Being quarantined at home with Covid-19 isn’t easy. Especially if you have symptoms of the virus raging through your body. But with the right planning and essential items, you can make your isolation comfortable for yourself. And safe for others in your house. Here’s a list of Covid-19 home quarantine essentials, that will help make your isolation more comfortable and safe for you.
In a previous blog post, I shared some tips on choosing the right room for your home quarantine if you live alone, and in-room isolation if you live with others.
Here’s my list (with options) of some of the basic things you will need to have with you when you go into Covid-19 infected quarantine for at least 14 days.
I have also tried to explain why you need these items, and how to use them, based on research I’ve done. And based on my own experience as a Covid-19 patient who self-isolated at home for 17 days.
What is the Covid-19 Home Quarantine Essentials list, for Patients During Their Home Isolation?
01. A Pulse Oximeter to Monitor your Blood Oxygen Levels and Pulse Rate
An Oximeter is the most important item on your Covid-19 home quarantine essentials list. Why? Because one of the most common symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus (nCov) is shortness of breath and tightening of the chest and lungs. These symptoms could be indicative of life-threatening silent hypoxia. It is difficult for us to measure how severe our condition is, which is where this device comes in.
You can simply clip an Oximeter onto your finger, and it will measure the life-giving oxygen levels in your blood, along with your pulse rate.
I checked my oxygen levels 4 -5 times a day, during the first 4-5 days of my testing positive, as recommended by my doctor. If your symptoms continue or increase after Day 5, you should check it every two hours until Day 10. Days 5 to 10 are when you will know whether the virus is loosening its grip on you, or you have to fight it some more!
Pulse Oximeters are even more important for asymptomatic patients of Coronavirus because they give you critical information and a heads-up on possible silent hypoxia, that the missing symptoms won’t!
I’ve shared three options of Oximeters I’ve bought and used myself here. My favourite is the Hesley, as it not only has a countdown for accurate measurement, it even saves your last 10 readings for you to compare. The AccuSure device is basic, with a large display, but you have to time yourself, to know when to read the count. Whichever one you choose, this is the most critical item on this list and a #musthave!
02. A Thermometer, to Check Your Temperature
You should choose a traditional oral or touch thermometer, like the one from Dr. Trust featured here. As an added precaution, you can get a contactless thermometer which can be used to check the temperatures of several people, like family members, essential services delivery people, and even the doctors that come to check up on you.
Although, in my experience, contactless thermometers aren’t accurate, and it helps to add 2-3 degrees to the reading on contactless thermometers, to get closer to the real temperature.
03. Daily Disposable N95 Masks to Prevent Covid-19 Spread
So you’ve already got Covid-19. Then why do you need a mask? Simple answer, you’re still contagious. And even if you’re in isolation you will be opening the door to receive food, medicines, and other essential or comforting items from your family/friends, from time to time.
Every time you open the door, you must be wearing a mask. And every time someone comes near your door to leave something for you, they should be wearing a mask. You will also need to wear a mask when you’re out of your room (Day 12 perhaps) but still under home quarantine until Day 17.
Ps. Change your mask every day, since you’ll be breathing out the virus when you wear it. And you don’t want to be reloading any of the previous day’s surviving virus, as you get better.
04. Sanitisers for Air, Hands, Surfaces, and Fabrics
That’s a lot of sanitisers, you might think. Yup, you need to do a lot of sanitising, especially during the first few days of your infection, as you’re the most contagious at that time.
Even if you’re alone in a room, you have to keep killing the virus that comes out of your body and settles around you, on your hands, tables/chairs, bedsheets and clothes, and even the air you breathe. Why? Read on…
Because you don’t want to be taking the virus back in, delaying your recovery process!
You will be opening your room door to take in fresh supplies of food, medicines, and essentials, and you don’t want any virus straying out and threatening your family members.
And, you will be sending out garbage bags with waste materials, and you must spray the bags before leaving them outside your room, for proper collection and disposal as per ICMR/MoHFW protocols.
Quite simply, you have to
Stay Spray Home, Stay Safe!
05. Kettle, Plates, and Spork, for In-Room Dining and Room Self-Service
You will need an electric kettle in your Covid-19 quarantine room, for more reasons than one. Most importantly, you will have to do a lot of steam inhalations, at least twice a day, and for this, you will need hot water, which you can make in the kettle.
