As the Omicron COVID-19 variant spreads rapidly across Australia, residents are being advised to be prepared for when COVID comes to them.
It seems more like 'when' and not 'if', so it pays to be prepared with a few medical items on hand to help you through. That is if you can be cared for at home without hospitalisation.
Most of us already have hand sanitiser, face masks, and wipes - all tools to prevent COVID - but now we need to add thermometers, plans for how to self-isolate from household members, and more added extras for our COVID kits.
Firstly, plan for the fact you'll need to self-isolate for a possible two-week period with little warning.
If you have children or pets plan who will look after them if you need to leave the home - either isolate separately or if you need higher care.
If you share your house with family or housemates, think about how you can quarantine away from them to prevent the spread.
Talk to family and neighbours and plan for who might be able to drop supplies at your door if needed.
Think about food supplies including shelf-stable foods and frozen foods.
Ensure you have supplies of any prescription medicines you require.
Also consider a supply of over-the-counter medicines to help with fevers, pain and also medicines to deal with cold symptoms. Try this for starters:
- Paracetamol, Nurofen or similar
- Lemsip or similar
- cough mixture
- a thermometer
- Gatorade and Gastrolyte.
- a supplies of tissues
- a finger pulse oximetre (it measures the oxygen in your blood on your finger).
We asked our subscriber Facebook groups across the ACM network to find out how readers have been dealing with COVID and for top tips on coping.
One subscriber on the NSW-Victorian border said her household had been surviving on "drinking lots of tea, watching great TV and have been taking painkillers for the whole time and dry cough mixture".
She said it had been "definitely worse than a cold for us" and was hanging for an end-of-isolation "real café coffee".