Covid-19 Guide: How to respond if your loved ones are unwell6 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Has your parent or loved one tested positive for coronavirus? Is someone you know feeling unwell? Owliver is here with a guide to help you be helpful during this extremely difficult time. Take care and read on for some tips on how to deal with someone close to you dealing with the virus.
First of all, don’t panic. Most people, with the proper care, recover from the illness and do not even need hospitalization. However, it is important to remember that prevention is the best cure. Stay home, wash your hands regularly, wear a mask when necessary and avoid touching your face.
When something like this pandemic strikes us, it is normal to panic and feel anxious. However, you should know that you are not alone and you must be strong for your caregiver so they recover quickly.
Step 1– Self Isolate
The first thing you have to do if your parent feels ill is to make sure that you are socially distant from them. It is hard to stay away from the ones we love at times like these, but you must stay well yourself. make sure you wear a mask whenever you are in the same room as your parent or caregiver. Try not to go near them unless they urgently need your help. If you have to go near them, make sure that you are wearing a mask and gloves and regularly sanitising or washing your hands.
Then, see if you can get another adult or relative to take charge of the situation. If no one is available, don’t worry. Just follow the steps below and make sure you continue to do everything to keep yourself healthy and well.
Step 2– Test, test, test!
Before you do anything else, make sure that your caregiver, in fact, has COVID-19. First, check if their symptoms match the common symptoms of the illness.
If yes, immediately contact a doctor and a testing centre. You can find your closest testing centre with a simple google search. However, testing centres these days are overflowing with requests. So, make sure that you keep a few numbers handy and keep calling until you can secure a test.
Make sure that you ask for an RT-PCR test, which is the most reliable test to detect the Covid-19 infection. During the test a large cotton swab (looks like a giant earbud) will be inserted in the patient’s throat and nose. Once the test is taken, your parent will get an SMS with a serial number. Make sure that you keep that number safely.
Step 3- Contact your doctor
If the RT-PCR test comes back positive, don’t panic and immediately contact your doctor. Again, doctors are very busy at this time. They are being swarmed with patients. Make sure you have a list of doctors numbers that you can find online and using your network of family and friends. Find a doctor that can talk to you and follow their advice. Make sure that you get the number of the doctor from an adult whom you trust.
If your parent is feeling well enough, ask them to speak with the doctor. If not, describe their symptoms to the doctor yourself. After your conversation, make sure that you help your parent follow all of the doctors recommendations. Make a note of them and make sure to remind your parent of the doctors orders regularly.
Sometimes the RT-PCR test can return with a negative result but you may still have coronavirus in your body. In that case, check your parents’ symptoms. Are they consistent with the COVID-19 symptoms? If yes, make them repeat the test in three days and contact your doctor anyway.
All this information can be a lot to take in. Go on and relax before coming back for Part 2 to see what you can do next to support your loved ones.
This article has used WHO and UNICEF guidelines as its guiding principle. Please check their websites for more detailed advice.
Here are some resources to help you further:
The WHO guidelines for COVID-19:
The ICMR guidelines for COVID-19 (this is available in all Indian languages):
The UNICEF guidelines for COVID-19:
The CDC guidelines for COVID-19:
You can message this number (+1 (234) 517-8991) with the name of your town and whatever it is you need (medical resources, food etc.) and it will respond with numbers you can call to try for help : https://introbot.co