As much as you may not want to believe it, COVID-19 is still very real and very present.
While we are now knocking on the door of four years with COVID, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the virus, and it can still be very scary and unsettling to test positive — even and especially if it’s not someone’s first time coming down with the ’vid.
In America, where social safety nets built for COVID are beginning to disappear, and the threat of illness is especially intimidating for those who are immunocompromised or continuing to live with Long COVID, community support is one of the most precious resources we have.
If someone you love has tested positive for COVID or could especially use some help during their recovery and quarantine time, a care package can mean the world — and help them feel supported during a time of uncertainty and isolation.
We’ve compiled some ideas of things to include in a COVID package for the loved one in your life who could really use some support as they ride out the virus.
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COVID-19 Care Package Ideas
The long-term cough that often comes with COVID is a mighty beast to conquer. While cough drops don’t eliminate this symptom, they can provide some soothing and relief.
- Halls Honey Lemon Cough Drops With Menthol
- Cepacol Extra Strength Numbing Cough Drops
- Ricola Natural Honey Herb Cough Suppressant Drops
Need another sore throat and cough soother? Some herbal tea is the way to go. Bonus points if you throw some organic raw honey in there, too.
- Celestial Seasonings Throat Cooler Herbal Tea
- Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Tea
- Yogi Echinacea Immune Support Tea
Making your own soup from scratch is, of course, the best approach, but if you’re short on time, energy, or ingredients, sending along some instant soup will make your sick pal feel better, too.
Everyone’s body is a little different when it comes to cold medicines. Most doctors agree that using over-the-counter medications that make you feel better with a cold should also help relieve symptoms of COVID-19, so check in with your loved one to find out what they might need.
It’s also important to ask if they have any conditions that make it unsafe to take some over-the-counter medicines. At the end of the day, it’s safest to make sure folks consult with their doctors about what medications to take, but if you have the all-clear, feel free to help out!
Staying hydrated is always very important no matter what someone is sick with, and COVID is no exception!
Fresh juices or sports drinks like Gatorade are a great addition to water intake because salt and sugar can help folks retain water and electrolytes to stay hydrated. Fluids also help regulate body temperature, so these items can also help out with fever reduction.
If you want to up the ante, hydration packets are an even easier fix for boosting those electrolytes. (Pro tip: They’re also great to have on hand for high-energy days or period cramps. You’re welcome.)
We all have those special dishes that make us feel all warm and cozy inside. Whether you order contactless delivery to your loved one’s home, or you put on your own Dasher hat for the day, this is probably the gesture they’ll cherish most.
If that’s a little out of reach, a gift card will do the trick, too!
Once someone is over the hump of the worst of their symptoms, the most difficult part of having COVID is the boredom of quarantine. Sometimes the movie and TV recommendations run out, or they just want a little variety. Enter: books!
- “Hope Is a Verb: Six Steps to Radical Optimism When the World Seems Broken” by Emily Ehlers (Amazon) (Bookshop)
- “Reasons to Stay Alive” by Matt Haig (Amazon) (Bookshop) (Libro.fm)
- “Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities” by Rebecca Solnit (Amazon) (Bookshop) (Libro.fm)
Guess what? You don’t need to have a whole team of people to play a board game! In fact, single-player board games make for a very fun way to pass the time.
Coloring & Activity Books
If the New York Times daily word games aren’t cutting it anymore, activity and coloring books make a great substitution — especially if your loved one is trying to avoid screen time while they’re sick.
Heating Pad or Hot Water Bottle
Muscle soreness and body aches can be a big part of the COVID experience. If your family member or friend is experiencing these symptoms, a heating pad can bring immense relief.
Nothing compares to a real-life bear hug, but if you’re keeping your distance, a cozy blanket is the next best thing.
Keeping your feet up on the couch all day isn’t exactly conducive to good circulation. Your loved one’s toes are probably freezing! Set them up with a pair (or two… or five) of comfy socks.
Get Well Soon Card
Break out the stationery! A heartfelt note is always a great item to include in a care package. Even a small message of care, concern, and encouragement can make a huge difference.
If your care package recipient is fortunate enough to still have a good sense of smell, a comforting candle will surely make their quarantine feel a bit more enjoyable.
Even though being sick is a great excuse to wear pajamas all day, it can also make you feel like less of a person to drown in the same pair of sweats for days on end.
A fresh pair of loungewear is a very thoughtful gift!
An Air Purifier
Cleaner air is another layer of protection against COVID-19, and plenty of other airborne particles. In a perfect world, everyone would be able to access air purification tools for their homes, but getting sick with COVID can be a stark, yet helpful reminder, of how important it is to breathe clean air.
If your loved one already has an air purifier, this is a great opportunity to buy them a replacement filter, too!
One of the best ways to tell someone “get better” is to say “I want to help you make sure this doesn’t happen again.” And the best way to do that is to stock them up on masks!
Experts recommend N95 or KN95 masks for the best protection against COVID.
As your loved one recovers from COVID, they’ll surely be taking a number of tests to ensure that they are finally free of the virus.