1. How do I know if I might have COVID
a. The symptoms include fever, cough, throat pain, loss of taste and smell, breathlessness, diarrohea. If you experience any of these, pls consult a doctor.
b. Do not ignore even if the symptoms are mild.
2. What should I do if I suspect that I might have COVID
a. Isolate yourself in the house. Restrict yourself to a separate room.
b. Do not share utensils/ towels and other household things. Use disposable plates/ cutlery/ tissues etc
c. Do not share the bathroom with anyone else.
d. If unavoidable, try to ensure that only one member of the family interacts with you, and he/she should wash hands every time they come to your room or have an interaction with you. They should, however, always maintain physical distance.
e. The person interacting with you should always wear an N95 mask. Ideally you should also wear one in his/her presence, to minimize the chances of infection spread.
f. Be generous with the use of soap and sanitizer in the house.
g. Use Dettol or other anti-bacterial liquids generously, for washing/ mopping/ cleaning in the house.
3. What would be the best way to consult a doctor
a. If you have a family doctor, please call him/her and ask for guidance.
b. If you do not have a trusted doctor, you can try using tele-consultation.
c. Many hospitals offers video consultation as well. They also have home care packages. These options work well for mild symptoms.
4. Is the COVID test painful
a. The test is simple – they take a swab from your throat and nose. The test takes less than a minute and doesn’t hurt. The person who takes the swab must, however, be in PPE
b. Expect the test report in 24-72 hours, unless using a rapid test kit.
5. What if I test positive
a. Do not worry or be scared if you test positive. It’s a viral infection and, and you will be fine soon.
b. For the infection that you might have, and/or fever, the doctor will prescribe generic medication. For a COVID positive case, doctors might suggest you take Ivermectin or HCQ, if needed (unless its a severe case). Follow normal medication protocol.
c. Likely that you might be advised to also take some vitamins. Vitamin C and Zinc are the most commonly prescribed.
d. Ideally other family members can also take these vitamins.
e. People suggest that you also have warm water through the day, to wash away any virus, and inhale steam and do gargles. While there is no concrete evidence that these work, there is no harm in following these best practices
6. What checks do I need to do
a. Check your temperature 2-3 times a day. Should be under control with the medications
b. Check your oxygen levels 2-3 times a day, using a pulse oximeter. Oxygen levels less than 92 mean you should be visiting your doctor.
7. When do I need to get hospitalized
a. If your infection worsens and you do not start to feel better despite medication, consult your doctor again in 2-3 days.
b. Doctor might advise admission in the hospital, if needed
c. You will need a COVID test report before any hospital will agree to admit you. So, even if you have mild symptoms, if you are in a high-risk age bracket, I suggest you get the test done. Should your symptoms worsen your ready test report will come in handy to get you admission quickly. Without a COVID report, your hospital admission can get delayed by a day, which might not be helpful in an emergency situation.
8. What will happen if I get admitted
a. Most hospitals have a separate COVID ward for COID positive patients. These are semi-ICU set ups and well prepared for handling any crisis.
b. You will be taken care of and will probably need 3-4 days for recovering.
c. Stay positive and keep your mind occupied with happy thoughts
d. You and your family members should stay away from half-baked internet knowledge on potential harming effects of COVID
e. Trust your doctors
9. What about post-discharge precautions
a. As you recover, you will be discharged from the hospital, and that is not necessarily only after you are COVID negative. You might still be COVID positive when you are discharged, but you probably do not need any more specialized care in the hospital. This is good news, and you can now continue your recovery at home.
b. Follow all isolation precautions as advised by the doctors
c. Be regular with your medication and rest adequately
d. Do not meet people, including family members – continue to keep yourself isolated in home care
10. What’s a good time for a re-test
a. From the time your symptoms end (no fever or cough etc.), typically it might take anywhere from 10 - 25 days for the result to show up negative. You may want to plan to take a re-test accordingly.
b. Also, don't be in a rush to get a re-test, and do not be disheartened if the second test is positive again - the virus may stay longer in your system even if your symptoms are completely gone.
c. Give yourself another few days to recover before you start to meet people.
d. Follow all COVID-safe behaviors.