With the pandemic turning the situation grim with every passing day, it is important for us to ardently follow protocols to break the chain. While we practice physical distancing, wear our masks, schedule our vaccination appointments, and stay indoors as much as possible, there are a few more things we can do to tackle this pandemic. In fact, home isolation is recommended for the majority of Covid-positive patients who are either asymptomatic, or are dealing with mild symptoms.
So here are some essentials to battle the second wave:
Products for hygiene and sanitation
Start “double masking” and cut down exposure to pathogens. First wear a surgical mask, and then a cloth mask, to securely cover the contours of your face better. Another indispensable practice during this pandemic, and otherwise, is hand hygiene. Hands, even pre-Covid, have been amongst the biggest transmitters of myriad diseases. Hand -washing is known to curb the spread of numerous illnesses significantly – including respiratory ones.
While using a hand-wash by a trusted brand is the best way to go, you can also use sanitizers when using soap and water is not an option. Ensure its alcohol concentration is well above the recommended 60%. We also know that touching frequently handled surfaces spreads germs, so it is important to ensure that you are armed with sanitizers and disinfectants if you have to venture outside.
Immunity boosting supplements
Multivitamins bolster the fortress that is your immune system while fending off lethargy and weakness. Look for supplements with a judicious mix of vitamins. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, increases the production of white blood cells and directly betters the immune system. Vitamin B battles dullness, tiredness, and weakness, while vitamin D helps regulate calcium and consequently ensures that our muscles, bones, and teeth stay strong. Nutrients like zinc and iodine strengthen your metabolism and improve the functioning of your thyroid. Procure your multivitamins from an established brand to ensure highest levels of efficacy.
Items to nurse a mild cough and cold
Needless to say, in times like these if you are experiencing mild throat irritation and other symptoms of cold and cough, please consult your doctor first. Follow his / her instructions. If your symptoms are not COVID-related, you can take up several measures to stay comfortable at home. You can gargle with warm salt water. Improve the relief and speed up healing by using a gentle gargle with a formulation of the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory povidone-iodine. Use a cough syrup 3 times a day, or as directed on the bottle or by your physician.
For a stuffy and blocked nose, or even cough, ensure steam inhalation once or twice a day. If you want a more power-packed way to clear your nasal passages, just add eucalyptus oil and a pinch of camphor to the boiling water and breathe in the vapours. Keep a nasal spray and lozenges by your side for quick relief, and hasten your recovery with some green tea and a warm blend of potent ingredients like tulsi, ginger, pepper, cloves, turmeric, and honey.
Stock up your medicine cabinet with emergency medication for flu like cough medicines and decongestants. Ensure you have strips of paracetamol at home to treat the body aches and headaches that flu brings, and to also reduce fever. Always check with your doctor for dosages and treatments for yourself and refrain from self-medicating.
There are some tools that make accurately monitoring symptoms and following improvements very easy. An infrared thermometer helps if you need to physically distance yourself from a patient at home showing flu-like or Covid symptoms. Also, keep a pulse oximeter at home, a device that can even be bought online, to monitor a patient’s blood oxygen levels. It is gently clamped over a finger (without nail polish, false nails, or mehndi) till a stable reading on your blood’s oxygen saturation level is provided. A reading between 95 and 100 is normal in healthy adults and children, so if lower, contact your doctor immediately.
Prevention is certainly better than cure, and in these unprecedented times it is utmost important to stay at home and take immediate remedies as soon as you experience the onset of any symptoms of flu. Add these essentials to your first- aid kit and be equipped to tend to your family member or a neighbor who might need it the most. Check on your domestic help and offer them if they need access to these items. Look out for those around you, and we would have soon weathered the storm.
(The author is Director, Medical Services with Cipla Health Ltd. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult health 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.)