We have created an example of what a diary page in your COVID diary could look like. It looks a lot like the information they keep about patients in hospitals. It may seem a bit overengineered, but it allows you to keep track of how someone is doing and then (if you need to see a doctor or go to hospital) hand over whatever data you have kept in a format that doctors like to read. Simply print one of these these for every day that the patient is sick. Since you don’t want to find out you’re out of printer paper in the middle of this, maybe print out 20-30 of these as part of your preparation. Don’t worry if you don’t have equipment to do all these measurements. (Although it is pretty cheap to get and it really doesn’t hurt to have; see the shopping page for details.)
(click the image to get the PDF to print)
Starting the diary
You probably want to take a look at this and keep the data in this format even if the patient is just developing symptoms. It doesn’t matter if you don’t fill in most of the data or don’t fill it in often, but this is actually a good time to get a feel for what – more or less – normal values look like. When the patient is in bed and possibly has other people taking care of him or her, you can take measurements a bit more often.
At the beginning of each day, fill in the information on the right. Name, date of birth, sex, and whether or not the patient has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. First thing in the morning, the patient is weighed if possible, so you can see over time if the patient is losing a lot of weight. Then every time you take measurements, you note the time in the top row, and then fill in measurements in the column underneath. Anything else is noted on the right side under notes.
When things get serious
If the patients gets sicker and sicker, you will want to refer to the “Level 4” chapter in the main text for some basic guidance as to when to call a doctor or go to the hospital. This basic guidance is just that – a guide to help you get a very, very basic sense of what is “just sick” vs. “too sick to be at home.” You are (probably) not a doctor. If you feel insecure, call for help.