As we enter the fourth year of the pandemic, catching a variant of this virus (at least once) is more or less inevitable.
With growing numbers of Long Covid, around 5 -10% of Australians who contract the virus, it is vital to take care and rest during the acute phase of the illness. If you’re middle-aged, female or have a pre-existing condition, there’s an even greater risk of developing this long-term complication.
Like many viruses, the same variant can affect individuals differently. While one person barely has any symptoms, another might have fevers and aches or vomiting and diarrhoea. ‘Normal’ recovery time can vary from a few days to up to 12 weeks.
Covid care tips
How to take care of yourself when you’ve got the virus:
Rest: when your unwell bed is where you need to be!
Let go of FOMO: cancelling plans is inconvenient but not the end of the world.
Listen to your body: silence all the “shoulds” going through your mind and give it the downtime it needs.
Eat simply: as taste and smell can be affected, keep food basic until this symptom resolves.
Fun fact: I was one of the many people who didn’t fully lose taste but had an accentuated sense of salt, bitter and sweet. Anything with the merest hint of salt or herby bitterness was unbearable but fresh fruit tasted amazing.
Reduce processed foods: dial back the sugar, dairy and flour.
Drink lots of water: even more than you usually drink if you have a fever but skip the caffeine and alcohol.
Support your immune system: good quality vitamin C, zinc, echinacea, turmeric, elderberry and medicinal mushroom supplements are ideal, depending on your current medication or underlying health conditions.
Respiratory support: consider some of these home remedies for relieving upper respiratory symptoms.
Don’t soldier on: contact your doctor ASAP if you have pre-existing conditions that make you eligible to take antiviral medication, or if symptoms worsen.
Take it slowly: it’s normal to feel fatigued for 3 – 12 weeks, so factor in time to rest and have early nights as you recover.
Continue your immune support until you feel back-to-normal for at least a week: as you recover, reduce the dose of acute herbs or supplements, eg from 3 – 4 times a day, to twice and then once daily.
Recovery herbs: taking professionally prescribed herbs to support the nervous and immune systems may help you feel better, sooner.
Gentle exercise: avoid exercise during the acute infection, and slowly build your strength and fitness only when feeling better. Literally walk before you start to run!
Also be aware of your thoracic (mid to upper) spine. Even without lung complications, some remedial therapists have found this area can be unusually tight for weeks after the infection and can lead to shortness of breath on exertion. Consult your osteopath/chiropractor/physiotherapist/massage therapist to support your recovery.
Our immune system is complicated. Long before this latest virus, a number of post-viral syndromes have been identified.
I believe our body communicates with us through symptoms. If you’re exhausted, can’t think straight and are feeling low it’s a strong message to rest and recuperate.
Post-viral symptoms and support
If you would like an experienced naturopath to support your recovery, please book an online consultation.