What to do if a loved one has coronavirus

We con­tin­ue to share tips that work. Art direc­tor Iri­na Erkan this time shared infor­ma­tion on what should nev­er be done if a loved one was admit­ted to a COVID hos­pi­tal, and how to sup­port a sick loved one.



Not only patients of COVID clin­ics are expe­ri­enc­ing new expe­ri­ences in their lives. It is just as dif­fi­cult for their loved ones. Many sin­cere­ly want to help, but do not know how.

I would­n’t be me if I did­n’t use my per­son­al expe­ri­ence for research. So, “How to sup­port a close COVID patient?”

Don’t pester

When you find out about the bad news, try not to bom­bard all the mes­sen­gers of your friend every 2 hours with the ques­tion: “Are you feel­ing bet­ter?”

Why? The first week of stay the patient is not at all bet­ter. And wor­ry­ing about your­self and for you can be a heavy bur­den for many in this state. Among the ques­tions that patients most dis­liked were:

  1. “When are they dis­charged?”
  2. “What the doc­tor said?”
  3. “Why do not you take the phone?”.

How to do? Say: “How are you feel­ing? If you need help, write to me.” It was this reac­tion of friends that pleased the patients the most.

coronavirus in family


Don’t force treatment

Do not send the patient treat­ment reg­i­mens and lists of med­i­cines down­loaded from social net­works or obtained from “a friend of my moth­er who was cured in the best clin­ic in Israel.”

Why? The treat­ment reg­i­men in COVID hos­pi­tals is strict­ly accord­ing to the pro­to­col plus the indi­vid­ual con­di­tion. The patient sim­ply does not have any mech­a­nism to influ­ence the treat­ment reg­i­men. And who do you trust more? A pre­scrip­tion from Face­book or a doc­tor who has been see­ing such patients for eight months now?

How to do? In no case do not chal­lenge the actions of the doc­tor, do not give advice on how to treat. Just don’t touch this top­ic.

No “magic pills”

Do not send the patient pro­mo­tion­al infor­ma­tion about pills, dietary sup­ple­ments, vit­a­mins, folk reme­dies. As well as a video about “mirac­u­lous” reme­dies.

Why? The con­di­tion with COVID is quite severe, there is sim­ply no strength to “eat” unnec­es­sary infor­ma­tion.

How to do? Each patient with covid is pre­scribed a com­plex of vit­a­mins. For exam­ple, I drink Vit­a­min D 10000, C dou­ble dose and zinc cock­tail. All con­va­les­cents need these vit­a­mins. They are not cheap (if you buy not syn­thet­ics, but nat­ur­al ones), but you can’t do with­out them. 80% of patients do not buy them because of the high price. Just give your friend a pack­age of good vit­a­mins and that’s it. Even if he is embar­rassed to ask.

Don’t give menu advice

Do not try to advise what you can eat dur­ing ill­ness, what you can not.

Why? The first ten days the patient eats almost noth­ing. There are so many antibi­otics that there is no appetite at all. Smells are not felt, taste too. As soon as the patient gets bet­ter, appetite appears. And here I want the usu­al food, not the hos­pi­tal.

How to do? If you are not at risk, ask what your friend wants and just pass it through the safe cor­ri­dor. Even if it’s din­ner from a restau­rant or ice cream from a near­by stall.

Per­son­al expe­ri­ence. I real­ly want­ed a cake from Volkon­sky. But while my son was buy­ing, I was on a drip and he could not find out which one. There­fore, he brought a huge box with all the sweets that were at that moment in the cafe. When I opened the box, it turned out that I began to smell! And it was very cool.



Do not panic

Don’t pan­ic. And do not shift your anx­i­ety to your patient.

Why? He sim­ply does not have the resources to con­tain these emo­tions. Even min­i­mal stress reduces sat­u­ra­tion by 5–10 units. This is enough to move to inten­sive care.

How to do? Com­mu­ni­cate. Bet­ter by phone or video. Com­mu­ni­cate as if the per­son is not in the clin­ic. Avoid top­ics that require imme­di­ate deci­sions.

Don’t ask who else is sick

Do not ask every day: “Who else in your fam­i­ly got infect­ed?”

Why? We don’t know if fam­i­ly mem­bers got infect­ed or not. All this will show time. But this is one of the most stress­ful top­ics in the COVID depart­ment. While the patient is in the clin­ic, par­ents from the risk group, small chil­dren can stay at home.

How to do? Ask if any of them need help. In sup­port, food deliv­ery, a trip to the doc­tor. And if you’re real­ly will­ing to help, find a way to do it safe­ly.

Don’t ask about deaths

And the last. Don’t ask your friend, “Has any­one died yet?”

There are no com­ments here. How­ev­er, this top­ic was men­tioned by every sec­ond researcher…

Thank you for the hon­est answers of patients (34–68 years old) of clin­ic #8, Kyiv, Sep­tem­ber 2020.

And let this infor­ma­tion be use­less to you. Health!

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