Once again, we’re finding ourselves at the peak of the pandemic. We’re hoping that everyone stays safe and healthy; at the same time, we hope that everybody is monitoring the guidelines coming from our healthcare experts.
At this point, having a COVID-19 home care kit has become essential. Having easy access to these basic items will help you in whatever state you’re in — whether you’re seeking to manage your symptoms at home or desiring to double up on your protection. So if you don’t have a COVID-19 home care kit yet, here are some items that can help you stay prepared.
Side note: This list is merely a starter pack for those planning to put together a COVID-19 home care kit. If you have personal concerns, feel free to tweak this list. We advise that you consult with your doctor about the best way to stay prepared, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.
1. Face masks
First things first, face masks are a top priority in anyone’s COVID-19 home care kit. Whether you have COVID-19 or not, it’s important to protect yourself and those around you. And, simply put, face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as it reduces the spray of respiratory droplets when worn properly.
On that note, please remember to wear your mask properly: Wash your hands before putting it on and after taking it off. Avoid touching it at any time. Let it cover your nose, mouth, and chin. Dispose of it properly if it’s a medical mask; otherwise, wash it immediately after using.
2. Face shield
While there’s been controversy surrounding the necessity of face shields, the fact of the matter is that our government still requires it. So, let’s do our part and follow. Besides, face shields do help to protect your eyes and other parts of your face from exposure to the virus. Just remember to wear a face mask with it, especially when you’ll be interacting with other people.
Shop for face shields here.
In case you’ll be attending an essential social activity, you must be responsible enough to check your vital signs. Bodily fever is one of the first symptoms of illnesses like COVID-19; and while high fever doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve obtained the virus, it’s still a good practice to refrain from socialising when you aren’t in your best shape. Not to mention, having a good grasp of your vital signs is beneficial as it lets you detect diseases early.
4. Blood pressure monitor
Roughly one in four Filipinos are hypertensive, which goes to show that many are at higher risk for COVID-19. Having the power to self-monitor blood pressure lets hypertensive patients discuss with their physicians, even remotely, how to maintain a stable BP.
In a 2020 report, American Medical Association mentions how self-monitoring of BP has always been important; but even more so with the ongoing pandemic. Hypertensive patients are advised to keep in touch with their doctors, especially when they notice a spike in their BP.
Shop for a BP monitor here.
5. Pulse oximeter
Since a pulse oximeter measures your blood oxygen levels, it can serve as a helpful device for those with a mild case of COVID-19. According to Pulmonologist Tim Connolly, the pulse oximeter is the most useful for catching low oxygen levels early.
However, it’s worth noting that not all COVID-19 positive patients develop abnormal oxygen levels; so, make sure to consult with a health care provider if you detect any other symptoms of COVID-19 like high fever and laboured breathing.
Shop for a pulse oximeter here.
Sanitary items and disinfecting tools
6. Antibacterial bar soap
It goes without saying that sanitation and disinfection is a must, whether you’re affected with COVID-19 or not. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Remember to wash your hands with antibacterial soap before eating, after using the restroom, touching public surfaces, and handling your face mask.
Shop for antibacterial bar soap here.
7. Ethyl alcohol
If you don’t have access to soap and water, the next best thing is to sanitise your hands with alcohol. CDC recommends an antibacterial solution with at least 60% alcohol, which is even more effective in disinfection in healthcare settings.
Suffering from dry hands? Invest in hand creams to keep your hands smooth and moisturised.
Shop for ethyl alcohol here.
8. Air purifier
Designed to filter out pollutants and contaminants, air purifier units are capable of reducing viral contaminants in a confined space. According to the CDC, having an air purifier can be helpful, as long as users practice the basic COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing and wearing face masks. Some air purifiers also help those who regularly suffer from the flu or allergies.
This said, do note that the Department of Health (DOH) particularly remarked that they do NOT endorse necklace air purifiers. According to a statement they released on 30 Oct 2020, the department can’t recommend these devices “due to lack of evidence of efficacy”, although they “do not pose any harm.”
Shop for an air purifier here.
9. Vitamins and supplements
Now more than ever, maintaining a strong immune system is important. While vitamins and supplements don’t guarantee treatment or prevention of COVID-19, they are nevertheless beneficial in promoting healthy well-being. According to medical experts, vitamins D and C and zinc play a huge role in preventing micronutrient deficiency.
Shop for vitamin C for adults here or chewable vitamin C for kids here. Shop for vitamin D here and zinc here. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications, consult with your doctor before use.
If you’re building a COVID-19 home care kit, make sure to have stocks of paracetamol. The DOH endorses drinking paracetamol every four hours “if your temperature reaches above 37.5°C.”
Shop for paracetamol here. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications, consult with your doctor before use.
Staying prepared is important, so we hope everyone gets easy access to their own COVID-19 home care kit. All this said, prevention is always better than cure. So remember to follow health and safety protocols, keep yourself and your loved ones in your prayers, and maintain a fighting spirit.
Stay safe, everyone!
Featured image credit: towfiqu barbhuiya via Canva Pro