As the coronavirus grips the world and more and more people gets affected, it has become extremely crucial to know about post COVID care. You simply can’t evade the effects of the disease once you are clear of the virus. It’s the period after the recovery which is crucial for it decides how you would be living in the long run.
While coronavirus symptoms like fever, cough and cold, headache, diarrhea, breathing problem recede in a recovered person other long-term chronic illness sets in.
What we need to realize now are the lifestyle changes we need to make from now onwards. Just like diabetes, heart problem or cholesterol and blood pressure require long term lifestyle changes, covid19 too needs long term lifestyle changes which curtail the effect of the damages done by the virus to your vital organs.
What’s the condition of the body after covid19?
Most people think that after covid19 recovery you are free of the disease and can return back to living as before. You simply cannot return to the pre-COVID structure. You might monitor and overcome the post COVID symptoms of fatigue, memory loss, stomach pain, chest pain, rashes, diarrhea, and fever yet the long term post COVID care for patients are more complex
This is the reason why hospitals are formulating post-COVID care packages and opening up post-COVID care centers.
The coronavirus greatly affects your lungs, brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. So, covid19 patients are often returning to hospitals with breathing trouble like asthma or heart problems and kidney and liver symptoms. While you have the doctors taking care of these chronic illnesses arising after covid19 recovery with a good post COVID care plan, you need to look after your health and slowly and steadily get back to the normal level.
After covid19 your outdoor activity level like hiking cycling etc may take a hit as you gasp for breath with your lung problems. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do them altogether. You can do them systematically if you strategize and do these things in a point-to-point based manner where you try to increase your potential gradually at each step. It’s like learning to hike or cycle once again but this time keeping in mind your disabled stamina.
While this is a long term strategy to go about your post COVID life, the immediate post COVID care at home involves strategic monitoring of these post COVID ailments and gradually restoring them with proper diet, exercise, and activity.
Remember at no point this involves heavy-duty exercise and hardcore dieting and other things you followed in the pre-COVID time. It simply means rejuvenating your body with adequate nutrients and customizing it with regular activity
The Essential Post COVID Care Measures
The basic post COVID care involves a good mixture of immunity building natural food items and mild exercises that helps you to walk, sit, and breathe properly.
The post-COVID diet should be a wholesome nutritious meal of whole grains like wheat, ragi, oat along enough sources of protein especially egg and fish. The broth is very nutritious at this time to eat. So incorporate it in the diet as soup with broth or mild curries cooked with the broth.
Vegetables and fruits are of primary importance and you need to have at least 5 servings of them daily. If you have fever or cough and cold then oxidative stress relievers like turmeric, ginger, garlic, eucalyptus, tulsi, aloe vera, etc. should be incorporated in your diet. Get as much of varied fruits and vegetables on your plate as you can. It is advised to follow the ‘Eat With A Rainbow’ strategy which involves eating different colors of fruits and vegetables making your vitamin and minerals uptake complete. Tries berries, bell peppers, carrots, peas, broccoli, etc. and make a healthy salad bowl.
Citrus fruits and high fiber milk like soy milk or oat milk is good for health during this time. Some might not feel the taste and won’t want to eat in this condition. For them, pickles or jams can be used to add flavors. At all costs, remember to eat plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated as you need to replenish the lost body fluids.
2. Dealing with post COVID symptoms
Post-COVID symptoms are pretty much similar to covid19 symptoms but they have certain psychological barriers to it. As you have suffered from the disease, the fear and anxiety of getting it again or dying of it remain ingrained in your brain. For this, you need to gradually shed the fear by visualization things you like. Read books, color coloring pages, watch some shows, let others read a story to you, go through old pictures, and most importantly talk to people, especially fellow survivors. This kinship will reduce the anxiety and let you get proper sleep and rest.
You can even try out puzzles, quizzes, and games to keep yourself upbeat and rejigs your memory.
Breakdown your work and do a little bit of it at a time. Take adequate breaks in between and reduce the quantity of work to manage the fatigue and slowly regain normalcy. Don’t instantly jump to work.
If you have a cough and cold symptoms drink lots of water and regularly rinse your throat and nose and try out breathing exercises. If you have chest congestion then try deep breathing slowly and steadily. Sleep on your right side with 2-3 pillow under your hips and head, and cross your left arm.
For stomach pains try belly breaths with one arm on your chest and another one on your tummy and breathe out forcefully using your stomach muscles. Don’t climb stairs or take long-distance walks, rather take small steps to your window, lean against the window sill, and breath fresh air. Sit on your verandah and terrace and practice deep breathing into the fresh air.
3. Restoring Physical Activity
The third and final step of post COVID care is to restore your physical activity slowly and gradually. You can’t jump into heavy exercises at the moment. You need to start with baby steps based on your fatigue level and then increase your potential gradually.
So, start with basic warm-ups and yoga. Do 5 minutes of shoulder movements, knee movements, and wrist, hand, and leg movements.
Once you are good with this, increase the level to short walks and climb 1-2 steps of stairs. Remember you don’t need to get outside and do long exercise for it. Just practice at home by climbing 2-3 steps few times, strolling around the terrace a few minutes.
When you have mastered this, move onto the ultimate level and try lifting some light weights, and doing some pushups and squats. Always remember to include stretching and bending exercises in your activity no matter what you are doing. The stretching exercises greatly help to keep the muscles well making the organs easier to function.
These are some of the post COVID care strategies you can use at home. All these are meant to reduce the symptoms and restore your activity but they aren’t the actual care for your vital organs. For that, you need to regularly stay in touch with the doctor and monitor your conditions so that you can get exact supportive medicine and care. It’s always the healthy habits that take you through and here too, a healthy lifestyle along with proper social distancing measures will see you through.
1.What’s recovery time of the coronavirus?
COVID19 recovery depends on the severity of the disease. For mild cases, the recovery time is of 2 weeks but for severe cases, it can last up to a month or two.
2. What are the basic steps of post COVID care?
For post COVID care you need to give supportive care to the patients who will be too tired and lethargic. They will be sleepy and reluctant to eat along with regular symptoms. The immediate post COVID care at home involves giving them nutritious meals especially fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein along with regular drinking of water. Mild breathing exercises and warmups to regain the strength and stress relieving herbal home remedies like eucalyptus, aloe vera, tulsi is the key.
3. Is post COVID care crucial for all patients?
All coronavirus patients need a post COVID care at home irrespective of their health status. They might not show any symptoms but internally they are weak and the system is fatigued. So, proper care along with regular checkups by the doctor using the post COVID care plan is crucial.
4. How long should post COVID care continue?
CDC data shows that mild cases of covid19 remain infective 10 days after the disease. So, even for people who have recovered and released from the hospital, should maintain 14 days of isolation and care. Now, the post COVID care is the tough part to decide as we don’t know how long this support is needed and to what extent damages are done. The immediate supportive care might be over in 1-2months but you still need to be vigilant and do regular checkups.