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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

My winter break was going great, and I was only a few days into the new year until I was hit with a bombshell: one of my family members tested positive for COVID-19. Out of worry for them and for the other members of my family, the rest of us got tested and stayed home awaiting the results. A few days later they came: my sister and I had also tested positive. I felt completely fine upon finding out the news, to the point where I was almost in disbelief. What did this mean for us? How were we supposed to treat this? Would we even be okay?

These thoughts ran through my mind as I prepared myself for the state-mandated quarantine of ten days. Then, the symptoms started. I am still grateful to this day that they were extremely mild in comparison to other cases. First, it was congestion, like I had bad allergies. Then, for the next couple days, an awful sore throat that made it difficult to sleep unless I took medicine. My nose was either extremely runny or stuffed. I ran out of breath easily, especially when talking. I was constantly tired.

I looked up tips from nurses, family members who are medical professionals, as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for how to stay healthy during this time and minimize the symptoms. Here’s what I did to take care of myself with this mild case, and some recommendations for what you should do if you find out you also tested positive. 

(Note that I am not a medical professional or an expert on COVID-19 –– this is simply from my experience and online research! For more information visit the CDC.)

two test tubes in blue holder
Photo by Martin Lopez from Pexels
We first purchased a pulse oximeter online to monitor our oxygen levels, as that would let us know if things got progressively worse. They usually sell for anywhere between $10 to $20. A good rule of thumb is that a healthy oxygen saturation level is 95 to 100 percent. Anything lower is a cause for concern, and is when you should look into being admitted into the hospital. Physical warning signs of low oxygen include: trouble breathing, confusion, difficulty waking up, and bluish facial features. 

I slept on my stomach whenever possible. In medical terms, this is called proning, a technique for laying patients down on their stomachs when they need more oxygen. This provides more room for your lungs to expand without taking on fluid. Additionally, I walked and moved around my house whenever I wasn’t too tired. Moving around prevents fluid from settling in your lungs. 

I ate high protein meals and drank plenty of fluids, especially anything with electrolytes. Luckily, I didn’t lose my sense of taste or smell, so eating wasn’t difficult. In addition, I consumed plenty of vitamins, including multivitamins and additional Vitamin C every day. 

Vitamins laying on a pink background
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

To manage the pain, specifically the soreness of my throat (this also applies if you have a fever, which is if you maintain a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), I took a lot of Tylenol. If things are really bad, you can alternate taking ibuprofen and Tylenol (acetaminophen) every six to eight hours. For example, you could take ibuprofen at 6 a.m., then Tylenol at 12 p.m., then ibuprofen again at 6 p.m., and repeat. 

As for home remedies, I have one from a friend that I used to clear up my congested sinuses that really helped me. For the recipe, you combine a bit of ginger, garlic, black pepper, and honey in a cup of hot water. Make sure you drink it while it is still hot and continuously stir it. It tastes pretty disgusting, so make sure you add a lot of honey! Bad taste aside, right after drinking this, I felt like I could breathe a lot easier. 

Hopefully my experience and advice will help prepare you for if you ever (unfortunately) need to treat Covid! Always remember to consult your doctor or a medical professional first, and stay safe and healthy.

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Originally from CT, Emily is a junior at Boston University studying Film and Television with a minor in Psychology. Her hobbies include drinking too many vanilla lattes, reading, writing, and watching movies.
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.