Supporting people to recover from Coronavirus
Doctors and nurses working with NHS North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, working with public health leads, have put together a handy guide to support people recovering from coronavirus or suspected cases of coronavirus.
While some people need hospital treatment or even intensive care for COVID-19, the serious condition caused by coronavirus, the majority of patients are able to recover at home. However, it is still an illness that can leave even otherwise healthy people feeling weak and poorly. You can download a poster (PDF) that highlights what people can do to boost their mental and physical health following a COVID-19 infection.
Dr Ekta Elston, local GP and Medical Director for the CCG, said a viral infection like coronavirus can leave people feeling extremely tired and run down.
“This is especially true for older patients or people with chronic health conditions,” said Dr Elston. “Even if you don’t need to go to hospital, many people will not bounce straight back after this illness and they or their carers will need to take some extra steps to start feeling better.”
The clinicians advise:
- Even if you don’t feel like it, try to eat well and drink plenty of water to build your energy back up, as long as you are not on any dietary or fluid restrictions
- When sleeping or resting, try lying on your front or your side, and not just always on your back, to help your lungs expand more
- Try to do some deep breathing exercises regularly whilst sat in your chair or stood up, to stretch and exercise your lungs
- Don’t be afraid to cough to help to clear any secretions away from your lungs, but cough away from other family members and use and dispose of any tissues you use
- If you smoked before you became ill, please don’t restart. This will help your lungs recover. Please refrain from drinking alcohol
- Allow yourself to get plenty of rest to help yourself recover. Don’t try to over-do it if you’re feeling exhausted; however
- Do make sure you get up and move around your room, even if it is just for a few minutes every hour during the day-time
- Gradually build up what you do, don’t expect to go straight back to what you were able to do.
- Also consider your mental health. This might have been an anxious time for you, maybe even traumatic. If you need support or just someone to talk to then we can offer you help by ringing 01472 256256 option 3 24/7.
It may take a while to feel back to yourself again and recovery will be different for everyone but if you are concerned, please contact your GP practice.
Your COVID Recovery is an online platform (www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk) containing general information on all aspects of recovering from COVID-19 including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. The site offers general advice on recovery, returning to work and information for families and carers of patients with post-COVID syndrome (also known as Long COVID). It also signposts to other agencies such as the British Lung Foundation and the Samaritans.
If you feel you or a family member are developing new coronavirus symptoms please use the NHS 111 Online Coronavirus Service or ring 111 if you can’t get online. Symptoms are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal