Tips for getting ready in case someone in your house gets COVID

With the Omicron variant COVID cases surging again I have spent the past few days preparing in case I get it even though I am vaccinated, so I thought I would come on here and chat about possible ideas that might be helpful for you.

The Queensland government have an excellent resource for how to get ready based on the specific needs of various different groups. They also have a handout for how to prepare a covid-ready kit with emergency numbers on it that can be stuck on your fridge. Add the number of your GP.

Here is the link on how to get the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment in Queensland through the Australian Government, if you or someone in your household has COVID and you’ve been ordered to stay home. Please get tested and get in contact with Queensland Health or your GP if you think you have COVID. Omicron is currently the dominant strain, and yes it is much less fatal than Delta, but Delta is still around 25% of cases and I have concerns about people just staying home and not getting in contact with anyone and being far more in danger than they realise.

In addition to these very helpful pieces of information I have been thinking about specific ways to make dealing with COVID in the home as painless as possible. I also feel less anxious knowing that I have done what I can to be ready, in much the same way that in Queensland we get ready for storm season. I personally don’t want someone I love to be exposed to the virus just because I wasn’t ready. Plus, once you’ve been giving the stay at home orders there’s no popping in to the shops on the way home.

So once you’ve gotten together your thermometer, pain relief meds like paracetamol (which will also bring down a fever), a decent supply of your usual medications, two weeks worth of food for yourself and any pets and your COVID care plan, and if needed a COVID care plan for parents and guardians and children, what else?

I personally like the idea of keeping any prescriptions in a plastic pouch that can be easily wiped down with your covid care plan(s) and put in an easy to find place, like on your fridge, until they are needed. Nobody wants to scratch around in the handbag of a COVID patient looking for prescriptions.

Visualise what would be needed throughout the day if someone in your house got COVID and you had to quarantine there. Would the sick person get the bedroom with the ensuite? Do you need to clear out the spare room? Do you all share a bathroom? If so you have enough anti-bacterial wipes to give it a wipe down after every use? Should you be storing the towels being used somewhere else? I was speaking to someone whose son lives in a share house of eight people and one of them got COVID, meaning two of them had to quarantine. They even put up plastic sheeting dividing the quarantined part of the house off, so if that’s something that might need to be considered at your house you might want to consider picking up some plastic drop cloths and tape.

If it’s you looking after someone who is sick, you might want to get rubber gloves to wear while washing up, and maybe a serving tray so that the food can be left outside their door. Just go through the process of what would need to be done at your house step by step.

Other thought I have had:

  • Clear away clutter to make surfaces easier to wipe down on short notice
  • Hang washing out in the sun to dry
  • Think about things that would increase your comfort if you were sick. Perhaps a thermos. Your favourite tea. A serving tray with legs so it can be sat across your lap (I have seen these both at Tivity and Kitchentopia in town) or a Stable Table.
  • Do a stocktake of your fridge and pantry and see what staples you’re running low on so you can be very specific with your grocery shopping. Do you have enough soap, hand sanitiser, disinfectant, etc?
  • Get new fabric masks. In Queensland we have been under a mask mandate for a lot of 2021, which means if you wear fabric masks the ones you have been using have been washed frequently, making them less effective over time. Omicron being a fresh menace means it’s probably time for a mask refresh. Don’t forget to snip the elastic before they go in the bin so wildlife can’t get themselves stuck.
  • Fill up your freezer with healthy, ready to be reheated frozen meals. I have just made a lot of chicken soup. I will link my recipe here for those of you who aren’t confident in the kitchen. It is inexpensive and easy, it just takes a bit of time.
  • Explain to the kids what would happen if anyone gets sick. Discuss it as a family. Uncertainty only adds to distress, so have a plan. Find out if the kids are worried about anything in particular and discuss that too, rather than leaving them to worry on their own. Discuss it as a household even if there are no kids. You don’t want to be arguing about where someone should quarantine when they’ve already been diagnosed.
  • Take care and please get vaccinated and boosted when you can. As ever, the best cure is prevention.

I hope this helped. Was there anything that I missed?

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