Tania Melnyczuk

Study notes

My Study Notes record what I am learning. They're mostly about molecular and cell biology. They reflect my knowledge and understanding at the time, and are subject to extensive revision.

COVID-19 Self-Care

Captions available, but unedited.

Some months before COVID-19 hit South Africa in a big way, I started reading about the prevailing medical knowledge around how this disease works and how to treat it. By the time that two of my friends got ill, I had learned all sorts of potentially helpful things from the emerging research and constantly evolving best practices in hospitals around the world.

What concerned me was that my friends’ doctor had told them nothing about how to treat themselves. Indeed, this seems to be the situation with many South Africans who are falling ill. While our government has been talking about masks, handwashing, distancing and ventilating rooms (all important too), advice on preparing your body to cope with the illness and treating yourself if you do get ill has been largely absent from their messages. The advice to eat a ‘healthy diet’ is hopelessly inadequate, because not only do most people not know what that means, but they also don’t know what it means in the context of COVID-19. And many people can’t afford much food of any kind right now anyway. Hunger is one of the biggest threats to our nation right now.

I decided that I would approach our provincial government with an offer to help out, by making a video which the experts could then improve upon. So this morning I happened to have my cell phone camera set up for a Teams meeting with a prospective client, and I decided to shoot something off the cuff for practice. Well, my practice video became quite long; and since I am unlikely to have time to do better soon, I have decided to share it as is. Over time, I’ll add references to medical journals and other resources to this page so that experts and others can see where I got the information, and so that they can improve on it.

But in the meanwhile, we need to start somewhere.

While focusing on what individuals can do, this video is intended to provide a contribution to public healthcare. Please read this for context on where the term ‘self-care’ came from, and where our focus should be.