Down with COVID-19 and just feeling awful? HealthXchange has a list of home remedies and life-hacks you can try to help you feel better. But remember, these are not cures for COVID-19 nor do they warrant skipping a visit to the doctor.
Recently there has been a spike in the numbers of COVID-19 infections in Singapore (No thanks Omicron!), but fortunately due to our high vaccination rate, the vast majority of these infections happen in people who have been vaccinated. This significantly lessens the impact of the pandemic on our healthcare system.
So to help with your recovery at home, we have compiled this non-exhaustive list of remedies from readers (yes, you can contribute too!) that have helped Singaporeans recover from the virus. But always keep in mind, everything in moderation.
these tips listed are
NOT a cure for COVID-19, and is not an alternative to skipping the doctor visit. We still implore you to see your doctor if you experience severe symptoms!
Home remedies for COVID-19 symptoms
Sore throat seems to be one of the major complaints of the Omicron variant. Try having a lozenge to relieve the pain or to soothe the throat. There are lozenges in the market which contain anti-inflammatory and analgesic (numbing) agents which can provide relief from the sore throat related to COVID-19 infection.
2. Manuka honey and lemon
Unlike traditional honey, which is made from many types of flowers, manuka honey is primarily made with the nectar of the manuka bush, hence it’s name. Manuka honey has high antibacterial properties, and combined with lemon, which is high in vitamin C, it makes for a soothing drink that is both soothing for the throat and nutritious to boot!
If you are feeling feverish, and haven’t seen your nearest doctor, Paracetmol is your off-the-shelf solution. It even acts as painkiller if you are feeling any discomfort. Try those with extra for a stronger oomph if you feel that the normal version might not be strong enough.
4. Antihistamine tablets
Used as a cure for allergies, antihistamine tablets also help alleviate flu symptoms like runny nose, so try these if your nose is leaking like a tap. Antihistamines such as loratadine and cetirizine are available over the counter.
5. Be well hydrated
It's important to stay well hydrated so water is definitely the top choice. We've also received feedback that drinking coconut water can help to cool you down while hydrating you. We think this would help with the group of COVID-positive folks who face the conundrum of ‘too hot with clothes on, too cold with clothes off’.
6. Medicated throat sprays
These are easily available at pharmacies and may help to soothe the symptoms of sore throat related to COVID-19 infection. Popular brands include Betadine and Difflam.
7. Chinese herbal drinks
We've also heard that herbal remedies are well-tolerated by many and may help relieve symptoms for some individuals. With Chinese medicinal halls located all across the island, finding one near you should be easy. But do ask the store salesperson for advice on the herbal remedies that addresses your symptoms.
Life hacks to make living with COVID-19 easier
1. Have multiple sets of….everything
If you are being isolated in a room with other family members around, it makes sense to stock up on your necessities. Having multiple sets of clothing, many jugs of water, and snacks (are you even sure you should be snacking?!) will reduce the number of times you have to call for ‘room service’ from the family, and most importantly, reduce any contact you might have with them. An alternative to having multiple jugs of water is to have a kettle with you so you don't have to rely on your family members to be your waterboy/girl!
2. Stay (mentally) positive and entertained
Your mental health might be affected if you are constantly stressed out about contracting COVID-19. While it is understandable to feel scared or generally ‘sian’, this would be a good time to catch up on that book you have been meaning to finish, crochet a soft toy for your loved one, or finish off the last boss fight in your video game.
Focus on the positive, this is the time that nobody will intrude on your personal space, so you can take all the time you need to do whatever you need or want to do!
3. (Start cooking or) Cook more at home
Being stuck at home probably means you'll have more time on your hands so take this chance to fire up your stove (if you haven't before) or try that new recipe you've always wanted to try.
Cooking at home gives you full control of what you put into your food so you can eat healthier as opposed to ordering food delivery and takeout. It is also more cost effective.
(Editor’s note: Don’t be like me and get a shock when the credit card bill comes after ordering food delivery for a week!)
4. Talk to someone
Being Singaporean, this will probably take the form of complaining about how bad it is to be cooped up, how boring it is, how bad your throat hurts, yada yada yada...
Our point is: talk to someone, anyone. Be it via shouting through closed doors, a phone call, or a Zoom so you can see each other, having human interaction will keep you sane through your isolation.
These are just some of the ‘gems’ we have uncovered talking to our family, friends, and colleagues. We are sure that you have your own way of coping with COVID-19 and isolation, so feel free to share your tips with us. Because we are all in this together, and we will pull through stronger and more resilient!
Check out the COVID Recovery Package from SingHealth Pharmacare!
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Check out other COVID-19 articles:
COVID-19 Vaccine Myths Busted!
Stay Safe from COVID-19
Flu or COVID? How to Tell the Difference
COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Everything You Need to Know