RAPID CITY, S.D. — Besides binge-watching your favorite shows, what else can be done to make your time with COVID-19 a bit more tolerable?
Well first, get plenty of rest and lots of fluids – but limit caffeinated beverages and abstain from alcohol. Aim for 64 ounces of fluids daily and even more if you have a fever.
Signs of dehydration include, not urinating as much, the color of urination, and dizziness.
Sheila Long, a Triage Nurse at Monument Health, says, “You need fluid hydration and also electrolyte replacement, so you can do Pedialyte, Gatorade, those kind of things…especially if it’s really hard to get food in when you lose your sense of taste, or you get the stomach upset that can go with the COVID virus. Then people have a really hard time eating so eat small meals, multiple times throughout the day.”
Make sure to try and eat six small meals a day and use the BRAT dietary guidelines for an upset stomach. Protein shakes also help get in nutrients for those with no taste or appetite. Limit spicy and greasy food.
You can use over-the-counter medicines to help alleviate symptoms. Long says to watch cold medications as they usually contains Tylenol – read labels so you don’t go over the recommend amount, which is over 3,200 milligrams in 24 hours. She says you can take Ibuprofen and Tylenol at the same time.
“So they can use Tylenol or ibuprofen for headaches and body aches. They can use cold medications for chest and cough congestion, runny nose, and stuffy nose,” Long says.
Supplements and vitamins can help boost immune system, which may in turn help fight the virus, but there are no definite guidelines on that.
For chest congestion, try doing some deep breathing exercises throughout the day; even get outside for a quick walk if you can.
“So, listening to their body, trying to balance some activity with rest – but if your body is tired (you know you body is fighting a virus), you need to allow it to rest and fight that virus. It is good to be up, moving around some, whether that is walking in your house – if you can get outside if its a nice day outside and the sun can help you just to feel more normal – back to a normal life, so that can help,” says Long.
Also a humidifier or taking a hot shower can help break up congestion. Try and stay virtually connected with friends an family to help ward off mental health issues.
Monument Health has approximately 100 patients enrolled in the COVID care companion program. Nurses typically talk to 30 patients per day, but each patient is individually monitored by a nurse each day.
Click here for CDC guidelines on at home COVID-19 care.