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Seniors now self-isolating and self-treating

What’s next with Covid 19? Plan A: Stay Well. Plan B: Self-Isolate & Self-Treat.

Before my column was published last week, our son said our grandchildren should not be in our house, and we should practice social distancing from them if we see them outside. That was not easy to do with a three-year-old, but we are getting used to waving and smiling without touching. Now we don’t see any children on the playground at the City Park; they do not play with friends.

Not being with children has been the hardest thing for me, but we did a virtual visit using “Zoom” to talk with grandchildren here and in North Carolina Sunday. “Zoom” is technology for teachers and students to see and talk with each other in different places. We elders could hear everybody else, but our visual connection did not work.

At this point we do not have any family members who have a temperature or feel sick. We will continue washing hands, social distancing (staying six feet apart), not putting our hands near our faces, and perhaps going outside only for food and exercise.

I am beginning to believe I may need to stop going outside except to get food that is delivered to the curb at Walmart. However, there is a long waiting list for deliveries now, and I wonder how well the store can protect the food from contamination. On Tuesday we went to Kroger at 7 a.m. when only seniors were allowed to shop. That may be the best food procurement plan for us, but there we are with lots of other people who may carry the disease.

After we watched New York struggle with Covid 19 on TV, I have been looking online for a plan to use when it hits us. How will we know we have the disease? Testing is not readily available, but there are symptoms we can recognize. We should call our health care provider if we have a fever, dry cough, sneezing, and other symptoms. Then we may go to the drive-thru screening center in the hospital parking lot. Screeners may ask how we think we have been exposed to the virus and check our symptoms. Then we may or may not be able to get a test for the disease.

Unless we are very ill, we may be sent home to self-isolate and self-treat. My personal Plan B is:

• Wear gloves and face masks when with other people.

• Find someone else to help provide food and water.

• Drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration and help prevent pneumonia.

• Take medications to reduce the fever.

• Use favorite methods for fighting cold symptoms and for increasing immunity.

• Have medication on hand to help stop vomiting which can cause dehydration.

• If symptoms worsen or breathing is difficult, then it is time to call the doctor and/or 911.

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