1. If you go to the hospital for a check-up, plan for the worst-case scenario — having to stay there without returning home. Have a hospital “grab bag” to either take with you or have someone deliver. Recommended items include: T-shirts, shorts and sleeping clothes, socks and underwear, sweater/fleece, personal toiletries and medications, computer (and headphones) and phone plus charging cables, towel, slippers, nail clippers and reading material. Also, have a water bottle/container that nurses can fill up with drinking water. Remember that Taiwanese hospitals generally only provide the most basic of daily necessities.
2. If you test positive, anticipate a full accounting of your whereabouts and contacts over the past couple weeks. You can help authorities by starting to recall and record this, together with contact names and numbers.
3. If you speak little or no Chinese, strongly consider a hospital with special services for foreigners as communication about medical/non-medical issues can be challenging. If you think you may have symptoms of the coronavirus, call 1922.
4. Remember that National Health Insurance may not cover all expenses for an extended stay, with extra costs possibly well over NT$20,000.
5. Keep in mind that your three hospital meals per day will most likely be Taiwanese cuisine, quite basic and unvarying.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You will probably be relying on friends and family to bring additional items, from favorite foods to clothing.
7. There is a time to mute your phone and rest. Don’t get overwhelmed updating friends, family and colleagues. Consider a Facebook page or other online location where you can direct people for the latest updates on your condition.
8. Try to create a personal daily routine that includes, if you’re able, basic exercises.
9. Don’t dwell on feeling guilty about getting sick and those you may have exposed. The main priority is getting well and ensuring those you’ve had significant contact with are made aware.
10. Be prepared for ups and downs as your deal with this illness and keep a positive attitude.
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