With Omicron numbers rising exponentially, it appears we will all get it sooner or later. Supposedly (so the experts tell us) a less severe, but more contagious variant, Omicron probably won’t send you to the hospital. This might not necessarily be a bad thing as herd immunity was a goal way back when all this Covid talk began.
Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it?
And of course, Omicron or any other Covid variant, does not take a break for the holiday season. Many of us are frustrated as we thought we would finally be able to enjoy an extended family dinner/get-together for Christmas this year.
With testing (seemingly) limited as these numbers increase, what can you do at home if you suspect you have come down with the Omicron variant of Covid? Or if you manage to get tested and your suspicions are confirmed.
Depending on the capabilities of local health systems, public health officials recommend those with minor symptoms to stay home and not seek care in health clinics or hospitals and monitor symptoms.
Medical care is focused on those who are short of breath, have severe symptoms, or require oxygen and supportive care that is only available in a hospital.Johns Hopkins Medicine
One of the Facebook groups I belong to (created by a very trusted, knowledgeable individual that appears to have the inside track on the various government announcements/rules/protocols etc) said she was told to follow the Johns Hopkins Protocol for at-home treatment.
Stay Home if Your Symptoms are Mild
The first thing to do is to isolate yourself from others, including those living in your household. Although you might already all be in the same boat so you may isolate together.
The recommended treatments are as follows:
- Treat fever with Advil or Tylenol, as directed on package.
- Stay hydrated; drink LOTS of water and avoid dehydrators like coffee and alcohol.
- Get lots of rest, don’t fight the fatigue.
- Take recommended doses of vitamins and minerals; Vitamin C, D3, K and zinc are reportedly the best to battle the symptoms and boost your immune system.
- boost your ventilation with a filter, or open windows (last week we could have done that here too, this week not so much) When the pandemic began I purchased a UV filter, it has been out of storage quite a bit lately.
- avoid sugary foods and other simple carbohydrates as they are known to fuel inflammation.
- get some fresh air. This is my own addition, but it always works for me.
- keep your sense of humour, laughter is the best medicine of all!
The Common Cold Virus vs Omicron Variant
Unfortunately, the common cold virus creates similar symptoms to this Omicron variant of Covid. The good news is you can treat the mild symptoms of both the same way.
- runny nose
- scratchy throat
Every cold I have ever suffered through started with a scratchy throat, followed by sinus congestion, and ended with a nagging cough. My husband has a similar process except for the fact that a cold always settles in his lungs causing prolonged and chestier coughing.
Homemade Remedy for the Common Cold
Last week when I felt sinus congestion signaling the beginning of a cold, I boiled a cup of water, sprinkled in a few drops of tea tree oil, and inhaled the steam. It worked like a charm; the congestion disappeared and my symptoms never progressed to a cough. My husband was not so lucky, he now has a full-on chest cold. But then again, he would not try my homemade remedy.
Colds never slow me down much. That’s the difference, hopefully something we all have learned from this pandemic. With cold symptoms so similar to Covid, we have to make ourselves slow down, stay home, get more rest etc., to attempt to control the spread of any virus we contract.
The similarity in symptoms does make you question though whether or not they warrant testing for Covid. This may be a good thing though, as testing (at least in my area) opportunities are slim pickings with the focus now changed to vaccine and booster distribution.
Of course, the downside to not getting tested for Covid means (potentially) fewer statistics generated for research and falsely low case counts.
Super Immunity From Breakthrough Cases?
Very promising recent research is predicting super immunity thanks to the increased covid cases:
You’ve got to have a foundation of protection….I think this speaks to an eventual end game,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we’re at the end of the pandemic, but it points to where we’re likely to land: Once you’re vaccinated and then exposed to the virus, you’re probably going to be reasonably well-protected from future variants.Dr. Marcel Curlin, associate professor of medicine (infectious diseases) in the OHSU School of Medicine and a co-author of the research,
Finally, some good news! At least for those of us that dutifully received our two Covid vaccines and a booster.