Even as the lockdowns across the country are starting to decrease, the reality is that the spread of COVID-19 has impacted tens of thousands of families. If this modern-day scourge has not visited you and your family, then consider yourself lucky. However, this does not mean that it will not happen in the future, and with that in mind, here are some tips on what to do when someone in your house has COVID.
It does not matter if you or someone you love has a mild or severe case of COVID; the mere presence of the disease needs to be taken seriously. This is not only because of the ease in which the virus can spread but also because it is new to humans. As such, doctors are still working on treatment options as well as the much hoped for vaccine.
Another reason for taking the virus seriously is that some studies have found that it can spread quickly between family members or others who live in close quarters. This is even the case when someone displays mild symptoms of the disease. The best advice when someone is showing symptoms is to act as if your loved one and the rest of your family has been exposed to the virus.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Even if you cannot get tested, you will want to take steps to keep everyone safe. This includes separating family members who might be sick, taking special care to any dishes, cups, and laundry items. Also, you will want to think about how to handle bathroom arrangements. Yes, this can get complicated, but there is a need to keep everyone apart as much as possible if COVID visits your home.
While the Washington State Department of Health, recommends that family members without symptoms should stay in another part of the home or a different place of residence, this might not always be possible. As such, you will want to take every step you can to keep family members separated – especially if you are living in an apartment. This can happen by setting aside one part of the apartment just for those with symptoms and by making sure precautions are taken when family members come in contact.
If sharing the bathroom is a challenge, then you want to make sure it is cleared every time that someone uses it. It does not matter if the person using the bathroom is suspected of having COVID or not; the risk that the disease can be passed on is too high and should be taken seriously.
When cleaning, the ideal mix is nine-parts water to one-part bleach as this will help to clean and disinfect all surfaces. Take this advice seriously as some studies have shown that the disease can be spread by fecal matter and other bodily fluids.
Also, if you have a pet, then you will want to keep the pet away from those suspected of having the disease. While the odds of your cat or dog contracting COVID are low, there have been cases of human-to-animal transmission as such. It is better to be safe than sorry.
In terms of treatment, Dr. Michael Hochman, M.D., associate professor of medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, notes that you will want to give any suspected family member plenty of fluids and rest. Also, cold and flu medications can be useful. However, if symptoms get worse, then you will want to seek medical attention immediately.
This is because over-the-counter medications might not be effective against COVID, and some do have side effects if not safely used. Also, you might want to consider using a neti pot to help clear out the patient’s nasal passages. Regular temperature checks can also be useful as it will help to see if the disease is worsening.
For caregivers, you will always want to wear a mask and might even want to consider a face shield. On a side note, if your job means that you need to come in contact with the public and your employer is not masking masks and other protective items available, then you might want to reach out to California injury lawyers, (such as here, https://thebarnesfirm.com/), or to lawyers in your area to find out your rights.
The reason for wearing protective equipment, even cloth masks, is because the disease is primarily spread through the mucus membranes. Also, you will want to wear gloves whenever coming in contact with the patient or with something they have touched, such as dishes and glasses.
Remember to clean everything thoroughly, if possible, use a dishwasher, and sanitize all items after use. Also, remember to properly handle protective items when taking them off to limit the spread of the virus.