Not Sick Enough for the Hospital? How I Managed the Symptoms of Covid at Home

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Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

There are many different levels of illness for people who contract the Covid-19 virus. Some people have a few mild symptoms for a couple of days, others have a moderate case like mine, and others require hospital care. If you fall into one of the first two categories, your doctor will most likely tell you to manage the symptoms of the virus at home.

Disclaimer 1: This article is not a replacement for medical treatment or diagnosis. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on television. This article is not about a cure for Covid or any type of prescription medication. It’s only about the symptoms. You should always get advice from your doctor before attempting to manage Covid at home. Be sure to seek emergency treatment if your symptoms worsen.

Disclaimer 2: Every time I write about this, the comments section is filled with people who don’t believe it exists and who don’t think I had it. Or maybe you had it and it wasn’t as bad, you think I’m fat, that I don’t take enough vitamins, or that I am a shill for Big Pharma. I already know your thoughts. You told me, vividly, of your opinions. If any of this describes you, then you are not the intended audience for this article and I wish you the very best in continued health and wellness.

The symptoms of Covid vary widely among patients. This article is intended to address the more common symptoms, many of which can be managed with home remedies and over the counter products.  It includes many of the products and remedies that I used during my own bout.

Obviously, care should be taken not to spread the virus through the household with the use of proper sanitation, hygiene, and isolation. However, that is beyond the scope of this article.

Some items you need

You probably already have most if not all of what you need for managing symptoms at home. Be sure to have a reliable thermometer so you can monitor the fever of the person who is sick. Humidifiers can help people breathe easier, and a variety of over-the-counter medications may come in handy.

One of the most important things that I used was a fingertip pulse oximeter. This will let you know if the sufferer’s oxygen levels have become dangerously low. Check at your local pharmacy or order one from Amazon. Be sure to see if it requires batteries, and if so what kind. You don’t want to have to search for watch batteries when you have someone in the home who may have Covid.

Keep a good supply of electrolyte powders or electrolyte beverages. I felt very dehydrated while I had Covid due to the high fever. Supplement your fluid intake with these drinks.


Some people believe you should let a fever run its course because that is your body’s way of fighting off an illness. I tend to agree with this philosophy. Some studies suggest that particularly in the early stages of the illness, the use of antipyretics like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin could reduce your natural immune response.

Recognising the value of fever in the fight against infection does not imply that fever has no costs, but the available evidence indicates that the costs of fever outweigh its benefits only at advanced and severe stages of infection,5 typically when patients are hospitalised because of cardiovascular or respiratory complications.16,17 In such states of compromised physiological fitness (sepsis), the energetic cost of fever may be too much for the host to bear and, additionally, fever may heighten the maladaptive inflammation underlying the complications (source)

At some point, you may feel that the need to treat other symptoms outweighs the benefit of the fever, or you may feel that the fever has become dangerously high.

Make sure to keep anyone with a fever well-hydrated, warm, and as comfortable as possible. Sometimes a fever can be brought down naturally with a cool – not cold – bath or cooling compresses.

If the sick person has chills accompanying the fever, keep them warm with layers and extra blankets. In people who are diabetic, check their blood sugar levels – chills can be a symptom of low blood sugar, which will need to be managed separately.


One of the first symptoms that people mention with Covid is a really bad headache. The pain increases when you cough. I spent a week clutching my head every time I coughed to try not to jar it quite so much.

Over the counter remedies for a headache are:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin

Briefly, there was concern that NSAID drugs could make Covid worse, but a recent study has disproven that. Some healthcare providers are recommending aspirin to reduce the likelihood of blood clots. But also consider the advice above regarding the value of a fever – if you have a temperature as well as a headache, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of taking something to relieve these symptoms.

White willow bark is a common natural remedy for pain relief. As well, make sure to keep the sufferer well-hydrated. A headache is also a symptom of dehydration.

Dry cough

One symptom that makes everything else worse is the constant dry cough that many Covid-sufferers report. It’s generally not a deep productive cough. Like many of the other symptoms of this illness, a cough can actually be beneficial as it helps to keep your lungs clear. Cough suppressing medication is not recommended.

