Over the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a deep learning experience for most people.
Those who have been ensuring proper care and hygiene have been preparing for the possibilities of a COVID-19 infection, and many are trying to adapt to a new ‘normal’
Here's what doctors are telling us to do as the virus reigns outside:
Like first-aid kit, corona kit is a must
Dr J. Anish Anand, internal medicine physician, talks about how to ensure one has the basic safety kit at home to counter the viral attack.
He then points out that in addition to the early symptoms of the novel strand of Coronavirus, such as fever, cold and cough, loss of taste and smell, loss of appetite and body pains, breathing problems, vomiting, diarrhoea or a sudden change of skin colour can also indicate the virus’ attack.
“Even though there’s no packaged Coronavirus aid kit available in the market for the moment, one can have the following — thermometer, paracetamol tablets, oxygen cylinders and nebulisers. Please ensure your home certainly has enough sanitisers, disinfectants and masks. The corona kit should also have bandages for children or elderly, so that they need not rush to hospitals for small issues.”
Precautions are crucial
Dr Harikishan Boorugu, who is a general physician, agrees to the need for extra precautionary arrangements for children and the elderly.
“Apart from children and elders, people who suffer from other ailments are also at high risk of contracting the virus,” Dr Harikishan explains. “As a precautionary measure, it is important to monitor them at home from time to time even if they are not COVID-19 positive. Blood-pressure monitoring, sugar-level checking along with oxygen-level monitoring should be the daily norm.”
Then pointing out that one of the symptoms of COVID-19 is an increased heart rate and blood oxygen levels, the doctor tells us that pulse oximeters can come in handy. “The device, which is available both online and in stores, measures heart rate and blood oxygen levels,” adds Dr Harikishan.
Visit hospital only if essential
For Soumya Sree Patel, HR professional in the city, the reason for going all out when stocking her first-aid kit was basic —she wanted to avoid going to hospitals, or near them, for minor issues to avoid the possibilities of she or her family members contracting the virus.
“I had been following the spread of the virus very keenly and knew things looked bad. I worried about access to medical care given the situation in the hospitals, so I got everything I could think of that I thought we might be able to use ourselves like bandages, gauze, alcohol wipes, antibiotic, BP and sugar level monitors,” Soumya explains.
Addressing fears such as Soumya’s, Dr Ravi Sankar Erukulapati, senior consultant endocrinologist and diabetologist, talks about why, unless there is an emergency, one should try not to crowd hospitals and instead stay home for immediate and perhaps even better treatment.
“For mild and asymptomatic cases, it is better and advisable to go for home-based treatments rather than to hospitals,” says Dr Ravi.
“Resources such as manpower, beds, equipment and medicines are scarce in hospitals now, and it is also people’s duty that they use it judiciously and leave it for the needy.” Dr Ravi feels that health can be monitored well even at home with precautionary steps and proper medication, along with regular exercise and diet management.
In conclusion, though, Dr Ravi cautions people to consult doctors before self-medicating at home with half-baked knowledge received in social media.