By Sheila Roberts
Our projects are all feeling the impact of the Covid-19 and one of the things we can do to reduce this impact is to look after ourselves and our co-workers. In part 1 we looked at prevention. This is blog is to support and re-inforce the advice which is available nationally and also to add a few basic approaches which have been gleaned from many years in healthcare (my first career was 20 years in the NHS – originally in ITU).
In the last blog we made some suggestions to prevent succumbing to a virus. This time we have picked up some advice to fight off any infection you may have picked up.
Whether your virus is the current Covid 19 or any other, go after any symptoms fast and do not wait until your symptoms get more severe. Hit it hard at the stage of I have a “tickle in my throat.” If you never get more ill – BRILLIANT. Self-care suggestions are not a replacement for social distancing – that is the first order of business – avoid exposure. Now, however, is not the time to ignore that scratchy sore throat, thinking you can just soldier on.
At the first sign of any symptoms (sore throat, headache, cough, achiness, sweats/chills, fever), implement the second line of Self-Care. Do these for a week and then if/ when any more symptoms appear, do it again for another week. Do not wait for a diagnosis to start taking care of yourself. The NHS does not want people who have mild symptoms to take up time and PPE resources. Even without an appointment or a diagnosis, make the effort to do all these self-care techniques, for any virus. You’re going all out here to make sure you stay healthy.
1. Gargle with warm water, and salt (if not on a low salt diet) frequently – this is soothing and helps break up mucous – which can become a HUGE problem for your lungs. Drinking warm liquids (teas, soups, etc) is comforting but not a replacement. Gargling creates a healthy environment in your throat and relieves throat pain.
- Next, even if you don’t have a cough you can do this one. Every four hours as a minimum (or more frequently if you need relief from a persistent cough), add with some eucalyptus or oregano to boiling water. Put a towel over your head and make a tent with the steam. Close your eyes and keep your face about 8 inches from the water. Breathe deeply into your nose and lungs – the warm steam will keep your airways open and help relieve congestion. The heat can kill viruses. Any time you have a dry hacking cough, do this treatment. A nebulizer is a more high tech way of doing this.
- If you get a temperature, your body is doing its job. Medication is needed when it gets higher.
- The Mayo Clinic recommends three cups of Epsom Salts in your bath to get magnesium into muscles to help your immune system. For more information – visit – https://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/health/treat-cold-flu-with-epsom-salt/
- Do some gentle stretching – ending with your legs up the wall – this helps activate your lymphatic symptom to help fight off viruses. Do deep breathing as more oxygen is proven to help as well.
- Make yourself a big pot of chicken bone broth. Amazingly there is some evidence for this age-old cure which works by reducing inflammation in your respiratory system – https://www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/media/press-kits/chicken-soup/.
- If possible get some sun and fresh air. You need to keep the air flowing around you. Sitting in the sun activates your vitamin D – an immune booster that helps your body fight off viruses.
- Short walks can help boost your immune system and you’ll feel better.
- Avoid eating any sugar (this includes alcohol). Sugar makes your body have to work harder when it’s already taxed fighting off whatever bug you have.
- Stay away from other people – who knows what you (or they) have and you don’t want to be exposing yourself to their germs when you’re not feeling well or them to your germs since without testing there is no way to really know what you have – especially if it’s mild.
Why wait until you find out what you have – kick it to the touch line early by taking action yourself.
This is not a cure but a step in the right direction to avoid things getting more serious.
This is not to replace any medical advice you receive but to act immediately in the period until you feel that further advice is needed – following the current government advice about when to seek advice.
A Dr with over 30 years of experience said recently that it is not so much the virus spreading but people spreading the virus. Stay distanced, protect the health services and stay safe.