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Self-Isolation at Home: A Guide and What You Can Do

Teresa Simorangkir

23 June 2021

As of July 4th, 2021, based on data compiled at, new cases in Jakarta reached 4.611 per day. Covid-19 cases found in children showed significant numbers as well. The Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) said that 11-12% of the total Covid-19 cases in Indonesia happened to children. It means, there are thousands of children who die every week.

The rising cases require the government to issue necessary regulations to control the surge. The government, the Ministry of Health, and other parties are still trying to distribute the vaccines to all groups. The citizen is also encouraged to take extra caution when doing activities outside, such as using a two-layer mask for higher protection.

However, now that we’re facing an invisible adversary called a virus, our best efforts to shield ourselves still have the potential to be breached by it. Being said that, the best we can do is to tighten health protocols, get our vaccine dose, and pray. Then, what should you do if you still get infected and need to self-isolate?

When Should I Self-Isolate?

If you’ve felt the symptoms of Covid-19 such as coughing, anosmia, and fever, immediately plan a self-isolation and schedule yourself for a PCR test at the nearest health facility. A person is also required to self-isolate if they’ve had close contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19. In addition, individuals who are infected with the coronavirus and don’t have symptoms need to report themselves to the nearest Public Health Centre so they can be directed to the available controlled isolation location. Generally, self-isolation lasts for 10-14 days after someone is confirmed positive. However, if the symptoms persist, then the self-isolation duration can take longer.

When undergoing self-isolation, always wear a mask at home, don’t come into physical contact with other people, and separate your equipment from other people's. Make sure your supply of personal medicines, masks, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants is sufficient. Pay attention to the air circulation in your room and let the windows open every morning. Lastly, always monitor your health and notice whether your condition is getting better or not.

[Q&A with dr. Very: What Should You Do if a Relative is Infected with Covid-19?]

Inform the People You’ve Recently Met 

If you've previously interacted with people face-to-face, let them know right away that you're self-isolating. This is crucial so they can prepare themselves in advance, for example undergoing a PCR test. Remember, we all never asked for an illness. It can happen to anyone even though we've tried our best to prevent it so don't cover this up. By doing this, we can stop the spread of the virus more widely.

Do the Proning Technique If You Have Difficulty In Breathing

If you're self-isolating and suddenly find it difficult to breathe, do the proning technique. Proning is a medically accepted position to improve breathing comfort and oxygenation.

How to Proning

  1. Prepare four to five pillows

  2. Change body position regularly, preferably no more than 30 minutes per position

  • 30 minutes - 2 hours: lying on your belly

  • 30 minutes - 2 hours: lying on your right side

  • 30 minutes - 2 hours : sitting up

  • 30 minutes - 2 hours: lying on your left side

  • Back to lying on your belly

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

  1. Pillow positioning can be done as follows:

  • One pillow below the neck

  • One or two pillows below the chest through upper thigh

  • Two pillows below the shins

Self-Isolation Guidelines for Children

Eijkman Institute shows that 67.3% of children infected with Covid-19 in Indonesia are asymptomatic. This needs special attention, especially with the spread of the Delta variant, which is more contagious than the previous variant. Check out the following self-isolation guide for children provided by IDAI.

Provide These Tools at Home

  1. Thermometer

  2. Oximeter, to monitor oxygen saturation and pulse rate.

Medicines Supply

  1. Fever medications

  2. Vitamin C with dosage rules:

  • 1-3 years: maximum 400mg/day

  • 4-8 years : 600mg/day

  • 9-13 years: maximum 1200mg/day

  • 14-18 years: maximum 1800mg/day

  1. Vitamin D3 with dosage rules:

  • <3 years : 400U/day

  • Child : 1000U/day

  • Teenagers : 2000U/day

  • Obese teenagers: 5000U/day

  1. Zinc at a dose of 20 mg/day for 14 days

Self-Isolation Protocol at Home for Children

  1. Check the child's body temperature every morning and evening

  2. Check oxygen saturation and pulse rate

  3. Monitor the child's respiratory rate. The respiratory rate indicates a danger sign when:

  • Age >2 months : 60 times/minute

  • 2-11 months : 50 times/minute

  • 1-5 years : 40 times/minute

  • >5 years : 30 times/minute

  1. Stay at home

  2. Use a mask and eye protection when you’re in close proximity to your children. The use of masks is recommended for children aged two years and over or if the child is already able to put on and take off their own masks. Parents can make sure the masks are used correctly and give them "mask breaks" when they’re alone or two meters away from other people. Masks don’t need to be used while the child is sleeping

  3. Maintain a distance

  4. Washing hands

  5. Apply cough etiquette, that’s by covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of the upper arm

When Should I Take My Child to the Hospital?

Take your child to the hospital if they show the following symptoms:

  1. Oversleeping

  2. Shortness of breath

  3. Abnormal shape of chest and breathing difficulty

  4. Oxygen saturation less than 95%

  5. Red eyes, rash, swollen neck

  6. Fever more than seven days

  7. Seizure

  8. Loss of appetite

  9. Sunken eyes

  10. Low urine output

  11. Loss of consciousness

Save Important Numbers

This is important to do just in case you need quick help. Important numbers that you must save includes the Department of Health hotline (112 and 081 112 112 112), nearest Public Health Centre hotline, and the PIC of the controlled isolation location. Don't forget to save your neighbors’ and family’s numbers.

Stay Indoor and Don’t Go to Public Places

Going to public places while self-isolating is not a wise option to do. So, if you need something from outside, order it through an online delivery service. You can also ask someone healthy to help you by phone to avoid direct contact. After that, when they’re delivering your item, ask them to put it around the gate or in front of the doorstep. Provide a special box or container in advance to make it easier for them to put your items. The last one, before bringing the item to your room, spray disinfectant on the item to keep it sterile!

What Can I Do During Self-Isolation?

We’ve talked about procedures during self-isolation. Now let's move on to a lighter topic: what can I do during self-isolation?

Phone Your Friends or Family

Let your closest ones know that you’re self-isolating and are not allowed to leave the house. In times like this, all you need is getting support from the people you care about. Words of encouragement can be some kind of fuel to make you be more at peace in undergoing this situation.

Doing Entertaining Activities

Those who are in self-isolation are prone to feel stressed out. We need to give our best effort to manage our feelings and mental conditions during this time. However, there are some things that you can do to entertain yourself. You can watch serials with light and entertaining storylines, reading books you haven't got the chance to read, or writing about things you love.

Cleaning the Room

Good air circulation, checked. Then, the next thing to do is to clean out your room regularly. Self-isolated patients spend their time in the room for days which can get the room to be dirty quickly. Start by sweeping, cleaning your stuff with disinfectant, then mopping the floor. A clean and fresh room will certainly put you in a relaxed and happy mood.

When to End Your Self-Isolation?

You are considered to have completed your self-isolation if:

  1. Self-isolation has been carried out according to the duration determined by health workers

  2. Self-isolated patients do not need to undergo RT-PCR test

  3. Self-isolated patients finally getting a certificate from health workers

The only one who understands the way your body feels is you. For this reason, always communicate your condition to the health workers when you have the chance.

Remain calm when you need to self-isolate. Focus on recovering your health by consuming nutritious food, medicine, and vitamins. After you get better, don't forget to do a follow-up consultation and ask your doctor about when you can get your dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

When you’re finally eligible for vaccination, don't forget to immediately register yourself for the first dose. For a hassle-free registration, use JAKI which you can download on the Play Store or App Store. Hope the pandemic ends soon and everything gets back to normal!


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Teresa Simorangkir

A writer and a lifelong learner.

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