The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated the coronavirus pandemic as the”defining global health crisis of our time”, and urged countries to test all suspected cases of this novel virus. According to the latest data recorded by WHO, the virus has infected 184,976 people and killed just over 7,500 globally. However, there are around 80,000 people have recovered from the infection, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
Some countries, such as Italy, the Philippines, and Malaysia have implemented lock downs on their citizens. The purpose of this isolation is to suppress the spread of the virus that attacks the respiratory tract.
For some people, the conditions of social restrictions or social distance can trigger psychological pressure. Especially at this time the public was filled with anxiety because of the uncertainty when this pandemic will end.
Self-isolation is different from quarantine
Before going further, it is better to understand in advance about self isolation. Things that need to be underlined, self-isolation related corona virus is different from quarantine. Quarantine means avoiding yourself from other people or social situations as much as possible.
There are several points when you need to quarantine. One of them when in contact with people with COVID-19, but the body is still healthy or after traveling from an infected country. Then, what about the isolation associated with the coronavirus?
Well, isolation at home is related to the coronavirus, which means staying in the house and avoiding contact with others. In other words, staying at home, not going to work, school, or other public places.
The goal is clear, to prevent transmission of COVID-19 to others. The question is, when is it necessary to isolate yourself from the coronavirus at home?
⦁ If you have symptoms of COVID-19.
⦁ Before being tested to detect COVID-19.
⦁ While waiting for the test results.
⦁ If you have positive test results for COVID-19.
What should we do when we are doing isolation at home or self-isolation?
All information or news about the coronavirus and panic buying to basic goods, as well as not being free to do your normal routine by staying home all week, can increase stress on some people. Summarizing from various sources, here are tips for keeping your mental health intact during this outbreak:
1. Pamper yourself
Quoted from the pages of the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC), the best step to maintain mental health is to do activities that make our body and mind comfortable. This is important, especially for those of you who are doing independent isolation. Examples of activities such as watching movies, reading books, listening to music, and accessing positive content on social media. You should avoid looking at content related to the corona pandemic so it doesn’t get your more stressful.
Some people may be accustomed to relaxing while drinking alcohol and smoking. For the sake of your own health, please don’t do it. Replace it by consuming healthy and balanced food and drinking enough water. Increase sleep duration and do some exercise when you wake up. Moving your body when staying in the house can be very simple, you can do stretching, adjust your breathing by doing deep breathing exercise or yoga, tai chi, or meditate. Take a nap. It is a luxurious opportunity you rarely get in your normal routines.
2. Respond wisely to information or news you heard
One of the triggers of stress is a condition that is full of uncertainty, fears of the unknown. In the era of technological development, this condition arises more often from the dissemination of too much and varied information. In the midst of a growing flow of information about COVID-19, it is important to continue to update reliable and accurate news sources. That way, you don’t have to bother checking facts or reading lots of news.
If you receive information from media that has not been known before, you can check whether the company has been listed on the board homepage.or.id/data/companypers. Media that is bound by the Press Council are less likely to present false news. In addition, try to divert attention to the distribution of information that comes suddenly. Indonesian people tend to receive messages about COVID-19 which are forwarded through conversation applications. You should delete it immediately and forget the messages if you do not have time to test the truth. You can still share information that has been proven to be accurate or other positive news to those closest to you. This method is not only useful for helping others reduce stress but also maintain communication.
3. Expand communication with family and friends
For some people who live alone, doing social distancing can make a feeling of excessive loneliness. To prevent this from happening, the CDC recommends that the person maintain long-distance communication with other people. Try to express feelings and worries about the pandemic that is being faced with certain people who are most trusted, such as family, lovers, or friends. For families who isolate themselves in one place of residence, try to keep communication maintained. Fathers and mothers are encouraged to take the time to talk to their children about the corona pandemic and make sure they are safe. Share tips on how to prevent stress and answer children’s questions with comforting facts. In addition, limit exposure to pandemic shows on television. Children will be more afraid if they misinterpret what they see or hear.