At the same time, you still need some sleep so cough relief may be in order.  Some natural remedies include:

A Mexican cough remedy recommended by the pharmacist is a tea made with lime juice, honey, and lots of cinnamon.

Steam can also be helpful – even getting into a hot shower can help open up your airways. (Check out these shower bombs.) The use of essential oils such as eucalyptus oil in a humidifier or diffuser can help, as can good old-fashioned Vicks Vapo-rub.

Mucinex and other expectorants can help to break up mucous if your cough becomes deeper.

If your cough begins to turn into shortness of breath or chest pain, you may have a more serious issue. If you have asthma, it may be time to use your inhaler. As an asthma-sufferer, I found that taking Claritin, an antihistamine meant to treat seasonal allergies, helped a little bit with the feeling of “weight” in my lungs.  It’s important to check your oxygen levels with a pulse oximeter and make certain that the numbers aren’t falling too far.

Body aches

The body aches from Covid can be pretty severe and I felt that mine were worsened by the relentless chills and shivering that went on for days. That was the main reason I ended up treating my fever after several days.

Body aches can be treated with aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Other non-chemical remedies include a hot bath or shower, a heating pad, or an electric blanket. While you should get plenty of rest, you may feel better after moving around a little bit if you’ve been spending all your time in bed.


The all-encompassing fatigue can be one of the worst symptoms of Covid. The level of exhaustion for many defies description.

Rest is, of course, the number one recommendation for fatigue. Sleep as much as you can. If you are home alone, choose easy meals, and don’t try to do too much around the house.

Remaining well-hydrated can help with fatigue. It’s important to also remain well-nourished with things like soup, bone broth, fruits, and vegetables.

If your fatigue is extreme or if you become dizzy, it’s time to check your pulse oxygen saturation. Low SPO2 can cause or worsen fatigue.

For some people, recovering their previous energy levels after Covid can take a few months. Listen to your body.

Loss of taste/smell

I never lost my sense of smell but I did lose my sense of taste and it still hasn’t fully returned more than a month later. If you lose your sense of taste, the texture of your food becomes especially important. Some things will really seem disgusting because texture without taste can be very very different. I still can’t eat bread.

Things with extreme but simple flavor profiles can be more easily tolerated. Saltine crackers, potatoes, bone broth, sweet juices, or spicy foods may be more appealing.

Being unable to taste can greatly affect your appetite. While losing a few pounds when you’re sick is normal, you still need to provide your body with the nutrition it requires to heal.

Supplements and vitamins

Here in Mexico, I was prescribed some supplements and vitamins by my physician. The following are all recommended to support your body while it’s fighting off the virus.

  • Vitamin C (I took 8 grams per day – this can cause digestive issues so don’t start off with this amount unless you already take a lot)
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

There are other recommendations but these are the ones that I see suggested most frequently.

When to seek additional medical attention

A very common complication of Covid is secondary pneumonia. If your cough seems to be worsening, you may need to seek additional medical attention.

Generally, the pneumonia is treated separately from Covid and can include inhalers, corticosteroids, nebulizers, and antibiotics. This is fairly easily managed at home for most people who are taking the right medications, but ignoring it won’t make it go away. Pneumonia can become serious to the point of being life-threatening.

This brings us to the following.

When to seek emergency medical attention

Some symptoms require emergency medical treatment. As per the CDC, do not mess around with treating the following symptoms at home:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

If you have the symptoms above, do not attempt to drive yourself to the hospital. Call 911.

Call ahead before you go to the hospital if you think you have Covid or if you have been diagnosed with it. They may have special instructions for you to prevent the spread of the virus at the facility

Do you have other recommendations?

Do you have other suggestions for managing the symptoms of Covid? Please share them in the comments.

Shoutout to my very good friend, author LL Akers who brought this discussion up in her excellent Facebook group
Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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    • Yeah, I thought so too. You don’t pay any prescription fees or anything – there are just certain vitamins the doctor wrote out in dosages that were higher than the labels recommend for folks who are just taking them as daily supplements. It’s kind of a mix of modern medicine, natural health, and old remedies here.

