Do You Think You Have Covid? Here’s Your COVID-19 Survival Kit
PH is officially one of the top 20 countries in the world with the most Covid-19 cases—so here’s everything you need to know if you think you have it (and what to expect if someone tests positive in your household)
The Philippines is now in the top 20 countries with the most Covid-19 cases, at 348,698 cases and 6,497 deaths as of publishing. Despite this number, the country continues to lag behind testing and continues to be one of the least number of tests conducted per 1-million population.
Given these statistics, the risk to contract the disease is still very high, and hospitals are not feeling less burdened about the Covid-19 cases day in and day out. Seven months into the pandemic, Inquirer reports that 27 hospitals around Metro Manila are still categorized under “danger” level of bed capacity (at least 70% bed occupancy), and 8 of them have reached maximum capacity.
What to do if you suspect you have Covid-19?
Symptoms for Covid-19 remain the same: mostly respiratory symptoms accompanied by fever. As a refresher, here are the symptoms of Covid-19 according to the World Health Organization:
Most common symptoms:
- dry cough
Less common symptoms:
- aches and pains
- sore throat
- loss of taste or smell
- a rash on skin
- discolouration of fingers or toes
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- chest pain or pressure
- loss of speech or movement
If you’re feeling the serious symptoms, WHO recommends you to seek immediate attention immediately. If you’re experiencing any mild common symptoms, the Department of Health (DOH) urges anyone to isolate and self-quarantine at home.
“Whether you are tested or not, please isolate. If you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, please isolate immediately. If you are unsure if you have been exposed to a person with the virus, again please isolate,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire in a press release on August 26.
Here’s a handy coronavirus checker developed by the Centers for Disease and Protection (CDC) to help private individuals decide whether they need to seek testing or medical care if they’re feeling symptoms or have come into contact with a Covid-19 patient.
Who to call and where to go
If you have questions or suspect that you have Covid-19, you can call the official DOH Covid-19 emergency hotline at 02-894-COVID (02-894-26843).
Before running to the nearest hospital, you can call the hospital first to check their capacity. This will also help them assess your symptoms so they can advise you to come in for testing or examination, or if home quarantine will suffice.
How to properly isolate
If you have symptoms and need to isolate and self-quarantine at home, DOH has outlined the following guidelines for room isolation:
- Place the suspected patient in a well-ventilated room, preferably with their own toilet and bathroom. If this is not possible, maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from the patient at all times.
- Assign one person who is in good health as the sole caretaker of the suspected patience. Visitors and other family members should not be allowed near the patient.
- If it’s not possible to confine the activities of the suspected patient in a single room, ensure that shared spaces are well-ventilated.
Vitamins against Covid-19
The use of Vitamin C and Vitamin D to help treat Covid-19 patients has been widely tested in many clinical studies and researches. However, there still is no conclusive proof that vitamins and supplements prevent Covid-19.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, some nutrients have been advised by doctors to help the immune system fight the virus, which includes: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, and potassium.
Vitamin C is one of the most popular antioxidants that is now being greatly studied for Covid-19 treatment. Some studies have shown that it may decrease susceptibility to viral respiratory infections and pneumonia, and high doses are currently being used to help Covid-19 patients recover.
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, has been greatly linked to preventing risks for acute respiratory infections. Zinc is known to be important for immune function and its role in white blood cell production helps fight infections.
Learnings from Covid-19 patients
Garvic and Rubi Garcia are a couple whose whole family was infected by Covid-19. According to Garvic, the virus must have come from a visitor who came into their home, not knowing that he was an undiagnosed Covid-19 case. After the incident, the family started to practice stricter health measures inside the home like regular handwashing and physical distancing, but it was too late. Unfortunately, the whole family tested positive for the disease.
While most of the family members were able to quarantine at home, Garvic’s flu progressed into severe pneumonia so he had to be confined in the hospital.
According to Rubi, the ordeal helped them realize how important it is to protect the family from everything that comes outside the home, even if it was a family member or a friend. It was also important during their ordeal to be equipped with the right knowledge about what to do in Covid-19 situations, to always keep calm and level-headed, and to stay positive. “Important yung spiritual healing na hindi ka magpa-panic that God is in control. Kung sa mind natin, sa heart natin na God is in control, automatic, it follows sa physical natin mabilis tayo gumaling.”
Another Covid-19 positive was Fold Canela’s mother. Fold is a professional videographer and the life partner of Eldzs Mejia, Metro Magazine’s former Creative Director, and currently a fashion stylist. According to the couple, Fold’s mom started showing symptoms that are typically associated with Covid-19 early in August. What started as cough began to develop complications, until she began to feel weaker and weaker each day, eating less and less because she says she lost her sense of taste. This prompted the couple to seek out RT-PCR (swab) testing for her mom.
As of September, ABS-CBN News reports that swab tests in Manila costs P3,000 to P12,000 pesos depending on the turnaround time for results. In Fold and Eldzs’s case, it took seven days for the swab tests results of their mom to come out—only to confirm that she was indeed positive for Covid-19 despite testing negative from rapid testing. When the swab results came out, the whole household went into complete home isolation.
According to their vlog post about the experience, once you report a case to the barangay, the barangay will then report it to the DOH. Someone will then visit the house for interviews and contact tracing. The whole household was placed under an additional 14 days of quarantine after the result came out.
Eldzs and Fold share that what happened was an eye-opener for them, which underlined the gravity of Covid-19. They also emphasized that in times like these, factual information is really what saves lives. Eldzs shares that during their self-quarantine and lockdown, watching other people’s vlogs and reading about other people’s experience about the disease has helped them cope and learn more about what they can do moving forward.
You can learn more about the full experience of Fold and Eldzs in ther vlog below:
As we work together to help end COVID-19, here's a reminder from Metro.Style to always, always wear a mask: