Despite your best precautions, family members may become infected in a pandemic. Here are tips on caring for an infected person during a pandemic.
It’s nice to think that, during a public health emergency – an epidemic or pandemic – we can take precautions and all remain unscathed.
Unfortunately a health crisis like this means that thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people will be infected. Keep in mind that the Black Death destroyed half the population of England in just two years – and then repeated that decimation every twenty years.
How fast the disease spreads will depend on the mode of transmission.
Airborne diseases are the hardest to control since just breathing in the bacteria can cause an infection.
Mosquitoes spread malaria, sexual contact and shared needles spread HIV, and chemical warfare can be a source of dangerous infections.
Knowing how the disease spreads will allow you to take the correct precautionary measures.
If one of your family members gets infected, it can be heartbreaking, but you need to react as quickly as possible. Worrying and second-guessing yourself will not be an option because their life is in your hands.
Professional medical care
The first step to take will be to get professional medical help. During health disasters, hospitals will be overflowing with patients and the medical staff will be stretched thin. If there’s a vaccine or a treatment, you need to do everything possible to get that treatment for your family member.
If none is available yet, the medical staff may give you instructions on how to care for the patient at home. This can be a good thing.
Hospitals are dangerous, depressing places during a widespread disease!
If you bring the infected family member home, the first thing you’ll need to do is isolate them from the rest of the family. Resist the urge to hug the infected person or kiss them on the cheek.
Once again, the measures you take will depend on the disease. If the disease is not highly contagious, you’ll not need to be so strict.
Unfortunately, most health disasters arise because of contagious diseases.
Precautionary steps to take
There are several things you must do when there’s an infected person in the house.
First, they must be isolated in one room. The room needs to be clean and preferably mopped with a disinfectant.
The room should be well-ventilated but the door to the room must be closed. This will air out the room but reduce the risks to the people inside the house.
Only one person should treat the patient.
Gloves, masks and scrubs must be used when handling the patient. Discard all these items after use and preferably burn them in your backyard.
Don’t leave these items lying around the house. Cross-contamination can occur, and the disease can spread within the household.
Keep the entire house as clean as possible. Sanitize common areas like door knobs, doorways, etc. Wipe your food containers with disinfectant and make sure your utensils are sanitized too.
Have a bottle of hand sanitizer available so that everyone can keep their hands clean. Avoid touching your face as much as you can.
When it comes to treating the patient, follow the doctor’s instructions. Give them the medicine they need and ensure that they are fed well and have sufficient water.
Always maintain a positive attitude around the patient and keep their spirits up. Crying and giving in to emotions will only cause more distress to the one infected.
An electronic device set up with their favourite shows, audiobooks, and podcasts can be a great way to keep your patient from becoming bored.
Don’t be surprised if your patient is interest in prayer or other acts of faith, even if they haven’t been interested before. Follow their wishes and assist as necessary. Prayer and reading from Scripture can renew a person’s spirits even when they’re tired and weak.
Health disasters are not in any way pleasant … and they can inflict a lot of physical, psychological and emotional damage. Be well-prepared and stay strong to overcome them.0