Ever since the lockdown, people have been frantically running to the markets and grocery stores to stock up on kitchen essentials. People have also been requested to postpone or avoid doctor visits and appointments and practice social distancing.
But, what if you suffer from a minor cut or bleed? Or, show basal symptoms of the flu, or COVID-19 and can’t go to the doctor?
The answer is- prepare a medical supply kit.
Just as you stock up on pantry produce, it is also important to have a medical supply ready, even if you might not need it entirely or suffer from symptoms.
Like any emergency, it’s helpful to have supplies on hand. Preparing a handy list of things you would require, during these 14-21 days of isolation could put fear to rest. Plus, this stocking would make sure that you don’t have to leave home when the outbreak is at its peak or if you get sick.
While self-medicating is strongly disadvised, experts say that some commonly available medicines can relieve some of the symptoms, such as respiratory troubles and help you.
Here is a handy list for survival during times of crisis:
-Stock up on antibacterial soaps, toilet rolls, wipes, hand sanitizers, disinfecting sprays.
-Feminine hygiene products, which would last for a month should be enough.
-If you have children in the house, diapers, wipes, milk powder and essential supplies should be on the list.
You need to concentrate on your family’s medicinal needs depending on the situation. Prescription medications, especially for someone suffering from any illness should be stocked upon, after consulting the doctor.
It is also advised to keep a first aid kit handy. Minor cuts and bleeds, especially for people with a weakened immune system or suffering from pre-existing health conditions could add to the trouble.
As for medications which could help deal with basal symptoms, you should look for medications which help treat the following:
-Headache and body pain
-Stomach related issues.
If you have a medical condition or problem, check on your health records and make the arrangements accordingly. However, do not go ahead and self-medicate and give into panic. Adds Dr Laxman Jessani, Consultant, Infectious Diseases, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, ” Eating right and practising good preventive measures like handwashing work just fine. Easily available medicines like paracetamol and cough syrups can be kept handy.”
Dr Manoj Sharma, MBBS, DNB – General Medicine, Medeor Hospital Qutab, New Delhi warns against panic-buying and instead, urges people to be cautious, “Even though the country is on lockdown, there’s no need to panic and stock up the medicines. Taking medicines that aren’t prescribed does more damage than heal which can be high. If you want, you may keep a few paracetamol tablets with you and some cough and cold relieving medicines would be adequate. Anytime, you feel the health to be deteriorating, it is better to consult a doctor than self-medicating and putting your life at greater risk”.
Should you stock up on face masks?
While WHO and CDC guidelines do not recommend that wearing a face mask could help fight or prevent coronavirus, people are requested to use a surgical mask only if:
-they are treating the sick
-have visible symptoms of cough or cold
-living with someone suffering from the problem
How to prepare for your mental health
In a pandemic type situation, where you have no option but to stay still at home, it can be anxiety-inducing and stressful for many. Plus, hearing about the news in these testing times can add to the mania.
Remember, in times of crisis, at least till the lockdown stays, you have to deal with situations in a different way. Keep a stock of things, books, movies or practically any helpful thing, which could help relieve some of your symptoms and calm your mind. Stay in contact with people or support systems through the days on the phone, since you can’t freely move about.
Dr Laxman also adds that instead of stocking up on immunity-boosting drinks and supplements, have good, nutritious meals and exercise. It also helps the body fight signs of stress from the root and keeps you sound.
Remember, the situation is tough and requires you to make sizeable efforts and scale down on things, but panic will do you no good.