As the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly increasing all over the world, the health authorities are asking people to quarantine themselves at home for at least two weeks. Moreover, many countries have been locked down to protect their citizens from the community spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Earlier, the experts had thought that coronavirus was a high-risk infection for people who had a history of international travel. Additionally, people who came in contact with infected people were also at high risk. However, just a few weeks ago, the first ‘community spread’ of COVID-19 was detected in the United States in Northern California to a woman who had not come in contact with an infected person, nor did she have a history of international travel. (1)
This indicates that COVID-19 can cause widespread community transmission in a matter of days. This has created massive panic among the people around the world. Health authorities are urging people to stay home under isolation and follow social distancing. Today’s article will focus on the ways you can stay prepared for home isolation during this pandemic outbreak.
What is self-isolation?
Self-isolation is merely a practice of staying home alone and not leaving the house for any reason other than a medical emergency. Self-isolation is the best way for everyone to stay protected from the spread of coronavirus. Moreover, it is incredibly crucial for people who show symptoms of the novel coronavirus such as dry cough and high-grade fever. During this time, symptomatic people must not go out to buy food or any essential goods. Instead, they can get help from their family members or neighbors to bring crucial supplies. (2)
If there is a definite necessity to go out of the house, one must make sure to maintain distance from the people around. 6 feet is the ideal distance that should be made between people during this crucial time. Limit any social contact, and wear a mask. Additionally, wash your hands immediately when you come back home.
Why should you prepare for coronavirus now?
Health officials of every country are now going for a complete country lockdown and urging people to stay at home during the COVID-19 outbreak to minimize community spread of the virus. Such strict steps will help to break the coronavirus chain and limit the number of people getting sick from COVID-19.
However, it is uncertain how long the lockdown may continue. As more people become sick, all the stores and businesses may close altogether. There is a possibility that people might not get their supplies on time. Therefore, it is necessary to stay prepared and get ready for home isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.
Who should self-isolate?
Looking at the pandemic spread of the novel coronavirus, everyone is at risk of contracting the disease. Therefore, self-isolation is mandatory for each person, whether healthy or ill. More focus is put on people who have persistent cough and breathing problems. Some of the things you must keep in mind while self-isolation are –
- People who live alone at home must follow self-isolation for at least seven days from the day the symptoms started to appear
- For people who live with other family members and develop symptoms of COVID-19, all the members of the family must isolate themselves for at least 14 days to monitor improvement or worsening of the symptoms
- For healthy members of the family, if someone develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the self-isolation period, start a new cycle of seven days isolation from the day the symptoms began to appear. For example, the new cycle of self-isolation may begin from the third to the 10th day of the previous isolation period. (3)
- People who are about to complete 14 days of isolation and fall sick during the last days must start a separate seven days isolation period to monitor the symptoms.
Always try to stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened. Moreover, maintain a distance from the healthy members of your family in the home.
How to stay prepared during coronavirus outbreak?
Ideally, there are four categories you need to focus on while preparing for home isolation –
- Food and other necessities
- Home activities
Let’s take a detailed look at all the categories –
Purchase disinfectants, sanitizers, and soaps
The most crucial thing that will protect you from the spread of coronavirus is practicing proper hygiene. Therefore, it is essential to purchasing plenty of soap and sanitizers for frequent handwashing for all the members of your family. Moreover, buy disinfectants to clean your home items, table, and desks as the health officials have revealed that coronavirus can stay active on any surface for as long as one week.
You can use a plain old soap bar, liquid, or a branded soap. Additionally, buy an alcohol-based sanitizer. All that matters is that you have enough healthy supplies to protect yourself and your family. Some clinical research has shown that bleach or ethanol-based cleaning products are best for wiping surfaces. (4) While we suggest having enough healthy supplies, you must not panic and stockpile disinfectants or hand sanitizers. Instead, have a bottle or two that is sufficient for your family members.
Change your cleaning habits
Most people wash their hands and wipe it with a hand towel that is hung in the bathroom all the time. Moreover, many people have a habit of wiping hands with a towel lying around the house. Often, this towel is laundered when someone remembers to get around to it.
