If Someone You Live With Gets COVID-19

The day after we learned our 20 year-old daughter tested positive for COVID-19, I wrote a blog to bring order to my spinning mind and to warn others. What I didn’t anticipate was such loving encouragement, thank you very much.

Our daughter has recovered and all of us living in the same home have had two negative swab tests. We are beyond grateful. We are also heartbroken that 500,000 humans have lost their lives to this ongoing global pandemic.

I hope you don’t find yourself living with someone who has COVID-19. If you do, I want to share what we did based upon the CDC guidelines. I found it hard.

The patient needs to:

  • Stay in a separate room the whole time, exiting only to use the restroom.
  • Drink a ton of water (Pedialyte good)
  • Eat healthy food even when you are not hungry
  • Administer your own medications if possible
  • Video call, call, or text to communicate with family and friends
  • Keep windows open for ventilation
  • Sleep, read, watch movies, video calls,  do stretches if you are up to it
  • Wear a mask when caregiver opens the door to ck on you

The rest of the family or roommates need to:

  • Stay home 2 weeks bc you don’t know if you’ve been infected
  • Wear a mask all the time, except sleeping
  • Strictly avoid the patient’s room or bathroom
  • Make sure the pt has a safe way to communicate with you. Our daughter used her cell phone, elders across the nation are using their GrandPads.
  • Deliver all the patient’s meals and leave outside the door. I recommend paper plates and utensils. Leave it outside the door or make sure you both have masks on and drop-off quickly without getting close.
  • Wash your hands all the time, for us it was 20-30 times a day.  
  • Clean and disinfect the high-touch areas every day: the refrigerator,  doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics.
  • Try to leave the trash can and laundry in the patient’s room. If you must remove it, wear gloves, be quick, wash in the hottest water. I just left it.
  • Check on patient: wear a mask, knock on door to ensure patient has a mask on, open door, stand 6-10 feet away and check if patient has:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face
  • If your patient has any of the symptoms above seek emergency assistance.
  • Check CDC guidelines each day as sometimes things change with new learnings

Safely Ending the Care at Home Protocol

The CDC says we can end the strict protocol because our patient has met the three criteria: 3 days with no fever; respiratory symptoms have improved; and 10 days since symptoms first appeared. It has been 14 days since we were exposed to the patient and all family members have had 2 negative swab tests.

However

The big however here lies in the fact that if we are not very vigilant, another family member will contract COVID-19 and we will be back to square one. The process was exhausting and terrifying. Next time we might not be as lucky. Stay safe dear ones, this is going to take a lot of patience, grit, and humility.  

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