      • There’s a whole conversation missing.
        Seems to be a trend. I actually was going to post the flip side of it with the negative side effects.

        • Please do! I haven’t researched this because once I got diagnosed it was too late in the illness for it to be of help to me.

  • Hi Daisy, I am wondering if you were already on Vitamin D prior to getting sick? If so, do you know what your D level is/was?

    • I had the same question as well but was also wondering what other nutritional products you were on prior to having Covid?

    • Great question! I’m a huge believer in Vitamin D.

      I don’t know what my Vitamin D level was but I was already taking 3000 IUs of D3 per day. As well, I currently live at the beach so I’m outside in the sun for at least an hour every day – and usually longer than that what with dog walks, etc.

  • sure hope you’re feeling more like yourself every day, daisy!!! that must’ve been brutal. hope you recover fully, the new year is good to you, stay well and safe, we still have a long road to travel……God bless

  • Loss of taste and smell are symptoms of zinc deficiency. Same with shortness of breath.

    Basically if you’re experiencing these, you could be deficient in zinc for some reason, rather than having Covid-19, which has never been isolated or proven to exist, and the PCR test is intentionally fraudulent to drive the entire pandemic (case number, death numbers, all wildly inaccurate and fraudulent).

    Many illnesses assumed to be viruses are actually either nutrient deficiencies, some sort of exposure to toxins – which can include 5G and other non-ionizing radiation – or both.

    • I didn’t have a PCR test, as I mentioned in my other article. But you may not believe in the serology test either.

  • Headache/body aches….arnica homeopathic under the tongue. 30C every hour till feeling better or 200m am and pm. I am not a homeopathy practicioner. Lots of other helpful remedies with no side (e)affects.
    Contacting a professional is good idea..

  • I am in the camp of believing covid doesn’t exist but the symptoms you had are real. My wife came down hard and fast with a sinus, head cold I had her nebulize with colloidal silver and take CDS solution internally. That is chlorine dioxide solution. Check out Andreas Kalcker for CDS. He said in 100 case trials of covid it cured all if I remember right. My wife was over her symptoms in 2 days. I cured my dog of 14 of cancer using CDS, silver, and other hurbs. My Vet recommended cutting the cancer away and doing Kemo. I refused and almost a year later she is still doing great. Disclaimer. I am not a Dr. and am sharing what I use. Do your own research.

  • My husband I are dealing with it now. He was exposed at his job and we both started feeling sick with a low grade fever about 5-6 days ago. First test was negative, but I had to take him to the emergency room last night due to incessant vomiting and the rapid test was positive. He’s home with zofran now and doing better. He does have pneumonia. The body aches, chills, headaches, and fatigue are terrible. I have suffered from bouts of vertigo for years and this has brought on spells of that as well. Currently lying on a heating pad and taking ibuprofen as little as possible. Chest is heavy and a bit of a cough but oxygen levels are good.

  • I think I may have had the Coronavirus last January (don’t have proof of that, because at the time the virus was just something that only existed in China, at least so was thought at the time) and I dealt with it the same way I always do with other respiratory viruses like bad colds and flu.
    I always eat a lot of garlic to begin with, and when my nose gets stopped up and I get congested I make a hot drink consisting of chicken broth, chopped garlic cloves (2-3 cloves per serving) and a good pinch of red pepper flakes (I like hot stuff, but you can forgo the peppers if you don’t). I heat the broth to just boiling (microwaving also works). The peppers clear my nose and the garlic is great for its antiseptic properties (+ it is a mild blood thinner) and the chicken broth is good for fluid intake. I would drink 2-4 mugs of this concoction during the day, and at night I would take OTC cold/flu pills to open my nose so I could sleep.
    For the persistent cough, I would take honey. Never used any OTC cough syrup. I also on occasion (like when I had to get up and go to work the next day; sadly I still had to work as everyone just figured it was a cold at that time…) took OTC sleep aids so I’d not be so tired the next day. Funny thing, at that time I chose to wear a mask at work (because I work around elderly people) so as not to infect anyone, long before masks became required in many places. I even avoided my own mother at the time, so luckily I did not pass it onto anyone I knew.

