Coronavirus: How to Stay Safe at Home if You Have a Chronic Condition

Coronavirus: How to Stay Safe at Home if You Have a Chronic Condition

In the midst of the 2020 COVID-19 (Coronavirus) epidemic, the people most at risk are older persons (60 years and older), young children, pregnant women and those with serious chronic lung and kidney conditions, and people with compromised immune systems.

Prevention, and proper planning, is key. Here are eight tips for safety at home from the Center for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, backed by the American Heart Association.

  1. Make sure you can reach your doctor quickly.
  2. Ask whether your doctor has electronic consulting (telehealth) or messaging options available
  3. If you live alone, gather a list of emergency contacts and keep this information in an easy-to-find place.
  4. Take stock of your medications, ensuring that you have enough for an extended time
  5. Find out if your pharmacy can deliver refills or provide a 90-day supply (if your health plan allows).
  6. Take stock of food and beverages, following your recommended diet as closely as possible.
  7. Take stock of hygiene supplies for yourself, family, and pets.
  8. Stay active as much as possible at home by continuing any at home exercises that you can physically tolerate such as walking and stretching.

What should you do if you think you have been exposed to or have Coronavirus?

Common symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath; contact your health provider immediately if you have these symptoms. If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, or warning signs of a heart attack or stroke – call 911.

If you believe you have been exposed, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises to self-isolate (quarantine) for 14 days to monitor your symptoms

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Diana-Lyn Baptiste, DNP, MSN, RN, CNE is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. A registered nurse for more than 19 years, she specializes in cardiovascular health care and prevention in underserved populations. Her research and scholarship are focused on improving self-care behaviors among adults living with cardiovascular disease.

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