What really helped us survive through being sick with COVID-19 is all of the help and support that our friends and family provided to us. As soon as they heard we were sick, they jumped immediately into action. Here are the things that they did that helped our family the most. The gratitude we have for our friends who dropped everything and came to our side is unmeasurable. We were apart, but we did not feel alone. I am hoping that this will help us all help others stay home and get healthy. Given that we are living in such unprecedented times, these are just five ways to help friends or family who have COVID-19.
Order Groceries and Meals
Because you are required to remain quarantined in your home (that’s the entire family, even those not sick!) once you have COVID-19, this is crucial. Check-in and see what is needed. If you do not hear back, just order things you know the person or family would like.
One of the COVID-19 symptoms is lack of appetite and/or taste. My husband and I both experienced lack of appetite and found it difficult to eat anything. What was easiest for us to stomach eating (and others I speak to who were sick) is fruit, bread, soup, juices, smoothies (send frozen fruit), tea and Gatorade. One of the best things that a close friend sent us was fresh juices from Pressed Juicery – they last a few weeks and give you needed nutrients and calories even if you aren’t eating much. Honestly, if friends hadn’t sent food, I probably wouldn’t have eaten. Receiving food also prevents you from needing to leave your home for this essential when you are ill. Tell a few of the families’ closest friends that you are arranging deliveries and you can split up tasks or pool funds so you have food coming in waves.
Periodically Update Friends
Having COVID-19 is such a cluster – you are very ill, can’t leave the house, disinfecting constantly, saving your breath and energy. The last thing you have time to do is give friends updates on your health status. My best friend started sending text updates to friends so that we didn’t have to and the key is to make it very clear that folks should not reach out to the sick person(s). The idea is to let their loved ones how they are but not overwhelm them, as rest is very important.
Assist in Making Calls
Calling pharmacies, medical supply companies and various doctors can feel overwhelming when you are sick. Offering to help call takes the stress off the family. The day I got home from the ER after going in with COVID-19, we were having trouble getting me a nebulizer, which I truly needed to breath. We were beyond frustrated and overwhelmed. One of my friends who lives across the country called my doctor’s office and coordinated with the medical supply company who needed multiple forms of prescription.
Help Get the Word Out
With their express approval, help sharing their story with family, friends and their and your network. Many still do not understand the severity of the virus and how vigilant they should be. But if someone in your network becomes ill with the COVID virus, it is sobering and you may change how you view the virus and your behavior. Being vocal about your experience helps the entire community.
Something to Brighten Their Day
Small things can truly brighten the day of someone who is sick or the family surrounding them. Each of the gifts we received truly made our day. It is truly the thought that counts. Here are a few suggestions of gifts to send:
- motivational or prayer book
- a luxurious body wash or soap or an at-home pedicure kit and a new polish (once recovering)
- coloring book and colored pencils (once recovering)
- a tea and honey set (I received a beautiful tea set from Fox Blossom Co.)
- flowers to brighten their home
- toy or book for their pent up kids (this is a favorite we received).