a person suffering from covid-19

Preparing for Covid-19

By Mara Shnay

Sadly with the Omicron variant, many of us will get Covid-19 over the next two months. Most of us will get "mild" Covid-19 which may not get us into the hospital, but can still be really miserable. So here are some helpful tips in case you do get sick.

Reduce your exposure as much as you can:

  • Shop and use public transit during off-peak hours
  • Wear a good quality mask -  N95 masks offer the best protection
  • Decrease the amount of time you spend with anyone outside your household

A note about masks:
Although N95 masks are the best option, they are costly and many don't meet standards. Marketplace on CBC did an excellent report about this and ways to tell your mask may be a fake.  Also, you can find a list of approved N95 providers on the Health Canada Website.

There are simple, practical things you can do to prepare in case you or someone in your household becomes ill with Covid-19. Make a plan that includes:

  • Essential supplies of food and medication (a few weeks' worth) so you will not need to leave your home if you become ill
  • Medications that treat Covid-19 symptoms in mild illness such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil (ibuprofen), cough syrup, and cold medication
  • Thermometer If you don't already have one
  • Alternative arrangements in case you become ill or if you need to care for a sick family member
  • Buddy system with someone who can help do essential shopping while you are ill

If you're sick with Covid-19:

  • Stay warm and drink hot liquids, and hey, why not take some Jewish penicillin (otherwise known as chicken soup)
  • If you have trouble breathing, chest pain or other heart symptoms like heart palpitations, it's time to go to the hospital

If you're sick and live with others:

  • Try to stay as separate as possible
  • Keep windows at least slightly open to increase ventilation
  • Invest in a HEPA air purifier (starting at about $130 - Costco has many good options

For more information refer to the Canadian government website Preparing for Covid-19.

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