A Covid-19 graduate is what I call myself since graduating, or finishing 20 days of the Covid-19 Remote Monitoring Program offered by my healthcare system. I opted into the program after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus.
Because I have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and manage it with a biologic that can compromise my immune system, I’m at a higher risk for potentially serious complications from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of Covid-19. That is why my quarantine time was 20 days instead of the usual 10 to 14 days.
The biggest concern for me was the unpredictability of how this virus runs it’s course. For many the symptoms are that of a mild to moderate upper-respiratory illness, but for some the illness is severe and can cause lasting effects and even death. Even those with mild symptoms initially can take a turn for the worse later on. That is very scary and is a reason for concern.
That is why although my symptoms were on the mild side, stuffy nose and occasional cough, I was serious about my treatment and recovery.
For anyone testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, it is important to be under the care of your healthcare provider. Even if the course of the virus is mild, having a plan if symptoms worsen is helpful. There are various treatments that can potentially lessen symptoms and/or shorten the course of the infection that may be recommended for you.
Here are Seven Suggestions For Your Isolation or Quarantine Time:
- Rest. Give your body the rest it needs to fight the virus. A good night’s sleep is an important goal. Then allow yourself plenty of rest during the day. I was told not to lay down all day. I could nap, but it would be best to be upright so fluid wouldn’t settle in my lungs.
- Hydration. Be sure to stay hydrated.
- Nutrition. Especially important because a common symptom is loss of taste and smell. When these 2 senses are lost the appetite is lost. Your body needs nutrients to fight the infection. So eat for nutrients even when there is no appetite.
- Oximeter. An oximeter measures blood oxygenation. Normal oxygenation is 95 to 100 percent. Low oxygenation is a clue something not so good may be going on. My suggestion is to get a reading morning and evening. You can purchase an oximeter that fits on a finger and is very easy to use. My girlfriend bought one at Aldi’s of all places.
- Blood pressure. A blood pressure reading twice a day.
- Weight. Step on the scale twice a day. A loss of appetite can lead to weight loss that can signal you aren’t getting proper nutrition. I know I was dropping weight that made me take notice and eat something, even if it was only a piece of fruit or piece of toast.
- Temperature. Take your temperature twice daily as well. I wanted to know if I had a fever.
Because this virus causes respiratory symptoms, be cognizant of how you are breathing. Are you experiencing any shortness of breath? Are you feeling pressure or tightness in your chest? Are you coughing more or are you coughing up anything? You want to stay on top of any breathing problems.
Consequently, it was comforting to talk with the remote monitoring nurses to determine if I was perhaps running into trouble or if I was experiencing the typical progression of the virus. This happened several times for me as my symptoms changed. This article from Healthline was informative and talked about the progression of symptoms.
And when the virus has run it’s course, for some the post Covid-19 syndrome is a very real thing. Symptoms can hang on. In fact there is a name for those that have lingering symptoms called the long haulers. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) talks about long term symptoms.
There is so much unknown about this virus. It is fascinating and frightening all at once. You can think you are doing well until you aren’t doing well. That doesn’t happen often, but if it is your situation it is very real and a big deal.
My hope is you can gain from my experience. Staying proactive seems to be the best modus operandi.
May you stay safe and healthy!