The Novel Coronavirus is about to hit the United States in full force. COVID-19 is real. It’s not the common cold. It’s (literally) deadly serious. It’s a severe disease. It’s scary. The Coronavirus outbreak might be the scariest impending event of your lifetime, that is unless you’re old enough to remember practicing how to mitigate the possibility of being incinerated by a nuclear weapon by ducking under your desk in 3rd grade. And even then, at least you could assuage your anxiety by remembering that there was some mutually assured destruction in play. Sure you might be turned into a pile of boiling goo and then evaporate, but so would little Alexei in Moscow. Ah, the good ole days.
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That doesn’t work for the Coronavirus spread. It’s a virus. That’s how you know this is bad. You freakin’ wish there was mutually assured destruction option to fall back on. That’d be an improvement on the situation.
But hey, just because we’re living in uncertain times and are battling one of the most dangerous infectious diseases in modern history doesn’t mean we can’t have a slight sense of humor about how to deal with it.
Here are some recommendations on how to care for yourself if you do come down with Coronavirus, put in lighthearted layman’s terms but based exactly on the CDC’s recommendations, which you can read in full here.
1. Kick your feet up, it’s vacation time.
It started in Wuhan, China but it’s in your house now. Great news, though. For the time being you no longer have to walk into the breakroom at work and smell Larry microwaving leftover salmon that is of such questionable quality that it may very well be the rancid meat that starts the next global pandemic. Avoid work, avoid schools, avoid everything.
Social distancing and resting are both crazy important, so chill out and watch your favorite movies and shows and come into close contact with as few people as possible. It’s like the sick days you had as a kid, except the stakes are just a little higher. You can still have soup and grilled cheese though. This is your new Coronavirus life. Embrace it.
Oh, but not booze. Sorry if that was misleading. That Margaritaville blender is going to have be mothballed for the time being if you’re an infected person. (Even if tequila technically helps numb a sore throat.) You’ve got to stay hydrated and keep your immune system strong. Pound water. Chug Gatorade. Pedialyte and Emergen-C are also great options. Pickles have electrolytes too, by the way, so if drinking pickle juice doesn’t make you sicker than the COVID-19 virus ever could that’s an option too.
3. Keep an eye on yourself.
Unfortunately, you can’t just be like, “Okay, I’ve got the ‘Rona, better get in bed and hunker down.” This is a severe illness. You need to be checking on yourself regularly. Mild symptoms might not stay that way. Where’s your temperature at? Are you coughing more? Are you having shortness of breath or difficulty breathing? Do you have underlying health conditions? Do you just generally feel more like ass than you did yesterday?
If things are getting worse, then…
4. Seek medical attention.
5. DO NOT JUST SHOW UP TO THE DOCTOR UNANNOUNCED.
This isn’t Great Clips. Walk-ins NOT welcome. You need to let them know you’re coming. If you just wander into your doctor’s office all jacked up with ‘Rona you’re going to put people in danger. And not just the patients. The doctors and nurses too. The last pieces we need off the board during the COVID-19 outbreak are medical professionals. This is true even for mild cases, by the way.
6. You don’t need to leave the house to get medical advice.
Check with your insurance plan to see if you have Teladoc services. You may be able to speak with a physician over the phone or by video chat. This is especially useful for confirmed cases that are still mild.
Donald Trump announces US Medicare patients can now visit any doctor by phone or video conference at no additional cost.
In addition, HIPAA penalties will no longer be enforced so doctors can implement telehealth.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 17, 2020
7. If it’s really serious, obviously call 911.
Just let them know you have Coronavirus first. But definitely don’t try to drive yourself to the hospital if you have a fever so high that you might start hallucinating episodes of The Jeffersons playing out in your living room.
8. Don’t sneeze on anyone you love.
Also don’t invite your enemies over and start sneezing on them either, as tempting as that may be. Yes, Tom Jenkins from across the street didn’t pick up what his dog did in your lawn five weeks ago, but no, he doesn’t deserve to die. And it’s not worth it, collateral damage-wise.
So cover your coughs and sneezes at all times, and then…
9. Wash your hands.
Basically live in your sink. That’s how often you should be cleansing your hands of pretty much anything, using either soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Handwashing is one of your primary weapons against contracting a Coronavirus infection so fire at will.
10. Officially declare your favorite room in the house.
Then stay in that room as much as you can until you’re better (unless you need to go to the hospital). Even in your own home, you have to self-isolate. You should be traversing the house as little as possible. The bad news is that you might get a little stir crazy. The good news is that your husband or wife or kid or whoever will basically become your butler. Be honest, you’ve always kind of wanted to see what having a butler would be like. Granted, this is a monkey paw wish of a way to find out, but you might as well take advantage.
11. Now isn’t the time to put two straws in the same milkshake and share it with your partner.
Don’t share common items. Glasses, plates, TV remotes, and so on and so on. Is it an item? It’s either yours or it isn’t. (So I guess if you’ve ever really wanted to prove that the Nintendo Switch is yours now is the time to lick it.)
You also shouldn’t sleep in the same bed as your partner if you have COVID-19 and they don’t.
12. Never stop cleaning surfaces.
I don’t want to say, “Clean like you’re on meth” but, also, don’t not clean like you’re on meth. Countertops, tables, doorknobs, faucet handles. Whatever. Clean it.
13. Use your own bathroom if possible.
And if it’s not possible, see number 12. Actually, even if it is possible, see number 12, but super duper times a million see number 12 if it isn’t.
And all levity aside, here’s some extra info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what to do if you come down with COVID-19:
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Be safe. Be calm. Be smart. We’re going to beat this thing.