The dreaded positive test comes back and you've got COVID-19. What now?
At its core, the virus can manifest like the worst cold or flu you've ever had. If you're lucky, you can ride it out in about two weeks of home quarantine, treating your symptoms on your own.
*Disclaimer: check with your local healthcare provider if you experience more complex symptoms or have respiratory issues. The following list includes tips and tricks to help ease your discomfort, but note that every person and every body is different. What works for you doesn't necessarily mean it'll work for everyone.
Here are 9 things to get you over the worst of it, provided you do not have more serious complications.
1. Over-the-counter cold and flu medications
Combination pills and syrups can easily control body aches, fever, congestion, and cough associated with the virus. Try to keep track of your symptoms in a journal and follow up on anything that lasts longer than the two weeks after your positive test.
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2. Nausea remedies
You may experience a lack of appetite if you lose your senses of smell and taste. Personally, the nausea I experienced made eating and drinking a real chore. That, in turn, led to some real discomfort and lethargy.
Have some motion sickness medication or ginger on hand if you get this particular symptom. You need to feed yourself to keep your strength up!
3. Sports drinks
Staying hydrated is key. If you find that you don't have the stomach for food, the calories in sports drinks will help boost your energy levels.
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4. Cough drops
One of the most annoying symptoms can be a dry, hacking cough. Stock up on your favorite cough drops and vitamin C lozenges.
5. Hot tea
A nice mug of tea will do wonders to help soothe your throat. Clear soup and hot cocoa are good alternatives, and both keep well in the cupboard for your next cold or flu.
If you can find it, ginger tea will do double duty to settle a queasy stomach. Chamomile tea and rosehip tea are great to have around bedtime.
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6. Vitamins and supplements
Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and even melatonin have been suggested as natural options to help battle COVID-19. You can get these through food and drinks, vitamins, or gummies.
7. Carbs, carbs, and more carbs
One of the best things you can do is keep your strength up. Studies show that regular exercise, even just walking around your house every hour, is excellent for keeping your lung functions up.
You may lose your appetite for several days and convenient food is the easiest thing to help combat that. Ice cream, frozen meals like pasta and mashed potatoes are the high-calorie options that will give you the most fuel per forkful. Also, try sipping on fresh fruit juices for more vitamins and natural sugar.
Photo by Michelle Tsang
8. Pulse oximeter
A simple fingertip pulse oximeter can be purchased online for under $20. You'll need this to make sure your oxygen saturation level remains within the normal range (at least 95 percent) if you're worried about respiratory issues.
You'll want to monitor your temperature as you recover. Most states require at least 24 hours without a fever (unmedicated) before you can return to work. Keep a log of your temperature daily.
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With the right supplies, you may be able to overcome a mild case of COVID-19 within two weeks. Keep a close eye on your symptoms and make sure you seek professional medical help if your home remedies do not seem to work.
Have you weathered a mild or moderate case of COVID-19? What medications, supplements, or foods seemed to help you get over it? Let us know in the comments.