A group of Kiwis who have had Covid-19 have pulled together a list of what they think people with the virus who are isolating at home will need, as the Delta community outbreak continues to grow.
To help support those in home isolation, the NZ Long Covid support group, led by Jenene Crossan who caught the virus in March 2020, has crowd-sourced a list of things they found helpful through their illness. It is not a substitute for official medical advice.
Things to have on hand
The NZ Long Covid support group, with nearly 300 members, recommends keeping many of the usual suspects to hand to help relieve symptoms during home isolation, including:
- Heat and cool packs
- Vicks or eucalyptus for steaming
- Saline nasal rinses/sprays
- Kawakawa or other balm
- Bowl and towel for head steaming
- Throat spray/lozenges
- Extra pillows and blankets
- Warm clothes
Things for safety and sanity
The group recommends making an emergency contact list, and a house plan for self-isolation.
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They suggest making sure you’ve got access to masks, gloves, hand sanitiser, disinfectant and cleaning products.
Work out a child care plan, make sure your phone is charged, and ensure there is good ventilation and things to keep warm with, they say.
They also advise keeping your rubbish separated.
From a wellbeing perspective, the group recommends Netflix, puzzles, books, cards, podcasts, soothing music and having a notebook and pen to hand to keep busy.
The Long Covid group recommends having easy-to-heat meals such as soups and bone broth, as well as utilising food deliveries and the Student Volunteer Army or other outreach services.
Members of the group said they found peppermint or ginger tea, vitamin D, zinc, magnesium and sleep drops helpful.
If you have them handy, use straws or balloons for lung exercises; practice box breathing or use breathing and meditation apps, they suggested.
What else you should know
- Make a list of household instructions of things you usually do but cannot while isolating, such as feeding pets, paying bills, and instructions on how to use things
- Write out your medical background and any medications you usually take, and make sure this can be easily found
- Keep a top-up of items you regularly use in one place
- Keep spare batteries to hand in case they’re needed
- Seek a medical certificate from your GP to ensure you can get work and payment/benefits covered as required
- Ask your doctor about: oxygen levels, inhalers, and when to go to hospital
The group says people may lose their appetite, but must make sure they’re eating nutrient-rich foods. They recommend avoiding sugar where possible and nixing alcohol and caffeine.
They suggest keeping a journal of symptoms every day until you’re completely recovered – particularly in digital form if possible given symptoms can endure for some time.
They also stress that rest is absolutely crucial.