5 Things I wish I had prepared before contracting COVID-19 in Victoria, Australia
This is your prep guide if you haven’t had COVID, so make a list, check it twice, decide what 1-time orders to make now, and have in stock ready to go.
Yes, loves, I have COVID at the moment, and it’s early days. And while I feel late to the party compared to other parts of the world, now I have it, I wish I had foreseen and prepared a few more things. Hindsight is amazing, right?
Both myself and the BF have it. I’m double vaxxed; he is double vaxxed & has had his booster shot.
I don’t know what variant we have. We don’t know where we got it. We tested positive on Sunday. He seems to be so much sicker than me at this point and is usually in incredible health. We both exercise 5–6 times per week. We both eat a high protein, low carb, dietary insight recommended diet (Viome based), but also enjoy a weekly eat what we want day + an additional treat meal or two per week.
We both don’t smoke and do very much enjoy vino most Saturdays and while on vacay. He has asthma; I have no existing health conditions. Neither of us takes any kind of medication.
Background: Case numbers vary between 20,000 to 50,000 per day here in Victoria. Our state has a 93% vaccination rate (approx) and a population of 6.6 million. While I’m no expert, I’ve been getting the feeling that at some point, contracting it would be inevitable. I’ll write about our daily symptoms in a later post, but for now, here’s what to get started from our tiny, tiny case study of two (and google to confirm).
The BF is coughing up phlegm from his lungs, has a super sore throat, and is annoyingly clearing his throat noisily every few seconds. I have a headache for days, am aching all over, so these go really well together, you might imagine, lol. He tells me man COVID is much worse than lady COVID—akin to man flu. Time will tell. We have been trying to get something delivered for his scratchy, noisy throat, to give us both some much needed relief. The only pharmacy on any service (Uber) cancelled our order stating no stock for Betadine Throat gargle. I ordered using Medmate today; the first pharmacy couldn’t fulfil it, but the second did with 1 hour delivery for $11.50. Medmate is your friend if you need to get a script or medical supplies delivered within 60 minutes.
Here’s what else I’ve unearthed so far; your five to prepare and survive—
1. Purchase hospital masks, sore throat gargle & throat lozenges, earplugs, eye drops, paracetamol, tissues, cough syrup, plush toilet paper, disinfectant, paper towels & Glen 20 for the household.
Ok. So I know this sounds obvious, but I went to Chemist Warehouse last week, and nearly everything was gone. I usually do my groceries online, and the same there. I figured I would get around to finding stock of the above items at some point, but I didn’t. Oops. Too late now, and we are low on stock. I had a box of 20 pain relief, but that doesn’t go far between a sick household. So please don’t panic buy, but get enough for your entire household to take the max dose for seven days. Also, consider that you all might have the shits at the same time, and your bum might be sore, so a lush pack of TP put aside for your COVID poop journey is the go. Others in the household might be clearing their throat and coughing all day night, so definitely have some earplugs if you plan on getting some sleep next to someone sick or who is moaning 24/7. You’ll want disinfectant to clean up the phlegm you find in your sinks and bathroom toilet, and to keep on top of the spread of germs. I think I’ll just burn the house down to save the cleaning at the end of this (kidding).
Everyone in your household will need to isolate for 7 days here in Victoria, so you’ll need enough supplies for everyone.
Keep enough hospital masks handy during quarantine for everyone, as paramedics can’t enter unless everyone in the house is masked, and honestly, you might be calling them.
NOTE. I’m not a doctor, nor am I a medical professional, so none of these are doctor-approved recommendations. I’m someone who has had their genome decoded at Health Nucleus and has been a proponent and practising integrative wellness for 15 years now. I am using research as a reference, but by no means can I be relied upon as providing these as recommendations for someone else. I’ll link in all research referenced at the bottom.
2. Consider Proactive Healthcare rather than being reactive.
If you were a pilot, you would use your cockpit dials to navigate safely and do pre-flight checks before you even considered ever leaving the ground for take-off, right? So why do so many people not do this with their wellbeing?
These are things like heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate etc., which can easily be tracked 24/7 with a wearable, and linked to your phone in a beautiful app. They even notify you when you’re under the weather. I wear an Oura ring, which tracks my health data and notifies me of changes, so I haven’t needed to get a range of different products as Oura does it all. In fact, I was part of a 6-month Oura based COVID-19 study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2020.
Rather than being reactive, this is a proactive approach to monitoring and managing your own personal wellbeing 24/7. If you’ve not had the rona yet, seriously consider starting to measure your own data before you (eventually) get it, so you will physically see changes. Oura also may be able to predict when you’re getting unwell, but it needs pre-existing data to compare.
I’ve also read a bunch of recommendations suggesting purchasing a pulse oximeter for blood saturation, but personally, I haven’t bothered with one.
Did you know 70% of your immune system health is from your gut?
If you want to boost immunity, look to the gut. How?
I’m obsessed with Viome—Health insights, personalised food recommendations from your gut (poop/blood samples) formulated just for you. This whole experience reminded me to reorder and get sorted for 2022.
If you’re in NZ you may need to ship to a company like Shipito and have them forward it to you. They do ship directly to Oz, yay.
3. Stock up on supplements that help hasten the healing of COVID-19, and have them in your pantry.
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
Why? Vitamin C is vital for immune health, and supplementing this nutrient may help reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold. Vitamin C might interact with some medications or cancer treatments.
Dose: Different COVID-19 studies recommend different amounts of Vitamin C.
