It’s a sobering thought.
Many of us WILL get the COVID-19 coronavirus infection. And while some folks will have few symptoms, a good number of us WILL BE sick and battle the breathing issues that are the hallmark of this disease.
One estimate predicted that up to 70 percent of us will eventually get the viral infection to some degree. And while we don’t know if that’s accurate or a wild over-estimation since the numbers have been all over the place, there are two things we DO know.
- First of all, the VAST majority of people who get the coronavirus survive, so there’s no need to panic.
- And second, if you do develop any of the symptoms of the coronavirus, after speaking with your doctor, there’s something else you should do right away. And that’s mark your calendar.
Note the very first day you felt the symptoms. Write down the first sign of fever, coughing, breathing issues, loss of taste, intense headache, or any of the other warning signs.
Because this could turn out to be the single most valuable piece of information you and your doctor can have as you battle this illness.
The coronavirus window you shouldn’t ignore
In many areas of the country, they’re still reserving hospitals for the sickest of the sick. So whether your doctor just suspects you have coronavirus, or it’s confirmed with a test, there’s a good chance he will have you stay home to recover.
And if that’s the case, you’ll probably be wondering, “So now what?”
Well, you know the old saying about the best defense is a good offense? It’s time to put it into practice for yourself to help assure you’re one of the majority of folks who beat this bug.
A report in the New York Times detailed how this disease can sometimes take a sinister turn. For the first few days, you may not feel too terrible. Then, you might even start to feel significantly better and think to yourself, “This wasn’t so bad.”
But in some cases, that’s when things could take a turn.
The Times reports days five through 10 are often the most important of all in the recovery from the coronavirus. It’s during this window that most folks find out if their case will stay mild, is winding down, or will rapidly turn into the version of the illness where you’d be better off battling it in the hospital.
But if you didn’t play a good offensive game by marking down the first date of your symptoms, you won’t know when you’re in that critical five-day window.
Track breathing symptoms to help you stay safe
Don’t stop with marking the calendar, however. There are a few other steps you can take to help you stay ahead of the virus. That way, you can get extra help early should you ever need it.
- Keep a “symptoms” diary. Write down not just what symptom you’re having, but how severe it is on a scale of 1-10.
- Take your temperature throughout the day, and write it down with times.
- If you can, get a pulse oximeter to check your oxygen levels regularly.
Your doctor may be able to help you with that last step on the list. It’s important to track your breathing because the respiratory issues that can pop up with this virus are among the most dangerous symptoms of the disease. COVID-19 can rob you of oxygen, sometimes even without any obvious shortness of breath.
According to experts, if you‘re going to have major breathing issues, they often take a turn for the worse around day seven. So if you don’t have a pulse oximeter, keep your eye open for blue lips or skin or a non-severe, but still noticeable, shortness of breath.
Call your doctor or get to the hospital ASAP if you have ANY signs or symptoms of breathing issues. (Your doc may even be able to spot them in a video chat.) If your levels sink too low, they’ll want to get you on oxygen ASAP, so don’t wait around – get help.
There’s no cure for the coronavirus infection yet. But with careful monitoring and quick action, you can get the help you need to manage the complications that make this disease so dangerous.
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