Parents must be role models. Be a calm and confident person. Children are most likely to respond to a pandemic based on what they look at from their parents.
4. Maintain your health
Mentalhealth.org writes, protecting mental health can also be done by maintaining a healthy body. Both influence each other. Even at home, always remember to wash your hands. Use soap and running water, while singing the song Happy Birthday to make sure hand washing is done for 20 seconds. Apply the habit of maintaining a clean body by bathing twice a day. If possible, spray disinfectant liquid on surfaces or objects in the house where the surface is touched most often.
Self-isolation for a family member who might get infected
Things that need to be emphasized, many must be considered related to self-isolation related to the symptoms of corona (mild sore throat) at home. Well, here are tips that can be done:
⦁ The isolation room (patient) is ideally separated from other family members.
⦁ Keep a distance from healthy people at least 1 or 2 meters.
⦁ Always use a mask to prevent the spread of viruses.
⦁ Apply the ethics of coughing and sneezing, using tissue, immediately throwing it into a closed trash can, and washing your hands thoroughly.
⦁ Avoid sharing personal items. For example, cutlery, toiletries, linen (clothing and other fabrics), and others.
⦁ Wash utensils with soap and water until clean and dry.
⦁ Tissue, gloves, and clothing used by the patient must be put into a special linen container, and separately.
⦁ Wash clothes with a washing machine temperature of 60-90 degrees Celsius with detergent.
⦁ Routine cleaning and disinfecting of affected areas.
⦁ Limit the number of nurses caring for patients, making sure the nurse is always in good health.
⦁ Limit visitors or make a list of visitors.
⦁ Remain at home and can be contacted.
⦁ If you have to leave the house, use a mask, and avoid using public transportation and avoid crowded places.
⦁ Make good air circulation or ventilate the room well (open the window).
In addition to the things above, there is also self monitoring that must be considered, namely:
⦁ Recommended for someone who is exposed to a positive COVID-19 case, or has a history of travel to an infected country.
⦁ Duration: 14 days from last contact or exposure.
⦁ If symptoms appear, do self-isolation
⦁ Contact / call Health service (COVID-19 centers in your city)
During self-isolation, strengthens your immune system
Coronavirus and other viruses have one thing in common. The virus is self limiting disease, aka can die by itself. What about medicine? These drugs are only intended to overcome the symptoms that arise. Then, how to kill the virus?
In short, if the immune system is good, the body is fighting the virus. Now, the next question is, how do you increase your immune system or immune system? It’s actually not difficult, of course, by implementing a healthy lifestyle, such as:
⦁ Have enough rest. Adults generally need 7-8 hours of sleep and teens about 9-10 hours.
⦁ Make sure you a lot of healthy food like vegetables and fruit. The content of vitamins and minerals in vegetables and fruits strengthen your body’s immune system.
⦁ Avoid Stress. Uncontrolled and prolonged stress can increase the hormone cortisol. In the long run, the hormone cortisol can decrease the immune system.
⦁ Avoid cigarettes and alcohol. Exposure to excessive cigarette smoke and alcohol can damage the immune system.
Those ways to improve the immune system is not only for people who might be infected by coronavirus but they can also be done by healthy people plus this activity:
Exercise regularly. It is recommended to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. You can do cheap and easy sports like walking in your backyard while playing with your kids or pets.
Some others will drink herbs tea, coconut water, etc in order to help to boost their immunity. In Indonesia, we make traditional drinks that we call “jamu.” Jamu is made from natural ingredients, in the form of parts of plants such as rhizomes (roots), leaves, bark, and fruit.
It should be emphasized that this self-isolation is only recommended for initial symptoms of corona such as mild sore throat. If the symptoms do not improve, even progress, immediately see a doctor or health worker for appropriate treatment.
So, make sure your sickness is not due to the coronavirus! If you suspect that you or a family member has a coronavirus infection, or find it difficult to distinguish symptoms of COVID-19 from the flu, ask your doctor immediately or call the health center near you (COVID-19 centers in your area).
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.