If you or a loved one are at home with COVID-19, taking a mindful and loving approach to care is essential. Proper nourishment, rest and adherence to your doctor’s prescribed treatment plan will help you recover as completely as possible. And while we all tend to get a little impatient when we’re under the weather, this is not the time to be in a hurry.
Approach this recovery period with patience, grace and compassion, knowing that you’re not alone in this journey. Our team at LCMC Health is here to help you however we can, whether it’s by phone, online or during an in-person visit with a member of our medical team. Follow your healthcare provider’s advice, and together, we’ll get through this unusual time and back to the business of living healthy.
What to eat when you’re sick with COVID-19
Your body is best equipped to fight illness when it’s well hydrated and fueled by nutrient-rich foods. While living with and recovering from COVID-19, choose a variety of fresh produce, lean sources of protein and whole grains to help support your body.
When cooking at home, focus on limiting salt, sugar and unhealthy fat, and fill your menu with whole foods, like:
● Fresh fruits and vegetables
● Brown rice
● Olive oil
If you’re cooking vegetables and fruits, preserve their nutrients by not overcooking the dish. If you choose dried or pre-packaged foods, select an option that is low in added salt or sugar.
Also, drink plenty of water during your recovery. Water helps deliver nutrients to your entire body while regulating body temperature and eliminating toxins and waste. Drinking eight to 10 cups of water per day is a good goal and is especially important when recovering from illness.
“Food is an efficient and natural form of medicine for the human body,” said Jeffrey M. Elder, MD, Medical Director for Emergency Management at LCMC Health. “While supplements can be helpful, vitamins and minerals in the food that you eat are the easiest for the body to process and utilize, which is essential when you’re sick.”
How to protect other household members
Spending time with loved ones is one of the greatest treasures of life. This can be a hard truth to manage when sick with an illness like COVID-19, but with the proper precautions, you can still enjoy one another’s company even during times of illness. The keys to healthy quality time during COVID-19 are cleanliness, distance and proper protection.
Key practices to follow when a member of your household is sick include:
● Don’t touch your eyes, mouth or nose.
● Eat in separate rooms. Use cell phones to talk with one another.
● Don’t share personal items, such as cups, dishes, remote controls and towels.
● Keep windows in your home open, if possible, to improve ventilation.
● Practice regular daily disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces, such as countertops and doorknobs.
● Wash laundry regularly.
● Wash dishes and utensils while wearing gloves and using detergent and hot water or a dishwasher.
● Wear masks when you’re close to other household members.
● Wear gloves if you’ll come in contact with a loved one’s bodily fluids, such as saliva, vomit, blood or urine. Throw the gloves away and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water afterward.
How to clean and disinfect after a household member has had COVID-19
Recovery from COVID-19 is certainly cause for celebration but only do so after you’ve taken steps to clean and disinfect your home to help keep everyone healthy.
● Quarantine the sick. This means not being in or using the same areas of your home, if possible, and not sharing personal items, linens or dishes with the COVID-19 positive patient.
● Avoid the space. If you can avoid the room or rooms where the person who has COVID-19 has been spending time (bedrooms, bathroom), you should do so while they’re sick and for a week after they recover. The virus is not as likely to be active anymore, and it will be safer to clean.
● Protect yourself. While you’re cleaning or doing laundry, protect your eyes, face and skin by wearing goggles, a facemask and gloves. Open windows to ensure ventilation.
● Try a two-part scrub. Begin the cleaning process by using detergent and water to cleanse non-porous surfaces. Then, go back and spritz the surfaces with disinfectant cleaning solutions, such as diluted household bleach solutions or EPA-approved disinfectant products specified to kill germs associated with viruses.
● Bring the heat. When laundering clothing and linens, wear gloves and use the hottest water setting possible. Wash hands thoroughly after putting laundry into the wash, then thoroughly disinfect your laundry hampers before using them again.
Find a healthcare provider at LCMC Health who can help you or your family member manage a case of COVID-19.