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By Subia Khan
With the second wave of COVID-19, we all have realized that the virus is not just a fag but is growing more potent with each day passing. Given the mishap this pandemic is for the entire world, being patient and adhering to the preventive guidelines is the bravest thing that we can do right now. While some of us are following the guidelines, there is still a large chunk not adhering to the simple ‘SMS’ rule.
S – Social distancing
M – Mask
S – Sanitization
Unfortunately, even if you do, not many adhere to it, exposing most of us to the threat.
Even though we were made quite aware of the DOs and DON’Ts of self-isolation at the onset of the pandemic, there needs to be a frequent reiteration of the process.
Given that, let us start with what to do when you feel a viral sickness.
- Do not self-medicate assuming that it’s a seasonal viral. Unfortunately, we do not have that privilege anymore – thanks to COVID
- A continued fever? Get swab done and ISOLATE yourself from your family members, immediately
- The moment you realize a sore throat/fever/body-ache/cough, start GARGLES and take STEAM for at least thrice a day. Take online consultation from a medical professional, immediately
- Keep Pulse Oximeter in house. Checking the SATURATION LEVEL (range 95-99) is a must-do whenever you feel symptomatic. The most important factor to understand is the intensity of the viral load. While a dropping saturation is definitely the worst and needs medical intervention, lesser than 92 on a continued basis is alarming. If saturation is intact and not dropping, home is the best place to be, with proper medication and supplementation (Zinc, Vitamin D & Vitamin C), while maintaining a good hydration level. A totally rested state which doesn’t call for excess oxygen utilization is what needs to be made sure of – keep away from any work. A protein-rich diet is a must-have to ensure that weakness doesn’t make space for longer than you know
- In case of falling saturation, the first thing to do is to LIE PRONE (lying down on the stomach). While this is helpful for the moment, consult the doctor immediately ahead of this. Poor saturation might as well call for HRCT (High-resolution CT Scan) to understand the infection spread. This is where things get out of home quarantine and require complete medical intervention. Keeping the oxygen cylinder/concentrator arranged in case of an emergency is also a smart measure
Early handling with measures listed above can help much and get things back to normal.
COVID is a painful zone to be in but panic won’t help either. These are the simple thumb rules of action. Staying updated on these is the absolute need of the hour, right now.
Fighting COVID is itself a battle half won; the other half is the recovery process! Post-COVID weakness is equally painful as it is during the initial days of the infection. The viral load is immense and weakens the body a lot. The major points to keep in mind after COVID and for recovery are:
- A balanced diet rich in protein is essential to retain muscles and hence the strength in the body for times ahead. You could consider Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Paneer, Cheese, Milk, Lentils, Soups, Flour/Rice, High Fiber Foods, etc. – make sure that the meals are cooked in a healthy way. Eat at your maintenance calories during the recovery period
- Hydration check – water is all about hydrogen and oxygen! More the oxygen better it is
- Gargle and steam for a continued period of time, to make sure the nasal pathway and chest are as clear as possible
- Keep checking the saturation for a few days later as well
- Supplementation with Zinc, Vit. D and Vit. C is to be continued for a while to ensure immunity
- Rest as much as possible. Any strenuous work which requires exerting body should not be done immediately or thereafter
- Resuming exercise post-COVID has to be very gradual. Lifting weights that call for more oxygen consumption than normal might overload the system and breathlessness can creep in time and again. It is recommended to start slowly with basic stretches and Yoga. The body will gain back its strength in no time – thanks to muscle memory
- Avoid exposure to externalities. This is important since the body is weak and may call for secondary infections
Recovering from COVID-19 may take anywhere from a month or two to as much as a year depending on the severity of the infection, therefore, make sure to keep safe and follow the simple SMS rule (Social Distancing – Mask – Sanitization).
Step out only if needed!
(The author is Health Coach, MyHealthBuddy – An online fitness platform with an expertise in women’s health. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult experts and medical professionals before starting any therapy or medication. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)