Like you, I’m following the spread and containment efforts of the COVID-19 city to city, state to state. I’m listening to the first-hand accounts of nurses in New York, reading the latest studies out of China, tracking the development of new tests and treatments, and doing my best to give my patients the most reliable advice available.
It’s heartbreaking and overwhelming. And now, we are at the epicenter: the United States has more coronavirus cases than any other country. There is a very real possibility that, in the coming days, weeks, and months, many more Americans will become exposed to the virus. In time a majority of us are likely to become infected. This is a sobering reality and we have to be prepared.
We now know that our individual acts, the small ones like washing hands properly, wearing a mask if we are coughing, and distancing ourselves from others can slow the spread of this invisible killer. These simple acts do make a difference. And when we work together, our individual acts result in big differences.
Here’s what we can do:
- Start with basic first aid. Being prepared for possible illness is key to lessening the symptoms and recovering more quickly. We have learned to prepare for cuts and burns and occasional headaches by having bandaids, salves, and aspirin in the medicine cabinet.
- Consider other COVID symptoms. We now know that over half of COVID-19 cases involve GI tract issues. Where there are GI issues, there’s dehydration. And while IVs are great for treating severe dehydration, the great majority of dehydration is mild and moderate. So self-treatment — with an oral rehydration solution at home — can prevent you from becoming severely dehydrated and keep you away from the emergency room ( which is now a good place to contract the coronavirus, if you don’t already have it). This is where oral rehydration solutions, like DripDrop ORS, provide a great at-home solution (for both you and your family). Keep it with your first aid kit.
- Choose delivery for Rxs. For prescription medications, use an online pharmacy that delivers. Many of the traditional pharmacies are now offering these services, in addition to relative newcomers. Bay Area options include: Walgreens, Alto Pharmacy, and Pill Pack. Using these services allows you to continue your standard care routine without an unnecessary trip.
Daily healthy habits and a little preparedness can have major positive impacts on your health and those around you.
Eduardo Dolhun, M.D.