Be sure to read Part 1: Preparing for a Quarantine
When a quarantine is in place
A quarantine will be much less stressful if you have prepared ahead of time, making sure that you have supplies on hand and are knowledgeable about caring for the sick. Here are some things that will help you get through:
Prevent spread of disease
This is your number one goal. Good sanitation is the key to keeping the disease from spreading.
- Wash hand thoroughly and often.
- Use paper towels instead of cloth towels.
- Patient should cover his/her mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. S/he should also use and immediately dispose of Kleenex tissues
- Use paper plates, cups and disposable silverware.
- Keep everyone’s personal items separate. Family members should avoid sharing computers, pens, papers, clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, food or eating utensils.
- Disinfect door knobs, light switches, toys and other surfaces around the home that are commonly touched.
- Use detergent and very hot water when doing laundry. Wash your hands after handling dirty laundry.
- Wear disposable gloves when in contact with or cleaning up body fluids.
- Wear a disposable mask when caring for the patient.
- Keep the patient well-hydrated. (See recipe on the right for homemade electrolyte juice.) If the patient is unable to keep liquids down, give just one or two sips at a time.
- Rest and quiet are the best healers.
- Contact a doctor if symptoms get worse or patient has underlying health conditions that may lead to complications.
- Call 911 if any of these symptoms occur: iritability and/or confusion, difficult breathing or chest pain with each breath, bluish skin, stiff neck, inability to move an arm or leg, first-time seizure.
Care for the care-giver
As much as possible, establish a routine that everyone can rely on. This is especially important to help young children feel secure during a stressful time.
Replenish yourself spiritually. Look to prayer, reading scriptures or a refreshing walk outdoors to give you a fresh perspective. Look for the humor and create light moments.
A burden shared is
a burden halved.
Share your concerns with others. Delegate chores to other family members. Not only does this relieve you, but it helps others to feel they are also part of the solution.
- Loss of sleep
- Frequent nightmares
- Disruptive and intrusive thoughts.
- Feelings of depression or feelings that keep you from engaging in usual activities.
- Disorientation, loss of memory or awareness of time, date and place.
- A previously identified mental health condition recurs or becomes worse.
The situation with swine flu can change daily. Stay informed, but do not constantly watch broadcast news or continually check online news sources. Excessive attention to news coverage can be unnecessarily stressful, especially for children who may have difficulty processing everything that’s happening.
Plan ahead in case any public services are closed.
An ounce of preparation
Illness is always stressful in any household. But with a little bit of planning and foresight, you’ll be able to take a quarantine all in stride. And hopefully it will be short-lived and everything will be back to normal.