How to protect elderly, sick from Covid-19

·3 min read

A CEBUANO infectious disease specialist shared tips on how the community can help protect the elderly and the sick who are more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

"Cases are increasing. Fortunately, for now, our hospitals are still not full, and most of our cases are mild and from the younger population. However, at this point, we must double our efforts to protect the elderly and the sick because when they get Covid, they have a higher chance of dying," said Dr. Bryan Albert Lim.

Here are some tips he shared:

Home arrangement

• At home, separate the sleeping areas of the elderlies and those with comorbidities from the "more mobile" young members of the family. Sleeping together poses a high risk since people do not wear a mask when sleeping.

• One can collaborate with neighbors or family members and he or she can propose to arrange the living set up so that the elderlies live together in one house while the younger working individuals stay or live in another.

Eating practices

• Family members should also avoid eating together with the elderly members of the family. If this cannot be avoided, they can let the elderlies eat first while the others can wear their mask.

• After the elderlies have finished eating, the other family members can eat and ask the elders to wear their face mask and face shield.

• Do not share utensils with the elders.

• It is also recommended that they have their share of food beforehand.

Proper hygiene

• It is best to have separate restrooms, but if this is not feasible, the young ones should sanitize the toilet seat with bleach or alcohol spray after using it. They may also use separate toilet papers and tabo.

• Whenever one arrives from work, it is best to leave their shoes outside of the house and take a bath before touching anything inside their house.

• They should also practice disinfecting their wallets, jewelry, watches, and cellphones, among others.

• One should wash hands after praying, before and after meals, and even before and after watching television.

Cleanliness

• Disinfect deliveries and non-perishable groceries.

• It is also advisable to soak fruits and vegetables in clean water for 10 minutes before eating or cooking these.

Shared spaces

• Bowing instead of hugging the elderly is also prescribed.

• When sharing the living room, younger members of the family should wear their masks, especially if the elders are not comfortable in wearing theirs.

• Open the windows and doors when in the living room, also the exhausts in the restroom.

When going out

• If going out cannot be avoided, it is best to choose open areas and avoid enclosed spaces with no adequate ventilation.

• The younger members of the family should remind elders to avoid making unnecessary conversations with the neighbors for now.

• If this cannot be helped, they can wear double face masks and a face shield and observe physical distancing. It is also better to do this outside for better ventilation.

Lim advised the younger people that it is best to always assume that they are infected and they can potentially carry and infect their loved ones. He said having this mindset will significantly affect their behavior.

"The vaccines are almost here. Let us not risk infecting the vulnerable. Let us keep our hospitalization rates low and our deaths even lower. We can live with the virus. We are all frontliners. We can choose both health and livelihood. All we need is to adjust to and outsmart the virus, but most importantly, we need to care more," he said. (WBS)