While the battle against COVID-19 isn’t over, with more evolved strains coming in, news of people getting infected by it has also been increasing. And it’s not just one person who gets it, the whole family ends up getting the virus, too!
Mom-of-two Kabbie Rodriguez Alipio, like most of us, didn’t think that COVID-19 would hit her household but it did. She composed a lengthy post on her personal Facebook account last night, April 5, to share her experience so that all of us can learn from it.
Kabbie’s family is composed of four with her husband and two children— six-year-old daughter and one-year-old son. They also have two household help who stay with them. Her husband had over-fatigue symptoms last March 17, Wednesday. He had fever the next day and elevated blood pressure which was not common for her husband. But they decided to have her husband get tested for COVID-19 on Friday. The results came out on Saturday and it was positive. Kabbie and the two household help started feeling symptoms of itchy throat last Saturday 8 p.m. They tested the next day and results came out Tuesday, March 23, that they were all positive.
Being offline for two weeks for the reason that her whole family was tested positive for COVID-19, she decided to share her experience so that others will be more alert and mindful to take precautions and act fast. “I’m writing this to help others create some sort of game plan because, really, it pays to be prepared. The numbers are not getting lower, and while I’d like to believe we’re all doing our best to avoid getting infected, this variant is really contagious, so covering all basis is very crucial. I hope these pointers can help you.”
Isolate as soon as possible
The moment my husband felt symptoms on Wednesday, we should’ve isolated him right away, wore masks inside the house, and assumed him to be positive even without the test. Act fast. No time to be in denial. So the key is to have an isolation room ready, or an isolation plan in place. It’s hard to implement this in a lot of households (including ours) because we live in compact houses but this is something you really need to plan. Our whole family sleeps in the masters so the moment we got Mitor’s results, I had to scramble all our stuff downstairs and turn our living room into our temporary sleeping area (thank God for sofa beds!). If only I had the plan already in place, we could’ve moved faster and more efficient, like how firefighters move when there’s fire.
COVID-19 starter pack
Here’s list of things you need to have ready. Make sure you have at least two sets because one will stay with the person in isolation and the other set will be for the rest of the household.
Blood pressure monitor
Vitamins C 2000mg/day, Zinc 25-30mg/day, D 2000iu/day
Paracetamol for fever
Betadyne gargle and throat spray
Medical-grade masks (Since our kids are young and we can’t exactly isolate ourselves from them, me and the yayas were wearing masks 24/7—even when we’re sleeping.)
Oxygen tank (if you have asthma or if you just wanna be extra ready because the moment your oxygen level goes down to 92, you need to bring yourself to the hospital as per the husband’s doctor and we all know hospitals are super full so might as well have the oxygen tank on standby so you can manage it at home)
Nebulizer (It’svery useful for managing your cough, just make sure to consult with a pulmonologist for the right meds and dosage.)
A rosary, if you’re Catholic
Turmeric tea instant mix (It’s really good to soothe the throat. My friend sent me a bunch from Yamang Bukid, available in Shopee or Lazada)
Cutlery set (No sharing of utensils, each person needs have their own, so include dishwashing soap and sponge for the person in isolation so he can wash his own utensils.)
Paper plates (Have stock ready so you will just put food there for the person in isolation and straight to the trash bin after he eats.)
Other things to buy the moment you test positive:
Medicines prescribed by your doctor (this can be antibiotics, mucolytic, cough meds, etc depending on your symptoms and how severe it is)
Fruits, lots of it. Lemon for water, oranges and bananas for snacking, and other fruits you like.
Online command center
Do not be embarrased to ask for help. I know it can get stressful replying to a lot of people so make it simple, create just one group chat (choose one main platform, in our case I used FB Messenger) with your immediate family and friends, so you can just update that single thread. Be honest with what you need because, believe me, your loved ones will do anything and everything for you without question. Also make sure to have the pediatrician of your kids on speed dial and other trusted doctors.
TIP: Prepare an excel file as early as now with all the important people you need to update regarding your condition and then assign it to one trusted person outside your household who can act as your liason. The list can include the following: your child’s teachers, your condo/village admin to help with coordination with deliveries, your boss and clients that need immediate attention, your employees or teammates, and other people not part of your command center but you need to update anyway. I was lucky that my symptoms were manageable so I was able to soldier on and manage logistics and communication with everyone. As a wife, a mother, and an employer (our household plus our business—we have four employees we got in close contact with, one tested positive, one had symptoms, the 2 tested negative), it was a challenge for me since I needed to observe and take care of them while I was feeling unwell myself. It’s not easy but I had to do it. But if it happened that my case worsened, then it would have been hard for me to update and reply to all the messages. Having someone who can do it for you is very helpful so you can also focus on healing.
Power of prayers
Our case was bearable because the kids were asymptomatic. As in no symptoms at all which is the greatest blessing. Pray the rosary and/or download any prayer app. I played it over and over and over, and it helped me in so many ways. For 14 days, I was just praying and praying and praying. My most favorite worship song is Lift Up Your Hands by Basil Valdez and Aiza Seguerra’s version of Lead me Lord. Look it up on Spotify. Prayer is really food for the soul. It nourished me when I was feeling weak, anxious, and helpless. So prepare a worship or calming playlist as early as now because while meds are there for your body, you also need to nourish your mind and soul.
Apps that help
Online apps for home service RT-PCR Swab Test help. Even the delivery apps with pabili option for contactless payments. Once booked, I just send the prescription to the rider and then he buys to the nearest drug stores. Our initial meds were purchased by my brother, dad, aunt, and cousins all sent via these delivery apps, but we also had to do additional consultations with pulmonologists so the pabili option was very convenient for those extra meds we needed ASAP. Since we were in full isolation, our village has a system in place for COVID-positive households. The security guard receives the packages on our behalf, then the guard just leaves it by our front door. No close contact so everyone is safe.
Take down notes
Record all the meds you took, including the time. So when you need to go to the emergency room, you just need to show that to the doctor the list for their reference.
CCTV synced to the phone app
Install a CCTV in the isolation room and hook it up on your phone. This will allow you to check the person in isolation anytime, especially if he’s sleeping. I always check our CCTV first before calling my husband because I wouldn’t want to wake him up just to ask random questions like “gutom ka na ba (are you hungry)?”
KN95 mask really works
Two people I got in close contact with tested negative—both were wearing KN95 on that day. So it pays to use the right mask.
“I hope these tips are helpful. My prayer for you is that you and your loved ones never test positive. But in case you do, I hope you fight it with all your might, keep the faith, and believe in the power of God’s healing grace,” ends Kabbie.