1: 8000mg per day for those who do not require hospitalisation, and only have mild/moderate symptoms of COVID-19.
The recommended daily amount is 75 mg/day for women and 90 mg/day for men.
2: Supplemental daily doses are typically between 250 and 1,000 mg. The upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 mg.
What I’m doing? Matching the dose to my symptoms, obvs. 8000mg for me.
My usual dose? 1000mg via Voost or Bioglan One-a-Day Vitamin C Forte 1000mg, which is really 826mg of Ascorbic Acid.
Investment (approx)? Voost $14.50 for 40 1000mg or Bioglan One-a-Day Vitamin C Forte 1000mg 50 Tablets at $13.99
More information on vitamin C is available in the ODS health professional fact sheet on vitamin C.
Why? Vitamin D has been highly researched in connection with COVID-19 because of its effect on the immune system. Studies have shown that Vitamin D can expedite healing and stall inflammation in the respiratory system. Vitamin D is essential for immune function. Healthy levels of this vitamin may help lower your risk for respiratory infections.
Dose: 1,000 to 4,000 IU of supplemental vitamin D. Those with more severe symptoms may need more.
What I’m doing? 5,000 IU Vitamin D3; No change to my normal daily dose.
Investment (approx)? $7.76 AUD for 120 tablets.
Why? Supplementing with zinc may help protect against respiratory tract infections and reduce the duration of these infections — including pneumonia.
Dose: 40 mg of elemental zinc (upper limit, approx).
What I’m doing? 50 mg elemental zinc. I take this dose daily anyways, so no change. I use NOW Zinc 50mg.
Investment approx? $13.47 AUD for 250 tablets
Why? Magnesium plays a role in innate and adaptive immunity, blood pressure regulation, and normal heart rhythm. Magnesium also has antithrombotic and bronchodilation effects and is required to activate vitamin D. Because of these effects in the body, magnesium supplementation may be beneficial for people with some respiratory disorders, such as asthma and pneumonia. Healthy people do not routinely develop overt signs of magnesium deficiency, but many people do not consume recommended amounts of magnesium. Low magnesium status is associated with decreased immune cell activity, increased oxidative stress, and increased inflammation.
Dose: Varies based on studies. Don’t use more than 350mg without consulting a doctor—magnesium toxicity can be a thing.
What I’m doing? 250mg daily, each evening before bed — no change on the normal.
Investment approx? $14.69 for 100 250mg tablets
NAC helps reduce respiratory mucus levels. Laboratory research suggests that NAC might affect immune system function and suppress viral replication. NAC also decreases levels of interleukin-6 and has other anti-inflammatory effects. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a derivative of the amino acid cysteine. It is an antioxidant and increases glutathione levels in the body. On a side note, NAC is being researched to help with PTSD and OCD conditions. There’s evidence it can help prevent kidney or neurologic damage caused by some drugs and may help with fertility.
Dose: Studies vary greatly. I can’t provide an exact one!
What I’m doing: 1000mg NAC. No change to my normal dose.
Investment approx? $28.14 for 1000mg 120 Tablets
4. Prioritise having backstock of the things which are not easy to access via online shopping as you won’t be able to click/collect.
Like, your pets prescription food or your medication. Or you might need to phone a friend, family or somewhere like Crisis Heroes.
I ordered my prescription kitty food & litter on the 7th of Jan 2022 from PetBarn. Delivery was scheduled for the 14th of Jan 2022, and the courier driver took it to the depot instead of leaving it on my doorstep. This happens so often and is problematic when you’re in isolation. The courier is only open Monday-Friday 1 pm to 6 pm, which means I was in isolation before being able to collect it. Luckily I reached out and created a call for help using CrisisHereos, and a brilliant, wonderful lady picked mine up and delivered it for me today, from the kindness of her heart. I’m a hero on there, too; it’s a place where we can help one another when in need, for free.
5. Order your groceries immediately, the moment you test positive. The soonest window for delivery is likely to be several days away.
Truth be told, I had a few wines Saturday night and initially thought I had a bit of a hangover, not COVID on Sunday. So I left my ordering to do until Monday, and when I finished adding stuff to my cart, the earliest delivery window was Thursday, 20th January. Given that I don’t have much food here, it’s not ideal. Yes, there are places like Uber, Doordash & Menulog I can order from, but I have been so underwhelmed by their service the last few months—they either drop it at my neighbours, or food gets delivered 2 hours later, completely cold. I love Woolthworths Online, but they are running desperately low on stock in store and have few delivery windows. I get it. There aren’t enough drivers. There isn't enough food. The supply chain is squeezed and under pressure at the moment!
This week we also used iPantry for ready-made meals like My Muscle Chef. To be fair, you’ll probably need some ready-made meals if you don’t feel able to cook. There are times when pressing start on the microwave seems too hard!
That’s your five to thrive or at least be a bit prepared, from my point of view! I also have been scrambling to find Rapid Antigen Test Kits like everyone else. There are some for mid-Feb delivery available on Medmate, or last checked, there were some on SEND, except they only deliver to some areas in NSW and Melbourne, not my area, unfortunately.
Let me know if this helps with your COVID prep!
Harvard Health — Do vitamin D, zinc, and other supplements help prevent COVID-19 or hasten healing?
Dietary Supplements in the Time of COVID-19
The 15 Best Supplements to Boost Your Immune System Right Now
Supplements for the Treatment of Mild COVID-19 — Challenging Health Beliefs With Science From A to Z
Top 9 Benefits of NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)