What Doctors Say You Should Consider Putting in a COVID-19 Emergency Home-Care Kit

The Tip Garden

While we hope you and your family stay safe and healthy, it never hurts to be prepared. The coronavirus is at the top of everyone’s mind, and you might be wondering what you should do if you or someone in your family gets sick.

First of all, you should stay home and call your doctor for medical advice. In many cases, hospitalization is not necessary, and many doctors have the ability to video chat with patients. Unless symptoms are extreme, you will probably be advised to stay home and self-isolate for two weeks, but what does that look like?

Ideally, the person with symptoms will stay in one room with an attached bathroom that only that person uses. In the case of a 1-bedroom apartment, the sick person should stay in the bedroom while any other family members stay in the shared living space. In the case of a shared bathroom, extra cleaning measures will need to be taken.

That brings us to advice on what supplies you should have on hand just in case someone in your household gets sick. Scroll down to see what doctor’s recommend you keep in a COVID-19 emergency kit.

  1. PPE

    PPE stands for “personal protective equipment.” We’re talking face masks and gloves. You don’t need an N95 mask. In a pinch, a scarf will you, or you could make some masks. Here’s an easy no-sew method for making masks. While the person who is sick should be confined to one room and nobody else in the family should enter that room, let’s be realistic. Someone in the family is going to have to bring the sick family member food and medicine. This task should be assigned to only one person, and that person should wear a mask and gloves when entering the room. The sick person should also wear a mask and gloves if he or she needs to leave the room for any reason, like to go to a shared bathroom.

  2. Cleaning Supplies

    This includes bleach, sanitizing wipes and paper towels. If the sick person is using a shared bathroom, he or she should dry his or her hands with paper towels instead of a shared hand towel. The bathroom and any surfaces the sick person touches (like doorknobs) will also need to be sanitized. Obviously, the room the sick person stays in will also need to be thoroughly cleaned.

  3. Medicine

    In most cases, whatever medicine you would use to treat the flu is sufficient for easing COVID-19 symptoms.

  4. Pulse Oximeter

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    This device (which you can find at a pharmacy or order from Amazon) clips to your finger and measures your heart rate and blood oxygen levels. It can offer peace of mind (or help you know when to call your doctor) when handling COVID-19 symptoms at home.

  5. Food

    Any food that makes you feel better when you have the flu is good to have on hand. Chicken noodle soup is always a good idea. Sometimes people lose their appetite when they’re not feeling well, so some calorie-dense foods can be good to have on hand too, such as items like avocados and applesauce.

  6. Beverages

    Staying hydrated is very important. While water is wonderful, beverages that include electrolytes are also helpful. We’re talking drinks like Gatorade. Since these drinks tend to contain a lot of sugar, it’s a good idea to dilute the drink with 50% water. Sugar-free beverages are not recommended since they can aggravate gastrointestinal problems.

If you have all of the above items on hand, you should be all set, but once again, we hope you never actually need to use this advice.