With hospitals inching towards full capacity (yet again) and COVID-19 infecting more and more people each day, it’s clear that extra protective measures need to be taken by everyone in order to curb further transmission. Aside from following protocols and maintaining a safe social distance from others, it’s also important to be prepared at home in case someone in the household—*knock on wood*—tests positive.
The good news is that the majority of cases, especially among generally healthy individuals, are mild and can be managed with home care. That said, we’ve made a shopping list of medical essentials you need to have on hand to nurse the infected and protect the rest of your family from the virus.
Even better: You can easily shop for these items at a Watsons store near you, or have them delivered to your home after ordering online through Watsons.com.ph. You can also call the SM Customer Care hotline for all your essential needs and arrange for curbside pick-up at the SM Mall of your choice. (Read here for other convenient shopping options available at SM Supermalls.)
FOR THE FAMILY
The first thing to consider when someone at home gets symptoms is to put protocols in place to prevent the virus from spreading and infecting other family members. Make sure to keep the infected family member isolated in one room, and if possible, assign only one person to tend to the sick.
Disposable Medical-Grade Face Masks
While cloth masks are generally safe to use, it’s best to upgrade to a medical-grade mask—like surgical masks or a KN95 mask—for extra protection especially if there’s an infected person at home. Have everyone wear one even while indoors, and make sure to change them daily (or to sanitize properly if using the reusable kind). As much as possible, have the sick person wear a mask, too, unless he or she has trouble breathing.
Orita Disposable Face Mask with Earloop (1-pc.), P5.00, Watsons
There’s no proof that Vitamin C can cure coronavirus, but it’s a great immune system booster that can help minimize the damage caused by COVID-19 and aid in faster recovery. While you can get vitamin C from natural sources like citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables, you and your family can also take them in the form of supplements. Have enough on hand for everyone at home to take daily.
Watsons Ascorbic Acid 500mg Tablet, P2.75 per piece, Watsons
When it comes to hand hygiene, nothing beats regular handwashing with soap and running water. But it’s also good to have alcohol sprays handy all over the house for easy disinfection—especially for high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and railings. Make sure to have at least one bottle for each room.
Biogenic Isopropyl Alcohol Spray 330ml, P88.75, Watsons
The designated carer should always wear gloves when entering the isolation room and interacting with the patient. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after wearing them, and make sure to touch only the inner surface of the gloves upon removal.
Sure Guard Disposable Vinyl Gloves (Small), P391.29/100 pcs., Watsons
FOR THE SICK FAMILY MEMBER
One of the first signs of infection is a fever, so have a thermometer (or two) ready at home—one for the patient, and one for monitoring the rest of the family. If you have kids, it’s best to invest in an ear or a forehead thermometer for no-fuss scanning.
Supreme Ear Thermometer, P958.50, Watsons
Fluids are important, especially if the patient is having trouble eating or has no appetite. Keep them well-hydrated with electrolyte replacers such as Hydrite or stock up on their favorite sports drinks. Of course, good ol’ water is best!
Hydrite Sodium Chloride + Trisodium citrate dihydrate + Potassium Chloride + Anhydrous glucose Apple Reformulated Granules Sachet, ₱17, Watsons
Pulse Oximeter and Batteries
Monitoring oxygen levels is important for those suffering from COVID-19. Having a pulse oximeter at home allows easy tracking of the patient’s condition—so you can easily alert your doctor in case there are any sudden spikes or drops.
HealMed Pulse Oximeter, P299, Watsons
Throat Lozenges or Sprays
Have some lozenges or a throat spray handy to give your sick family members some relief from an itchy throat or dry cough. Stock up on some herbal teas and easy-cook soups, too, as the heat from these liquids can deliver soothing action.
Difflam Orange Lozenge 8s, ₱264, Watsons
Be prepared to manage high temperatures with a good supply of paracetamol. The patient might need one every four or six hours or so (or as prescribed by the doctor), so stock up!
Biogesic Paracetamol Tablet (500mg), P4.25/piece, Watsons
Remember that you must treat all those who show symptoms as carriers of the virus until they test negative from an RT-PCR test. Have some tissues ready for your sick family member to use in their isolation room. As they will use it on their face often, get some gentle facial tissues—they will thank you!
Kleenex Exclusives Traveller Tissue, P23, Watsons
Our knowledge of the COVID-19 changes every day, but one important fact we know now is that it’s crucial to be prepared. So head on over to your nearest Watsons branch now or log on to Watsons.com.ph to start building your own COVID-19 home care emergency kit—for your family’s health and for your own peace of mind.
You can also enjoy safe shopping for all your other essentials, including your groceries, at SM Supermalls. For updates on mall hours and entry guidelines, check here.