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Covid-19 at Home – Be Prepared Not Scared

December 15, 2021 | Uncategorised

Soon New Zealand will likely see cases of COVID-19 appearing across the country as the Auckland border opens for those vaccinated or with a negative test from 15th December 2021. Christmas is a busy time and so now is a good opportunity to make sure you have the necessary resources and be prepared to care for yourself and your loved ones at home should you become sick. Being prepared for a stay at home with a positive COVID-19 test will happen for some of us in the next few months. By planning in advance, this is a good way to feel a bit safer & less anxious around what may happen.

Should you become unwell, exposed or be awaiting a test result you should be prepared to be at home for 14 days – think mini lockdown!

Here are a few things to have on hand at home to help be prepared:

  • Keep handy the Healthline number to call if you have any cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms and are concerned. Call free on 0800 358 5453. If your symptoms worsen make sure to check in about whether you should take any additional measures.
  • Keep your GP & chemists phone numbers handy.
  • Let your local MS Community Support Worker know if you are awaiting a test result, test positive or have been to an exposure site. They may be able to check in with you. Please note many MS Societies do close down for the Christmas/New Year break so check their opening hours.
  • Panadol or Paracetamol and Ibuprofen – for headaches and fever. Always check the recommended dosing and do not exceed.
  • Throat lozenges.
  • Your normal medications – if you do become ill you will still need to take these. Check with your doctor if you are unsure.
  • Toiletries – soap/shampoo, tissues and toilet paper.
  • Some extra groceries and easy to make meals like can of soup or packet meals. Non-perishables last a long time and you will want something that isn’t going to take lots of time or energy to make.
  • Whatever your essential foods/drinks are. Particularly if you are going away make sure you have access to lots of fresh water.
  • A couple of bottles of sports drinks – these are great for replacing electrolytes if you have been unwell.
  • Hand sanitizer/soap – keep up with healthy hygiene recommendations.
  • Have a list of the people you contact by phone – with their numbers written down. In particular, note the phone numbers of important people that you would want contacted if you end up in hospital.
  • If you haven’t done so already – put yourself on the high need list for grocery delivery (if this happens in your area!). Can you shop online or can a friend or family member do the shopping for you and leave it on your doorstep for contactless pick up?
  • If you don’t have the resources and need help accessing food grants during this time let you MS Community Support Worker know so they can help organise this for you.
  • Can you safely isolate yourself at home? Think through some options to also protect the safety of other family members, particularly vulnerable persons. Can they go to other family members/ friends, or do they need to stay in your bubble?
  • Furry children – stock up if you can on pet food in case you can’t get out. If you do become unwell, how will your fur friends cope without walks? If you have cats no problems but for dogs this might be an issue! If you need to go into hospital, do you have someone who can look after your pets?
  • If you have carer’s coming into your home – what will happen if you or they become unwell? Think of a plan before you need it!

Basically, all this amounts to an emergency kit, similar to what was  encouraged after the Christchurch earthquakes.  “Be prepared, not scared” is a great way to reduce anxiety! None of us knows what will happen in the future – we can only be as prepared as we can.

Take care/ Tiaki Koe


(Prepared in collaboration with MS Otago Field Officer Valerie Wilson)