you don’t need an N95). You DO NOT NEED TO GO TO THE ER unless you are having trouble breathing or your fever is very high and unmanaged with meds."
"90% of healthy adult cases thus far have been managed at home with basic rest/hydration/over-the-counter meds. We don’t want to clog the ERs unless you’re actually in distress. The hospital beds will be used for people who apamctively need oxygen/breathing treatments/IV fluids."
My nurse-friend also goes on to suggest that if you have any pre-existing lung condition (such as COPD, emphysema or lung cancer), now would be a good time to talk to your PCP or specialist; should you contract COVID-19 virus, they might might plan to get you admitted and bypass the ER entirely.
She concludes her post with a word of encouragement for parents:
"Kids do VERY well with coronavirus— they usually bounce back in a few days, no one under 18 has died, and almost no kids have required hospitalization (unless they have a lung disease like CF)."
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