I contemplated whether it is still relevant to write about it, as maybe in a few months Covid will disappear and we forget all about it. That was my wistful thinking. The reality is we have been battling with the same virus for the last 2.5 years and still counting. While we are more prepared and have more experiences, the virus has also evolved for its survival.
My family was one the few who have managed not to get Covid since its first outbreak in March 2020 because all of us have been super discipline with our health protocols. I have grown to be bordering obsessive in hoarding all health equipments to ensure we are fully prepared when this virus come to our door. It constantly amazed me how some people were surprised when they got it and became clueless of what to do and doesn’t even own an oximeter.
There are the items I have accumulated in the house during the pandemic:
- Masks (boxes of them in all kind of shapes)
- Oxygen Concentrator personal grade
- Throat Spray
- Nose Spray
- 2 set of disposable PPE clothes
- Antigen self test kit (Nasofaring and Nasal)
- Medicine (paracetamol)
- Vitamin C 500mg and Vit D 5000 IU
- Supplement such as Young Living Ning Xia and SOP Subarashi
- Equipped all rooms in the house with Air Purifier and I even bring my own air purifier in my office desk
- Equipped my car with air purifier
- Portable Air Purifier (I swear by Bmola)
- All essential Young Living EO: Thieves, Raven, Eucalyptus and RC
- Hand Sanitizer and their refill
- Disinfectant Spray
Are you still with me now and thinking I am bordering psychotic?
Anyway, by now I am pretty sure everybody knows the drill should one family member is infected with Covid. But what if it happens during a holiday or a trip? The bright side is Covid has mutated thousand of times and their recent version is milder and not life threatening for majority of population who are vaccinated and do not have comorbidity. Many countries around the world have adapted to the new reality; Offices and Schools are open, border is open and tourism has started, no PCR or Antigen test is required and there are countries who have even dropped mandatory mask requirement.
These are when the new Covid Variant started on the rise again, during peak of summer where everybody are doing their revenge travel. This is when the virus finally introduce itself to our family and infected my teenager son during our trip in Paris.
So What To Do?
- First let’s get this clear first. Make sure every family member who are traveling have been vaccinated and boosted. Don’t even think about going anywhere if you are not vaccinated
- Know the symptom and get updated with the new variant. Don’t be delusional saying maybe one gets fever because he was tired and it was just a normal common cold. He can still smell and tasted food and there is no difficulty in breathing etc. The recent Covid variant has similar symptoms like common cold and influenza, depending on the immunity of each person. When Covid is on the rise again and you are not feeling well, the first thing you need to suspect is you are infected with Covid. By detecting it early you will be able to stop the virus spread to the rest of the family and others around us.
- When someone is unwell, treat him/her like you treat a Covid patient. Everybody wear masks and isolate the person in a separate room.
- Get tested.
- Inhale and Exhale.
- Treat the symptoms. Paracetamol for fever and headache. Cough Syrup, throat spray, nose spray, anti inflammatory are usually prescribed by the pharmacy. Take 1000mg Vitamin C and 5000 IU Vitamin D. The other family members should also take the Vitamin C and D as they are now exposed to the virus.
- Always wear masks and keep the hygiene (Wash hands and disinfect things that are touched).
- Isolate the Covid patient in the room and make sure there is air circulation in the room and in the house.
If you have got your accommodations booked like us sometimes it is not possible to isolate the sick person. My son got fever at night on our last day in Paris where the three of us are staying in a Hotel Room. The three of us had to wear masks and I turned on my Bmola portable Air Purifier. I made sure to disinfectant everything he touches and disinfect the bathroom. We also take turn when we were eating because eating means taking of our mask. We moved to another accommodation the next day in Menton. It is a studio apartment but at least the beds are pretty far from each other and the window can be opened. My Son slept on the bed which is located near the window so we opened the window to maintain a good air circulation. We still maintain the strict protocols, disinfect everything, always wash our hands and take turn when eating. My daughter and I didn’t have any symptoms so during the day we went out for sightseeing and day trip. It also helps reducing our exposure to the virus. We maintain a strict protocols, to wear mask when indoor and always keep our hands clean.
- Follow CDC Guideline or the country health protocol
When someone tested positive.
– Stay home for 5 days.
– If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
– Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
If you are exposed with the virus but have been vaccinated
– Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
– Test on day 5, if possible.
– If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home
My son’s antigen test become negative on the 7th day. My daughter and I also tested and we were negative. He was still wearing his mask when he was around others because his cough still persisted. In fact it took him 3 weeks to get the coughing finally gone.
TIPS on what to bring when you go on Holiday
- Antigen self test kit when traveling because you never know how easy it is to get tested in other country and it can be expensive too. Indonesians are spoiled with having so many test points around Jakarta. Antigen test only cost €6 and a PCR at €17 in Jakarta. When we went to France, antigen test cost ranges from €25 to €30 and it has to be done at a Pharmacy. Tourist cannot buy antigen self test kit. In Northern Europe countries like Norway, antigen test cost €51 or 500 NOK. I have Antigen test kit from Abbot, the Nasopharyngeal and Nasal. The Nasopharyngeal version is said to be more accurate but you have to stick it really deep inside your nose and not easy to use for children. For my daughter I use the nasal version which only need to be inserted by 2cm inside one nose.
- Vitamin, especially Vitamin D and some food supplements (I like Young Living Ning Xia and SOP Subarashi). While Paracetamol and Vitamin C is easy to get, high dose of Vitamin D is not. When we were in France their Vitamin D is only 500IU
- Throat Spray (Betadine Spray) and Nose Hygiene Spray (Bigroot)
- Extra Masks. Masks in Europe are expensive and they are very basic. While Asian countries mask have evolved into a fashion trend along with the mask-chain, European countries still use the old surgical mask.
- Invest in a good portable Air Purifer (I use Bmola). This become very handy for us when we were flying, on the train and to improve air circulation in the room.
- Hand Sanitizer. You can buy them everywhere but if you have dry hands like me I prefer to carry my own. I love Utama Spice Hand Sanitizer.
- Disinfectant Spray
- Essential Oils. You can put them on sole of your feet, drop a few in your pillow, dilute them in carrier oil for chest and back rub, or just sniff at them. My favourite EO for traveling is Thieves, Raven, Lavender, Digize, Panaway Peppermint and Lemon.
I hope this helps and as much as we wish to have Covid disappear, it seems we will have to adapt with the New Normal.