Covid: how should you take care of yourself at home if you test positive

You have symptoms and have tested positive for covid-19. What should you do now?

The most obvious first thing is to stay away from other people to avoid passing it on.

And in terms of your own well-being, this is what the experts recommend:

1. Tell family and friends

Do not suffer in silence.

Let people know you have covid.

They may be able to help you by leaving food on your doorstep and will call to see how you are doing.

In many cities, groups of volunteers have sprung up to help self-isolating people at home with things like buying food or medicine.


2. Rest

Even with newer variants of the virus like omicron and delta, many people will have mild or no symptoms and they will be able to cope with the infection safely at home.

The main symptoms remain:

  • A continuous cough
  • Fever or high temperature
  • Loss or change in smell or taste

And researchers who have been collecting feedback from hundreds of thousands of people about their experiences with COVID suggest that the top five symptoms are similar to a cold:

-Nose drip


-Fatigue (medium or severe)


-Throat pain

The image of a positive antigen test. GETTY IMAGES

If you feel bad, there are things that can help.

Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to feel more comfortable.

To avoid coughing or coughing less, try lying on your side or sitting upright instead of on your back.

Sitting up, rather than lying flat, is also good if you feel like you are out of breath.

You can also try:

  • Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth, with your lips together as if you were gently blowing out a candle.
  • Relax your shoulders so you don’t hunch over. It is good to lean forward slightly with your hands on your knees.
  • Lower the heat a little and let in some fresh air.

The oximeter measures oxygen in the blood. GETTY IMAGES

Tips if you are short of breath

Some people may already have (or want to buy) a device called a pulse oximeter that can check the level of oxygen in the blood.

It attaches to your finger and can be a useful way of knowing what is going on.

It’s like checking the temperature with a thermometer.

Low blood oxygen levels can be a sign that you are getting worse.

A reading of 95 or higher is normal.

If it drops to 93 or 94 and stays that way an hour later, talk to your GP for advice on what to do.

If the reading is 92 or less, go to the emergency room.

Telemedicine has boomed during the pandemic. GETTY IMAGES

When to seek help

If you want additional advice, you can try calling or contacting a pharmacy.

In BBC Mundo you can also find a lot of information about the covid in this link.

Some people with covid will need medical care, which could include staying in the hospital.

Seek medical advice if:

  • You feel worse and worse or notice that you are out of breath.
  • You have trouble breathing when you stand up or move around.
  • You feel very weak, sore, or tired.
  • You have tremors.
  • You have lost your appetite.
  • You cannot take care of yourself. That is, if tasks like washing and dressing or preparing food are too difficult.
  • After 4 weeks, you still feel bad. This may be indicative of a long-standing covid.


Go to the emergency room immediately if:

  • You are so out of breath that you cannot say short sentences when you are resting.
  • Your breathing has suddenly gotten worse.
  • You cough up blood.
  • You are cold and sweaty, with pale or blotchy skin.
  • You have a rash that looks like small bruises or blood under the skin and does not go away.
  • If you suffer from fainting.
  • You are disoriented, confused, or very sleepy.
  • You have stopped urinating or urinate much less than usual.
  • If you are worried about a baby or child, don’t delay in seeking help.

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