Such habits at this time are not only a threat to the person using it, but it is also a threat to the members of the family. Therefore, you need to change your cleaning habits. Buy a set of 2-3 towels and swap them frequently. Spend time in cleaning and wiping surfaces at home to stay away fro many possible routes of disease transmission.
Food and other necessities
Stock up essential food supplies
The Department of Homeland Security hs asked people to store food and supplies that can be used for a couple of weeks. Again, do not stock up months or years of the food supply. Buy food that can help your household run smoothly for a few weeks.
Buy more of frozen and canned food that will last for a longer time. This is the time to be more thoughtful and stay self-sufficient at home. Moreover, it is good to have tea and coffee supply for people who love caffeine. The government has declared that the grocery stores will stay open. Therefore, there is no need to panic and stock up in excess.
Do not panic and buy every health supply
The health authorities have suggested that healthy people don’t need to buy a face mask for the following reasons –
- They are not effective in preventing sickness
- Surgical masks are thin and can allow germs to enter in through the spaces
- People who are sick can use it to limit the spread of respiratory droplets during sneezing
Hoarding masks will create a massive shortage for people who need it, such as sick people, healthcare providers, and nurses.
Have an adequate medical supply
Medical supplies are essential to tackle any emergencies at home. Have enough of over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and decongestants that can relieve the mild symptoms of cold or flu. Other medical essentials that you must keep at home may include –
- Thermometer (5)
- Rehydrating solutions such as Gatorade
- Finger plus oximeter – these are cheap around $20 and are handy to check your pulse and blood oxygen levels at home.
- First aid kit – as much as you need to focus on stocking up medical supplies for treating the symptoms of infection. You must also keep a first aid kit to take care of accidental injuries. It is crucial, as, during this time, all emergency services are focused on treating patients with coronavirus.
You don’t want to wait for several hours in the emergency room and catch the viral infection from someone else in the waiting room. Environmental health experts and chief medical officers recommend people to have at least 30-90 days of medical supply at home with a particular focus on medicines that are commonly used to treat flu symptoms.
People with lung disease, heart disease, and diabetes must be more vigilant to protect themselves from the coronavirus spread. (6)
Time to focus on your hobbies
This is the best time to pick a hobby or to enjoy your passion for painting, embroidery, knitting, or even cooking. Not only it’ll help you to develop your artistic skills, but it will also help you to spend your day more productively.
Spend quality time with your family
Home isolation is the perfect time to connect with your family members, partner, or even roommates. You can play board games, video games, do karaoke or a movie night. Such activities not only bring you closer to your loved ones but also helps to spend the day without getting bored.
Digitally connect with your distant friends and relatives
While you may not be able to hang out with your friends physically, you can still connect with them through phone or laptop. Moreover, you can play multiplayer games online and spend time with your friends. Additionally, you can also check up on your relatives and extended family members and reconnect with them.
Work from home
As the lockdown proceeds, more business and schools plan to start work from home opportunities. Moreover, students can attend online lectures and classes to continue their daily activities in the community. If your office or school has not yet declared a holiday, talk to the principal and office head about sick day policies. Moreover, get an update on what schedule they are preparing for the lockdown.
It is essential to stay updated with the current situation of the disease spread among your community, country, and worldwide. COVID-19 is a quickly spreading disease, and there is new information coming out every single day. Stay updated with the health and hygiene practices as well to stay protected from the pandemic spread.
Take away message
As the new coronavirus is spreading rapidly through community transmission, in the United States, health officials are requesting people to stay at home for at least 14 days.
Moreover, many cities are going under complete lockdown, which is creating a massive panic among the people. However, there is no need to worry about the situation. Homestay is beneficial during this time. Moreover, it will keep you protected from the spread of the virus.
While you prepare to stay at home, there are few things you must take care of the essential food and medical supplies. Stock up supplies that can last you for a couple of weeks. Moreover, purchase health supplies such as soaps and hand sanitizers to stay protected at home.
Be thoughtful; the essential supply stores are going to stay open during this time. Stay updated with the current news, do not panic, and pay attention to the local health authorities.