A comprehensive COVID checklist. Plus, how I battled the novel coronavirus.
The unprecedented times we are living in currently, owing to the pandemic caused by COVID-19, calls for an immediate and urgent COVID checklist to be made. This will help us protect not only ourselves but also those around us, so that the virus can be defeated and we can all go back to our normal lives. While we all know the basic do’s and don’ts when it comes to this virus, there is still a lot of misinformation and false narratives being circulated among the masses. Hence, a reliable and verified COVID checklist is the need of the hour.
How does COVID-19 spread?
First and foremost, let’s learn how the virus is transmitted as this will help us understand how best to protect ourselves against it. Remember, the virus is constantly changing and new variants are being formed. The virus that we are witnessing today is of a different variant than when it first appeared last year. Be careful and vigilant for new symptoms and the constantly-changing virus.
- The COVID virus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets—when an individual with the virus coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes they produce these droplets. If a person happens to be in close contact with this individual (within 6 feet), and is unprotected, then this person is at risk of contracting the virus. This is the most common method of transmission.
- Some infections can also be contracted by exposure to the virus droplets that linger in the air for anywhere between a few minutes to a couple of hours. These droplets are able to infect those beyond six feet as well, and this kind of transmission is referred to as airborne. These transmissions, however, predominantly occur within enclosed spaces that have inadequate ventilation, such as air-conditioned restaurants, gyms, theatres, etc.
- Respiratory droplets could also land on surfaces such as door knobs, handles, etc. The virus could also be transmitted by touching such contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
What protocols to follow to protect yourself and others?
A COVID checklist warrants the most important aspect of helping curb the virus, which is ways you can protect yourself. The more people protect themselves, the less they get infected and the less the virus is able to spread. Here are some basic protocols that should be followed:
- Wear a mask
- Cover your nose and mouth with a face mask and secure it under your chin whenever you step out or if you have a sick family member at home.
- Ensure the mask is properly covering these areas and there are no gaps through which the virus can enter.
- Wear a proper certified 3-layer surgical or N95 mask and preferably not a cloth mask.
- Double-mask if necessary with a surgical mask below and a cotton cloth mask on top.
- Follow CDC mask check protocols to check if your mask is reliable.
- Maintain social distancing, meaning a 6 feet distance from people.
- Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated places.
- Wash your hands as often as possible
- It is imperative to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds if you have visited a public place or have just coughed, sneezed, etc.
- If outside, sanitise your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after touching potentially contaminated/common surfaces.
- It is especially important to wash hands before eating or preparing food.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth when outside and before washing your hands.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces daily.
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- If you are not sporting a mask, always cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or inside of the elbow so as to prevent droplets from reaching others.
- Immediately dispose of the tissue in a safe manner and wash your hands.
- Get vaccinated
- Authorized COVID-19 vaccines have begun to roll out in our country. It is highly recommended to get vaccinated to protect yourself as well as others around you
- Monitor your health on a regular basis.
- Be wary and alert of symptoms of COVID-19. If symptoms develop, isolate yourself immediately and follow CDC guidelines.
These are the mandated protocols that are important to follow and should be incorporated in every COVID checklist. However, there are some things that should be done regardless, at home everyday to maintain the health of your mind and body. These points in the COVID checklist will essentially enable your body to better defend itself and protect against COVID. Let’s explore some other practices to follow in this COVID checklist.
- Ensure proper nutrition intake through a balanced and healthy diet. Include lots of fruits and vegetables to strengthen your immunity.
- Avoid unnecessary junk and unhealthy food in these times. Cook at home as much as possible.
- Get some movement in your day, exercise, practice yoga, or any other activity to boost blood flow.
- Take your daily vitamins and supplements.
- Practice meditation and gratitude daily to calm your mind. It also helps with anxiety that is common in a pandemic.
- Do not self-diagnose yourself. Tele-consult a doctor if you notice symptoms and isolate yourself immediately.
- Ensure adequate hydration with plenty of fluids and juices.
- Get up-to-date information about local COVID activity from verified sources.
- Create a list of local organizations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
- Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbours, healthcare providers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
- Don’t neglect your mental health. Stay connected with your family and friends, have positive conversations, go out in nature if you can, and do things that make you happy.
My experience with the novel coronavirus
It is a tough time for all of us but just like everything else, we’ll get through this as well. To conclude, I would like to share my personal experience with COVID. These are just some protocols I followed when me and my family members tested positive. It is important to note that the symptoms of the second-wave COVID virus are somewhat different than what we witnessed in the first wave. The moment you notice any of these symptoms—dry cough, fever, breathlessness, bodyache, fatigue, conjunctivitis, sore throat, gastric issues (specially in children)—isolate yourself from the other family members and ask them to wear a mask. Don’t share utensils and start eating in disposables. Avoid washing your clothes in the regular washer. You may put them in a disinfectant solution separately. Most importantly, start monitoring three things: Temperature, blood oxygen levels, and heart rate. Take some over-the-counter medications like Paracetamol or Dolo-650 in case of fever. It is also recommended to take some multivitamins such as vitamin-C (1000 units), vitamin D (60000 units), and zinc supplements (30mg). The dosage will be recommended by your doctor. On the second or third day of COVID, it is suggested to take your blood tests to monitor your blood flow. The tests may be CBC, CRP, D-Dimer, liver function, kidney function, and urine analysis. The initial days may be tough, but hang in there and listen to your doctor. I followed my doctor’s advice, rested A LOT, drank warm liquids (tulsi ginger water, coconut water, warm turmeric milk with black pepper and ginger), ate home-cooked and protein-rich meals, did my breathing exercises (box breathing and pranayama), took my medication and supplements and stayed as optimistic as I could.
Stay at home and follow protocols mentioned in my COVID checklist. If you notice symptoms, isolate and get tested. Don’t panic and keep your vitals in check. Take care of your body, eat well, and rest. Stay home, stay safe!