At a time when the second wave of the pandemic is raging through the country, it is essential to stay home and safe. It is equally important to know what is happening and know the virus do’s and don’ts. There are a lot of messages floating around on social media about prevention, treatment, and more. It is essential to know which of these are true and should be followed or forwarded.
For example, messages about steam inhalation killing the Coronavirus and potlis of camphor and lavang helping improve oxygen levels were doing the rounds. How much truth or scientific backing do these suggestions have? What are the do’s and don’ts that one should follow in general during these times?
Doing a Fact Check
Most messages like excess steam inhalation and the camphor potlis have no scientific backing or endorsement from doctors. Hence, when we receive such messages, we should cross-check these with any genuine authority on the matter. You could check with your doctor, any other doctors in the family or community you have access to, or even reach out to Samarth.
Steam inhalation has always been a home remedy to help people when they get cold, upper respiratory issues, sinus issues, etc. This is true even today, and since Covid-19 also has similar symptoms, these can help a person recover from these symptoms while recovering from it. But claims of steam inhalation killing the Coronavirus in the nose has not been backed by anyone in the medical community. Also, excessive steam inhalation may even have some other unwanted effects. Plus, steam inhalation, if not done safely, is also bringing about some accidents. Hence, care is to be taken while doing this. So is the case with the camphor potlis or a nebulizer replacing medical oxygen. None of these are substitutes for proper, professional medical advice, especially if the symptoms are bad. The delay can prove to be fatal.
The other option is that many doctors have suggested that simple, regular breathing exercises that we do are excellent to keep our lungs healthy. This is not necessarily Covid related advice; it is useful to us even otherwise. But, perhaps, now more so, because if the lungs are healthier, they can fight the infection better. Hence, you may check with your doctor about following some simple breathing exercise every day.
There are also messages going around with the prescriptions of medicines to be taken at home for home isolation treatment of Covid-19. No medicine should be taken without consulting a doctor. Every case may be different, especially with co-morbidities; hence, self-medication may prove very costly. Many hospitals are providing home isolation care through teleconsultation, and this can be availed.
The best thing to do if you have any symptoms is to reach out to the medical professionals and follow their advice for testing and treatment and other home remedies that you can follow. Prevention is still the best cure for Covid-19; hence, avoid stepping out till this blows over, wear masks whenever interacting with any outsiders, avoid visits and visitors, maintain social distancing, etc. These should help prevent the virus infection to a great extent.
How to stay upbeat?
Yes. There is a dire situation in the country. But even ordinary people from all walks of life are rising to the challenge and helping strangers. What you should do to keep yourself upbeat is:
- Do not watch the news. It could cause unnecessary anxiety
- Maintain a daily routine of exercise, timely meals, entertainment (sports, movies, etc.)
- Listen to music, or indulge in a hobby regularly.
- Do not lose contact with family and friends. Have periodic video calls to keep in touch. Do not hesitate to ask for help if required.
- If you develop symptoms, it may well be seasonal issues. Do not panic; consult your doctor and follow the instructions.
- Please get yourself vaccinated. The hospitalization and mortality rates of those vaccinated are so minimal that it is highly encouraging. Do not fall prey to rumour-mongering against vaccines.
- If it is possible for you, please help in any way you can. You could cook meals, which can be ferried to the people in need by an army of volunteers. If not, taking care of yourself and staying home is also a big help to help break the chain of infection.