Further, you will need to keep sipping warm water to soothe your throat, and here again, the kettle will come in handy. And since it is winter now, you may need hot water to rinse out your favourite cup or plate, which you might want to keep in your room with you.
But I recommend 100% biodegradable disposable plates, bowls, cups, and sporks (spoon + fork). Because you may be in no mood or condition to wash and use your usual crockery and cutlery, and you should not put your family members at risk, by giving them your used dishes to wash.
Choose small size items like the ones featured above, because they’re ideal sized for small servings (repeat if you must), and they’re easy to dispose of in standard sized dustbins!
06. Getting Fast & Up is also part of my Covid-19 home quarantine essentials list!
But then I discovered Fast & Up effervescent tablets and totally loved having them, despite not being able to taste them through most of my illness. The effervescence on my palette made up for my loss of taste due to Covid-19.
They have other variants too, and I am now having Fast & Up NAC 600, which is supposed to be good for respiratory and lung health, which is a concern for many, post-Covid-19 recovery.
07. Painkilling Massage Oils for Covid-19 Related Body Aches
Homemade Kadha (haldi milk/water) is supposed to help. Some people I know had castor oil. I massaged my ankles with this Apricot oil. Or you can order something else from here.
08. Cleaning Materials For Your Safety
Being inside a room for 14 days, you cannot help but generate garbage. And you cannot store or send it out like you would normal garbage, given your Covid-19 condition. Not only do you have to collect it carefully, but you also have to dispose of it very carefully!
Which makes garbage collection, sorting, and disposal a significant element in your Covid-19 Home Quarantine Essentials list!
I kept two dustbins in my room, with disposable garbage bags inside them. The primary one for bio-hazardous stuff like used paper napkins, disposable masks (which I changed every day), snack wrappers, medicine strip foils, plastic water bottles, etc.
The second bin was for wet or food waste, and dust I collected while dusting and sweeping the room. When almost full, I’d spray the contents with disinfectant, and then seal the garbage bags. Then I’d spray the garbage bags from the outside and then leave them outside my room at night, so family members could disinfect it again before leaving it outside our home for the bio-waste collectors assigned on Covid-19 duty to take away.
Remember none of this waste can be recycled or put in landfills like other regular garbage but should be destroyed as per guidelines issued for Covid-19 waste disposal.
Also, remember you’re shedding the coronavirus all the time through your breath and, umm… downloads. And you don’t want to be inhaling it back in, so please keep sanitizing your mobile phone handset and anything you bring close to your face, or around you. I also used a Domex spray on my toilet commode, and a sanitizer spray on the toilet seat 🙂
09. Keeping Up With Personal Hygiene
While you’re sick, you can try not to look sick, even if it is just for yourself in a mirror. But it is important to feel good about yourself and stay positive to help your recovery. So follow all personal hygiene practices diligently.
Get yourself liquid handwash, so you keep getting fresh soap out of the container every time you use it.
I changed my toothbrush twice during my quarantine, and got myself a new one when I was declared Covid-19 free. Why? Because the virus threat primarily comes out through our mouths, and the thought of using a coronavirus-laden toothbrush as I was getting better didn’t appeal to me. It made sense not to carry any possible leftover virus into every new day of my recovery.
I also drank small cups of Horlicks twice a day, to soothe my throat and give me strength. I also popped ginger-honey candy, and sipped ginger-honey concoctions like the readymade ones from Dabur.
10. Whatever you feel like having with you on your own Covid-19 home quarantine essentials list!
This is one time, you get to do nothing except take care of yourself – your body and your mind. You don’t have to follow anyone’s schedule but your own (based on your medicine timings). You can read, sleep, watch TV, or do anything you can do inside the confines of your room.
The one thing you should not do is try to figure out coronavirus or take any mortality rate tests online (yes, they’re there, and I tested to have an “85% chance of dying”). Most of the information out there is scary and insensitive. So don’t bother.
Also, avoid talking at length to people on the phone, or chat on messengers, because they will just tire you out, and set up unnecessary expectations to respond and keep up with people.
This is it. My list of Covid-19 Home Quarantine Essentials you’d need if you’ve got Covid-19 and have to be confined to a room for 14 days.
This is a personal list, so please do not mistake this as official or medical guidelines. But feel free to comment and send me any ideas or experiences you feel I should share. I’d be happy to edit them into this post, giving you due credit 🙂