How To Manage COVID At Home, According To A Registered Nurse

By Jessica Best
24th Feb 2022

three people gathered around a kitchen island, preparing food

If you’re one of the unicorns that has not yet copped Coronavirus, this read is for you.

The pandemic is far from over and one look at your socials will tell you what absolute chaos it is out there. The question on everyone’s lips is not if they’ll get the virus but rather when? And that can be a really frightening concept to deal with.

We’re no health professionals but to help ease the uncertainty and potential shock of contracting coronavirus, we decided to reach out to an actual registered nurse, the knowledgeable Courtney Tanner, to find out what are the useful things to have on hand, stocked by your bedside table and ready at home, should you test positive on a Rapid Antigen Test or PCR.

For more detail, you can check the New Zealand Government’s current COVID-19 test and isolate advice here, Healthline's hub on managing COVID-19 at home here and what to expect day by day via Health Navigator, here. Always contact your GP if you have any questions or concerns about managing COVID-19 at home first.

Cough Mixture

“Any sort of cough mixture—Benadryl or Prospan, for example, you can have. They help to break up any sputum that builds up in the chest.”

Sore Throat Gargle

“You’d want to have at home something like Betadine Sore Throat Gargle, it’s antibacterial so it just helps with the discomfort more than anything.”

Pain Relief 

“To keep your temperature down, you want paracetamol. This is obviously really good for pain relief but it will also help to bring down temperatures. A lot of people with COVID lose their appetite so we encourage people just to try and eat white bread or rice, just to keep that nutritional intake.”

“If you’re eating, you can have ibuprofen which is an anti-inflammatory. I also recommend having spare cloths you can wet to keep your temperature down.”

Icy Poles

“Anecdotally, a lot of people get razor sore throats and because you can potentially lose your appetite and your taste, I always recommend having something like lemonade ice blocks in the freezer as well. If you’re not eating much, it’s a good way to get a sugar-hit so you can get some carbohydrates while also being easy on the throat.”


“If you’re running a temperature you want to be drinking heaps of fluids, it’s useful to stock up on Hydralyte too.”


“If nausea and vomiting might be an issue, I would recommend going to the chemist and just getting either metoclopramide, which is just an antiemetic (anti-nausea) tablet or ondansetron. If you’re feeling unwell with severe diarrhoea or vomiting, call your GP. I wouldn’t start taking those tablets without consulting your GP but they’re good to have on hand prior.”

Thermometer And Pulse Oximeter

“Have a thermometer and pulse oximeter, then you can check your oxygen, saturations, your pulse and your temperature every day. If people get a pulse oximeter, which you can grab at a chemist or online, you’ll want to look at oxygen between 95 and 100 per cent, anything below that and you’ll want to be contacting your health team. Just be mindful that people with darker skin or nail polish on your fingers can impact the reading.” Find out more on how to use an oximeter, here.

Stock Up On Vitamin C

Anecdotally, we've heard that loading up on 1000mg of Vitamin C can go some way to lessening symptoms, it certainly can't hurt.

Naturally, here's everything to binge watch in bed while you recover.

Disclaimer: All content and information in this article is for informational and educational purposes only, it does not constitute medical advice or replace a patient-client relationship. Always consult a healthcare professional in the area of your particular needs regarding your health or medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call the emergency services immediately.

Image credit: Urban List

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