• Mark Gamon

Coronavirus: Some Common Sense

In the night, it’s always the apocalypse. The imagination runs riot at 3.30am.

I got back to sleep, in the end. Here’s how.

Ever since this thing started, I’ve been waiting for some advice on what we’re supposed to do if we’re at home but the virus somehow manages to wheedle its way through the cat flap.

There’s been a lot of modelling and number crunching. There are horrific descriptions of patients in emergency cot beds in ITUs. The internet is crammed to the rafters with news about stockpiling and people running off on extended holidays or carousing in bars like it’s the end of days. Stupid is as stupid does.

But no advice on getting through the virus on your own. As many of us, old and young, are surely destined to do.

Then I found this (my thanks to Paul Booth for sharing it):

‘What I have seen a lot of are recommendations for how to try to avoid getting coronavirus in the first place -- good hand washing, personal hygiene and social distancing -- but what I have NOT seen a lot of is advice for what happens if you actually get it, which many of us will. So as your friendly neighbourhood Nurse let me make some suggestions:

You basically just want to prepare as though you know you’re going to get a nasty respiratory bug, like bronchitis or pneumonia. You just have the foresight to know it might come your way!

Things you should actually buy ahead of time (not sure what the obsession with toilet paper is?):

  • Kleenex

  • Paracetamol

  • Whatever your generic, mucus thinning cough medicine of choice is (check the label and make sure you're not doubling up on Paracetamol). Honey and lemon can work just as well

  • Vicks Vaporub for your chest

  • If you don’t have a humidifier, that would be a good thing to buy and use in your room overnight. (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 necessary

This is also a good time to meal prep: make a big batch of your favorite soup to freeze and have on hand.

Stock up on whatever your favorite clear fluids are to drink - though tap water is fine you may appreciate some variety.

For symptom management and a fever over 38°c, take Paracetamol rather than Ibuprofen.

Hydrate (drink!) hydrate, hydrate!

Rest lots. You should not be leaving your house. Even if you are feeling better you may will still be infectious for fourteen days and older people and those with existing health conditions should be avoided.

Ask friends and family to leave supplies outside to avoid contact.

You DO NOT NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL unless you are having trouble breathing or your fever is very high (over 39°C) and unmanaged with meds. 90% of healthy adult cases thus far have been managed at home with basic rest/hydration/over-the-counter meds.

If you are worried or in distress or feel your symptoms are getting worse, ring 111 and they will advise if you need to go to hospital. The hospital beds will be used for people who actively need oxygen/breathing treatments/IV fluids.

If you have a pre-existing lung condition (COPD, emphysema, lung cancer) or are on immunosuppressants, now is a great time to talk to your Doctor or specialist about what they would like you to do if you get sick.

One major relief to you parents is that kids do VERY well with coronavirus— they usually bounce back in a few days (but they will still be infectious), Just use pediatric dosing.

Be calm and prepare rationally and everything will be fine.’

I hope you all sleep a little better after that. It’s common sense, but it’s good to see it so clearly expressed. Share this.