The latest CDC recommendations suggest people ill with COVID-19 remain isolated for 10 days in their own homes unless their symptoms require medical attention. However, social isolation can lower the immune system's defenses, making it more difficult for COVID-19 patients to heal. 

You can help combat this issue in many ways, even if you can't visit someone with COVID face-to-face. Your involvement and care may even speed up their healing and give them a positive attitude.

Call Them Regularly

A phone call carries more meaning than a text. Listen to your loved one's concerns and ask how you can help. Call on a regular schedule to check-in and to give them something to look forward to. Take their mind off things by telling them about any interesting news stories you read or anything funny that happened during the day. Talk about plans to keep them thinking positively.

Because COVID-19 can make someone breathless, regular phone calls also help you check respiratory symptoms from afar. If your loved one starts struggling to carry on a conversation with you, it's definitely time to call a doctor. 

Drop Off Meals and Groceries

Everyone needs groceries, even when sick. Ask your loved one what they need, then purchase it and leave it by their door. You can also make some soup and drop it off in the same fashion. 

Don't forget about pet food and toiletries. Consider buying some magazines, puzzle books, extra-soft socks, and perhaps a humidifier to make it a well-rounded care package.

Help Arrange Deliveries

If you're busy or trying to avoid going out in public right now, arrange to have groceries delivered to your loved one's home. Most communities have delivery services available through Instacart, Door Dash, or similar companies. Plan to show your loved ones how to use the service themselves when they're feeling better.

Send a Letter or Card

Nothing beats the joy of receiving a letter or get-well card in the mail. It is a physical reminder of how much you care. Include a picture of the two of you for a special touch. Flowers are also a welcome surprise and can be delivered right to the doorstep.

Do a Shared Activity

Doing a shared activity gives your loved ones something to do when they aren't too tired and gives them something new to talk about with you. There are many online games or mobile apps that you can play together in real-time, including classic card or board games. For games that you play separately, try to beat each other's scores. 

You can also do jigsaw puzzles or fill in coloring pages online. If these activities still require a little too much effort for your recovering loved one, pick an audiobook that you can both listen to, or watch a Netflix series. Discuss the latest developments in the book or series during your regular phone calls or online chats.  

Visit From a Distance

Pick a day with nice weather to stop by their house and interact while socially distancing. Your ill loved one should stay inside, and you should remain at least 6 feet away from any open windows or doors. Don't forget to wear a mask! 

Your loved one will be thrilled to see and talk to you in person. Give them something to look forward to by making plans for a "proper" visit once they are no longer contagious. 

If your loved one seems to be having a hard time thinking positive thoughts while battling COVID, help them set up a Confidant account. Our telehealth team is always available to help.