  • Thank you for sharing what you learned from this experience. I cannot imagine accusing you of the things you listed just because you offered to share what you had learned from a potentially life-threatening experience.

  • Daisy—I am so glad you recovered. I am a Navy veteran from the 70s and I can tell you for sure Covid is real….I just lost a Shipmate right before Christmas ….he was 64 yo and a Cross Country coach. Thank God you are OK as you are a real blessing to us. Stay well and God Bless you…thanks for all you do

  • I like this list – thanks for sharing it. I have shared my own list before but wanted to offer it up here in case it helped anyone – keeping in mind of course how different things help different people.

    My symptoms:

    headache, joint pain, really bad lung pain, dry cough, fatigue

    What I used:

    Vitamin C around 4 grams per day plus fruit/veggies
    Teas, both caffeinated and non, general hydration
    Expectorant (Guaifenisin)
    Prescription inhaler (Salbutamol/albuterol)
    Garlic, chicken soup
    Peppermint tea for clearing lungs, sometimes peppermint schnapps as cough suppressant
    Showering with eucalyptus and other aromatics
    DoTerra OnGuard drops
    Sitting in the sun
    Lots of sleep.

  • Oregano oil. Place boiling water in a coffee cup and place 1-2drops of oregano oil in it. Cover above your nose ( to keep fumes out of your eyes). Breathe in your nose and out your mouth. Then reverse, in your mouth and out your nose. Do this at least 5 times. Repeat this treatment at least 3 times a day. This kept the virus out of my lungs and helped my sinuses. I have asthma so that was a concern for me. I also put 2-3 drops of oregano oil in an empty capsule and swollowed it 2-3times a day. It could be placed under your tongue but I’m a wimp and don’t like the burn. My husband also took tumeric Capsules and got well quicker than me. I have never been So Tired in my life. I could hardly move. It was an extreme effort to do the simplistic things.

  • Quercetin is one that has been recommended along with the other supplements. We are also taking Elderberry as a general immune booster. Our family does homeopathy as well – there are several recommendations out there from other countries and from Cilla Whatcot at Real Immunity. My other suggestion would be to find a doc who will prescribe the Hydroxy/Azithormyacin/Steriods.

    Glad you are feeling better!

    • I remember when the whu-flu first came out early last year that elderberry was bad for the cytokine storm involved with the virus. Do you think the elderberry helped?

  • One of the suggestions I read from an online doctor stressed the importance of moving around when you had the flu/cold/covid (since they all belong to the same family and exhibit similar symptoms), even if you feel crappy. Walking inhibits the collection of fluids in the lungs. Another thing he suggested was to practice taking as deep a breath as you can, hold it for 5 seconds, and slowly let it out. Do this several times frequently during the day, then try a hard cough. The deep breaths force the lungs to fully expand, dislodging the accumulated fluids. The hard cough forces the fluids out of your lungs so you can spit it out.

  • So glad you have recovered.

    It’s taken me 8 months now and still slowky getting better but I am getting better. Unclear thinking, weakess, no stamina have made it a battle. Eating was and is sometimes still a problem. I’ve lost around 50 lb.. the loss of stamina was the worst. I lived on water. Worst thing was lunch meats. Still can’t swallow them

  • You treated it just like a bad cold or flu. That’s what I did when I had it, only the doctor still called it the flu back in January. “Coronavirus” is the medical name for any respiratory infection. Anything from the sniffles up to pneumonia. The common cold is a coronavirus. If they called it the “2019 head cold” it wouldn’t frighten the gullible masses like “covid 19” does. This is stupid.

