Do you have Covid?  Go easy on yourself

Do you have Covid? Go easy on yourself

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Opinion

With Covid isolation rules largely gone, some people feel compelled to rush back to work, school or other activities after testing positive for Covid.

If your symptoms are mild, you might be tempted to continue working (remotely) on your infection and get back to your regular exercise routine quickly so you don’t lose your fitness.

But even though we are used to bouncing back quickly from other viruses, we have to be more careful with Covid. Besides the risk of transmission, overexertion can exacerbate and prolong symptoms.

Pushing too hard can set you back

Clinical guidelines recommend getting enough rest when you are diagnosed with Covid. Pushing yourself too hard too soon during your recovery from your initial Covid infection can set back your progress.

While around four in five people with Covid have mild illness and recover within a month, for others it can take a few months or even longer.

When people have symptoms such as fatigue and/or shortness of breath for three months or more, it is called long Covid. Up to 89% of people with long-term Covid experience post-exertional malaise, where excessive physical or mental activity exacerbates symptoms such as fatigue and causes new symptoms such as pain and anxiety .

You have therefore tested positive for Covid. How do you know if you are well enough to resume your usual routine?

Here are five tips:

1) Take your time

If you feel sick, use your paid vacation rights, if you have any, even if it’s for a day or two to unwind and relax.

Although it may be tempting to return to work quickly after Covid, avoid coming to the workplace for at least seven days if you work in a high-risk environment such as health, disability and care. elderly. For other workers, it’s a good idea to self-isolate until your symptoms resolve.

Fatigue can be one of the hardest effects to bear with a long Covid.  Photo/Getty
Fatigue can be one of the hardest effects to bear with a long Covid. Photo/Getty

If you feel tired but want to get back to work, you may be able to start with half days or work a few hours and then increase your usual workload.

2) Pace, plan and prioritize

Pace, planning and prioritization are important while you are still experiencing Covid symptoms:

  • break activities down into smaller, more manageable tasks with rest in between
  • plan your activities in advance
  • prioritize what you need to do over what you would like to do.

If you are experiencing fatigue while recovering from Covid, a referral to an occupational therapist or physical therapist can provide other strategies for managing this symptom.

3) Wait until you have no symptoms for seven days to exercise

You might feel ready to start exercising after your symptoms resolve, but to avoid overexertion, it’s important to wait until you’ve been symptom-free from Covid for at least seven days.

Start with light-intensity exercise — where you can breathe easily, carry on a conversation, and feel like you can sustain the activity for hours — for 10-15 minutes to start.

Only exercise again if you feel recovered from the previous day’s exercise, with no new or worsening symptoms such as fatigue and pain.

4) Ask for help

If you are experiencing more significant Covid symptoms, consider reaching out to friends and family. They may be entitled to paid carers leave or even two days unpaid carers leave for casual workers if they have to care for someone with Covid.

If you’re struggling to manage your health and other financial pressures, contact your financial institution to discuss payment plans.

If you work in a high-risk environment such as health, disability and elderly care, you may also be eligible for additional government assistance to help you if you cannot work due to Covid.

Know when to see a doctor with Covid.  Photo / 123RF
Know when to see a doctor with Covid. Photo / 123RF

5) Know when to see your health care provider

If you are over 70 (or over 50 with additional risks, or if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander over 30 with additional risks), talk to your GP about medicines antivirals as soon as you test positive for Covid. Antivirals reduce your risk of severe Covid requiring hospitalization and are ideally taken within five days of diagnosis.

If you’re managing Covid at home, use a symptom checker to see if you need medical advice for your condition.

If you have persistent symptoms after your first Covid infection, schedule an appointment with your doctor to monitor your condition and refer you to other healthcare professionals as needed to help manage symptoms.

Although there are no drugs to treat Covid symptoms such as fatigue, exercise-based healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists can set you up with an exercise program and get it done. progress accordingly to reduce fatigue and help with shortness of breath.

Mahatma Gandhi was right when he said ‘good health is real wealth’, so be kind to yourself when recovering from Covid.

Clarice Tang, lecturer in physiotherapy, University of Western Sydney

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


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