Note: I am not a doctor. What follows is a summary/collection of the advice given by legitimate authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.
Everyone has been so fixated on preparing to avoid Covid-19 that they may be overlooking the next stage of prepping – what to do if you, or a loved one, actually contracts Covid-19. For preppers, this is your next stage of coronavirus preparedness…
What do you do if you contract Covid-19?
Step One – Call Your Doctor
If you or someone in your household has been exposed, or you think exposure has happened, and you’re developing symptoms (cough and challenges breathing), the first step in care is calling your doctor for medical advice. Even if you never have to enter a medical facility, establishing the connection with a medical professional at onset, and maintaining that connection throughout the illness, is important.
Call ahead before seeking help! It’s important to call first, not just so you get professional advice, but should you need to go to the hospital, they are ready to receive you in a proper fashion.
Step Two – Stay Home Except to Get Medical Care
It is important to remember that, while many people are getting seriously ill from the coronavirus, the majority will have mild symptoms. If you have contracted Covid-19, or think you have been exposed, stay at home so you are not spreading it to others.
Step Three – Isolate Yourself in Your Own Home
Most people live with someone else, so that means taking social isolation to the next level and separating yourself within your own home. To the extent possible, stay in one room and away from others. This room should be well-ventilated (open window and door). If you have a separate bathroom, use that one exclusively as the rest use another. You want to limit movement within the home. Minimize shared space.
This self-imposed quarantine includes separating yourself from pets. There have not been, to my knowledge, any confirmed reports of animals becoming sick from Covid-19, but play it safe – for your pet’s sake, and on the off chance your pet could spread it to others. If you must care for a pet, limit contact and wash your hands before and after each interaction.
Step Four – Limit the Number of Caregivers
Assign just one person to provide the care for someone who is sick. This should be a person who is in good health with no underlying conditions. Visitors should not be allowed until the sick person has fully recovered.
Step Five – Wear a Face Mask and Other Protective Gear
Everyone went crazy trying to buy face masks, despite health officials saying odds are they won’t protect you during normal daily activities. The exception to health officials’ advice is when you are sick, or when you are caring for someone who is sick. If you’re sick, wearing a face mask will help contain the spread. If you’re caring for someone who is sick, you should wear a mask when you enter the same room. The same advice is given for wearing nitrile gloves, eye protection, and even face shields.
Related Post – Coronavirus Preparedness – Beyond Masks and Hand Sanitizer
Step Six – Clean EVERYTHING
Washing your hands often and vigorously is a given. You also need to clean all “high-touch” surfaces: counters, door handles, phones, keyboards, bedside tables – everything. Use disposable towels for drying surfaces and hands. If you run out, use hand towels, but wash them as soon as they become damp.
Clean the the sick person’s bedding, clothes, and towels regularly. Place the contaminated linens in a plastic bag for transport. Wash with laundry soap at a high water temperature.
Step Seven – Monitor Symptoms Closely
Buy a personal thermometer. Seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms worsen; for example, increased difficulty breathing or a spike in temperature. Again, if you need to seek care, call the doctor or hospital first, so they know you are coming. Wear the face mask during transport and before entering a medical facility.
Be safe out there. We are all going to get through this. Stay up-to-date on what emergency response personnel are taking for calls by using a police scanner for home preparedness and bug out bags.