  • Glad your’e okay now. I had it for 16 days back in October.
    Headache ( constant)
    Joint pain ( eased after one week)
    fatigue ( big time I dragged myself around )
    no taste or smell
    dry cough
    moderate lung pressure ( not pain but pressure) which made walking harder
    no fever
    slight nausea at the very beginning ( days 1-3)

    I found nothing to stop the headache or joint pain ( I tried everything but prescription pain meds)
    I slept a lot and also sat in my recliner and rested a lot
    I increased my vit C
    started taking zinc
    increased my vit D from 5,000iu to 10,000iu daily
    took an expectorant(Guaifenisin) ( thank goodness for Delsym for my cough)
    also went outside every day for fresh air and sunshine when it was shinning
    pushed liquids ( juice, water,tea)

    I lost 8 pounds during this time. I also had one evening when I could not get a deep breath but managed to get one by going outside in the fresh air and by forcing myself to bend in half and taking deeper and deeper breaths until I finally filled my lungs.
    After that I started to feel better every day. Guess that was the make or break point
    I had the dry cough for a month afterwards

    Hubby had it for two days and just felt tired and had a dry cough. That was it. ( so unfair lol)

  • Our family had it back in October. My husband was exposed at work and got it the worst. We are in our late 40’s. We were already on vitamin c, d and zinc. We also started on elderberry. We both got on azythromycin as soon as the cough started. Got rid of that in two days.(my doctor said it protects the lungs for some odd reason) I also asked my neighbor(ER Doc) when we should worry about low oxygen. He said if it is staying in the low 80’s call your doctor. I had bought canned oxygen (like hikers use) and it helped get our levels up and helped with the headaches. Not the worst thing we have ever had, but it effects everyone so differently. The loss of smell worked in our favor because we had puppies at the time. Missed all the stinky smells.

  • Thank you, Daisy, as you have documented your symptoms so others can get clear information. I am experiencing what seems like a cold but last night I had body aches in weird places and couldn’t sleep. I’ve also been feeling mentally fuzzy since Tuesday and have congestion. I don’t know if what I have is COVID019 but I’m now concerned enough to get a test. Thank you for writing this and ignore the idiots who think it is a made-up story. They are the worst offenders and are spreading this deadly illness by not wearing masks and being in denial. In California where I live, we have a lot of these people who are putting everyone else at risk and in fact, my elderly neighbor just passed away last week from COVID-19. He broke his hip and while he was in a skilled nursing facility he got exposed. Very sad. Nice guy and very smart. Be well!~

  • Hi Daisy and friends, Good and useful article. I am in NZ and we live normally without covid in the community. However this may not last so we still prepare. Some ideas.
    You can get mega vitamin D pills and they are relatively cheap, 50,000 and 25,000 IU. I would consider using them for a big hit to stop an infection. Also there is Ivomectin, a “worm” medicine for livestock, and used in humans for scabies. Reports that it works on Covid. I can get it from a vet clinic here ( for my pig), adjust the dose for weight. Very safe I believe.
    When Trump was infected , one of the things they gave him was Melatonin. It is a natural hormone, and is used for sleep aid: when used like a drug, big doses could be taken. It is a powerful anti oxidant. They give kids with ADD 50mg. You can buy it over the counter in USA and most countries ( not here , prescription only).
    Do your research… ( I normally take 5000g vit C, 4000 IU D and 30mg zinc daily… and a heap of other vitamins, herbs and minerals.}.
    Cheers, David

  • Have an inexpensive nebulizer on hand. I’ve bought several; given several away; use mine every day for chronic/acute lung issues. Read Drs Brownstein, Sircus, Mercola about protocols. I had asthma in my younger days, have been diagnosed with lung scar tissue, and more recently have become breath compromised (no Covid.) Nebulizing has definitely increased lung capacity and decreased any breathing problems. Inexpensive and worth a try.

  • Thankful for the many good recommendations here. I am dealing with it now. Thankful that my symptoms have been pretty mild. Worst thing was the body aches for a couple days. Now my voice is gone and I’m sneezing quite a bit. I nebulize almost every hour, alternating with Hydrogen Peroxide and Colloidal Silver. We’ve also used CS as a nasal spray for many years. My hubby helps me stay on top of supplements: zinc, D, B, C, one aspirin daily, and more. I haven’t had to to this but I’ve heard that if you have lung issues because of Covid, it’s better to lay on your stomach. Also, keep moving around your house as much as possible. I sit in the sun (no sunscreen) for 20 minutes every day. Having a pulse oximeter has been helpful and reassuring when I see those upper 90s.

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