By FAITH ARGOSINO
Whether you came into contact with someone who has COVID-19, or you became infected yourself, dealing with it means isolation which can be challenging.
Here’s a list of the do’s and don’ts to help families handle home quarantine issued by the Department of Health:
Room for isolation
Prepare a room for confinement. You have to distance yourself from other people in your home, and using a bedroom with a connected bathroom is best for total isolation.
Consider installing an air purifier aside from opening the windows to improve the ventilation.
According to the DOH and other general guidelines issued by medical organizations, airflow can help prevent virus particles from staying in the air. Good ventilation, as well as other preventive measures such as staying six feet apart, can help family members avoid contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus.
If there is only one bathroom and toilet in the house, clean the area after each use with liquid bleach and water.
Proper coughing etiquette
Even under isolation, the patient needs to follow proper coughing and sneezing etiquette to prevent the spread of the virus in the air. Make it a habit to cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
Disinfect frequently touched areas with a disinfecting solution or spray (there are many in the supermarkets). Include tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, and do not forget the tv remote.
Contaminated waste and laundry
The COVID-positive patient should seal in a plastic bag all items for disposal like tissue, paper, plastic spoons and forks, etc. Wear a mask when handing the bag to a caregiver. Both persons should wash their hands with soap and water, and spray some alcohol after the bag is disposed.
Used clothing, bed sheets and towels of the infected person should be washed with warm water in a separate washing machine load.
Things to avoid
Since the goal of the isolation is to contain the virus, do not share dishes, cups, glasses, towels, bedding, electronics with the caregiver or any family member.
The family should impose a “strictly no visitors” policy while on lockdown, except for the people providing medical or essential care.
Other members of the family who tested negative for COVID will be advised to also isolate at home. They will not be allowed to go out to purchase food, medicine, or go to work. Buying essentials should be made online.
Many neighbors now help families on isolation by accepting online orders for them, leaving those on a table outside the gate. That is the bayanihan spirit of the Filipino shining through.
Expect members of the barangay health unit to visit the family after a member has tested COVID-positive. They will also advise the date when the lockdown will be lifted. Only then can the family members leave the house.