It helps to be prepared, in the face of a pandemic. A fully stocked up first-aid kit is your first port of call. Being mentally prepared with a to-do list and contacts at home & being emotionally prepared is the next.
A STOCKED FIRST-AID KIT
We are listing articles you will need to protect the immune system and "dealing with" articles in case of a cold, cough, fever or 'flu-like symptoms. To be clear, nobody knows what it would take to build resistance to Covid-19. With the seasonal flu on the rise, however, it is advisable to guard from the 'flu, and not render the immune system vulnerable to further attacks.
Here are a few things to stock-up your First-Aid kit with.
1. To protect against cough, cold, fever and 'flu:
Vitamin D (Once a day): Vitamin D helps fight pathogens and decreases inflammation, which improves immune responses
Vitamin B complex with Zinc tablets (to be taken one a day): Zinc aids immune cell development & Vitamin B boosts immune system development by increasing oxygen carrying RBCs' count
Vitamin C (Usually the chewy variety. Also once a day) help boost the immune system in over a dozen ways
A steam inhaler
Reminders for a salt & hot water gargle at the start and end of the day
Betadine (or similar) gargle (for anti-viral and bacterial protection)
Otrivin (or similar) saline nasal spray for preventing blocked noses early
Not in the kit, but of value:
A box of glucose/ ORS to hydrate, in case needed
A number of soup packets, in case of feeling sick and being unable to take care of self with cooking full meals
2. To deal with influenza like illnesses:
Two strips of Paracetamol
Two strips of an anti-histamine like Allegra or Teczine
Cough syrup like Grillinctus - two bottles
A thermometer per person at home/ a no contact thermometer
A pulse oximeter: Checks oxygen saturation levels in the blood (how efficiently is oxygen sent to the extremities) Understand the reading.
Look at the Karnataka government's guidelines (published here.
Keep a fully stocked first-aid kit
Drinking water supply (if you order water cans, keep a couple extra)
Ability to heat up and eat meals (A backup LPG cylinder/ induction stove in working state)
A kettle for boiling hot water for drinking
Contact details of testing centres/ testing services in your area
Cash handy, in case any services need it
Your medical insurance details: It's good practice to keep a photo of your insurance card and number, plus an ID in your wallet always
Contact details of a telemedicine service (Fortis Teleconsult, for instance)
1. If you're suspecting that you're infected:
Stay calm. Easier said than done, but really, just breathe. This was an eventuality you would've thought through. Think of the steps you had intended to carry out. Follow through on those.
Let your lead or manager at work know, so that they can plan for your absence, and see what support you might need.
Call a telemedicine service: Talk to a medical professional and find out what your next steps should be.
Get yourself tested: If the doctors ask you to get a test done, call an at-home testing service like Care on Call, Bangalore (their phone numbers are 9916925165 / 9916915165). Be prepared for
The cost of the test is between Rs. 5,000-Rs. 10,000
There is a waiting period between test being taken and results being available
In the meantime, it is best to keep medication on as prescribed by a medical practitioner and monitor conditions.
Medical insurance: The process to follow is-
Keep your insurance e-card and a government ID card (the original and a copy) handy. Ensure your name on both match. In case not, raise that with Jaya immediately, and get the e-card correction done.
The hospital administration applies for cashless treatment with the insurance service provider. This will take ~4 hours. Upon hospitalisation, about 30-40% of the overall cost of treatment covered under insurance is approved. The remainder will be approved at the time of discharge from hospital. Be prepared for some elements of treatment to not be included (which means, that cost comes out of pocket for you, and therefore, it makes sense to carry a credit card/ debit card you can swipe for those amounts)
If you have any questions during the process of hospitalisation, reach out to Shankar from our insurance partners (His phone number is shared on email and slack. Else, reach out to Monica to do the coordination on your behalf)
Go through these CDC guidelines, as well.
2. If primary caregiver to a Covid-19 infected person:
Expect that this will be your full-time effort in the foreseeable future and see if you can take time off from work.
If they're working from home/ going to a physical office space, ensure someone at their workplace has been informed that they're unwell, with no discernible return to work timeline.
Don't wait for test results: Plan for the worst case scenario of test results being positive. Start maintaining distance, start recording health stats, maintain cleaning protocol for surfaces, food containers & crockery etc.
If this is not an immediate family member, inform their emergency contact folks over a personal phone call, in a sensitive and gentle manner. Establish a method of communicating to them at a set frequency.
Keep the patient isolated in a room - preferably, a room with a bathroom.
Ensure they have the means to sustain themselves for 1-3 weeks: That they have clean clothes, towels, soap, etc.
Give them a set of crockery and cutlery, and the means to keep it clean - dishwashing soap and scrub.
Clean high-touch surfaces twice a day.
You'll be in charge of getting them food. Identify a way to get food to them frequently.
Maintain 3 metre distance from the patient
If they're isolated in a room, identify how to reach the food to them, containers to transfer food and get it back. Wash and sanitise these containers immediately to minimise viral travel.
Start tracking their medical stats in one place.
Track by by time, date.
Track their temperature, medicines being given, food intake, data from them on their sense of smell, taste.
Check for symptoms of breathlessness. If you have a pulse oximeter, use it to check oxygen saturation levels once a day.
Read these CDC guidelines.
3. Emotional health
You will be under severe pressure, if you're caregiving, have someone at home who's suspected to be ill or dealing with mild symptoms. You might find yourself in a situation with no clear decisions or paths to take. These are tough on your mental make-up. If left unattended to, this could lead to impaired decision making or trauma later. One of the first options is to set up a 30-minute one-time conversation with someone at Kahamind, by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or sending in a whatsapp message at +91 7483183313.