Now for a purely temporary diversion from the Boise real estate topics you usually find here. As
with so many other aspects Boise life, we are straying a bit off the trodden path due to the pandemic that’s
been turning Boise topsy-turvy. This, too, shall pass—but in the meantime, this practical advice just
appeared on Yale University’s Medicine website. It hasn’t been widely referenced elsewhere.
The author interviewed an infectious disease doctor who is treating COVID-19 patients—and asked
her to list five things that she wishes everybody would do when they begin to feel sick. Her answer:
- Track your symptoms. Keep a journal (or take notes on your smartphone) of things like what day and time your fever spikes, how high it rose, and when other symptoms
- Call your doctor. If you don’t get through to your primary care doctor, don’t panic. High traffic can make leaving a message for mild symptoms a reasonable
procedure. If you are enrolled in an online system, consider messaging through it.
- Be prepared for a call-back. This is when your notes will come in handy, so you can use the doc’s time efficiently. If a covering (or on-call) provider gets
back to you, he or she may not have access to your health records, so make sure you mention other medications you are currently taking.
- Pay attention. Heed what your body is telling you. If symptoms are getting worse (especially if you have trouble breathing), you may need to go to the hospital
for evaluation. [In the article, the interviewed doctor warns against becoming ‘Doctor Google’— the web has too much misinformation to be able to trust home remedies you might find there].
- Take extra care of yourself. Save as much energy as possible (“it’s a perfect time for your children to learn how to be a little independent.”). This is when you
can and should prioritize your own health: sleep more, eat healthy food, and, of course, wash your hands!
None of these is surprising, but knowing a doctor’s wish list for new patients should bring clarity
and organization to what might otherwise be an unnecessarily frightening situation. If it’s true that 9 out
of 10 of this season’s “flu-like” symptoms turn out to be caused by something other than COVID-19, it’s
all the more reason why a clear, organized response should deter much counterproductive anxiety.
As we are all getting used to saying, “stay healthy!”