Here’s what you need to do when you feel ill

The residents of Huize Maze during lockdown. Photo by Reyer Boxem

Got a fever? Nobody leave the building!

Here’s what you need to do when you feel ill

Public health service GGD’s coronavirus hotline is crazy busy. What should you do when you feel sick but you can’t get through to make an appointment for testing? Can your housemates even go outside?

22 September om 19:38 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 29 September 2020
om 12:21 uur.
September 22 at 19:38 PM.
Last modified on September 29, 2020
at 12:21 PM.


Remco van Veluwen

Door Remco van Veluwen

22 September om 19:38 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 29 September 2020
om 12:21 uur.
Remco van Veluwen

By Remco van Veluwen

September 22 at 19:38 PM.
Last modified on September 29, 2020
at 12:21 PM.
Remco van Veluwen

Remco van Veluwen

Studentredacteur
Volledig bio
Student editor
Full bio

Don’t give up too easily, says spokesperson Hanneke Mensink with the Safety region Groningen, the organisation in which health services and regional governments, such as the municipality and GGD, work together. 

When you do feel like giving up anyway, because you tried calling three times already and have been on hold for hours, you can try making an appointment online on the website coronatest.nl. You do need a DigiD, though, the Dutch digital ID. Don’t get your hopes up too much, as the website doesn’t always work. But give it a go anyway.

Stay at home

If, after a number of failed attempts to contact the GGD, you decide that your cold really isn’t that bad – all you have a runny nose and a sore throat – and that you can ride out the illness, what should your next move be?

Stay at home! Don’t hang out with friends, don’t go to get groceries, and don’t go to the pharmacy for an extra supply of paracetamol. ‘You have to wait until you’re free of symptoms for 24 hours’, says Mensink. ‘Only then is it okay for you to go out again.’

If you only have a runny nose your housemates can go out, but only if they don’t have any health issues themselves. Which is great, because they can do your shopping while you spend your time looking for a new Netflix series. Do stay out of the common areas, and don’t hang out with your favourite housemate. Stay in your room until you feel better. 

Quarantine for the whole house

Is your temperature elevated, or do you have a fever in addition to that runny nose? Then not only should you stay home, but your housemates should as well. It’s best for everyone to stay inside until you’re free of symptoms for 24 hours. When your housemates exhibit symptoms too, make them read this article so they’ll know what to do. Unfortunately, that might mean that even though you feel better, you’ll still have to stay home because now your housemate has a fever. 

‘Especially in young people betwee 18 and 24 years old, we see a large increase in the number of confirmed cases. That’s because people don’t follow the rules’, says Mensink. ‘Don’t think it’s just a cold, because you can’t know that for sure. If we all take responsibility together, you won’t infect others by accident.’

Call your doctor

What if your symptoms are more severe, like shortness of breath? Don’t call the GGD, but your GP. However, Mensink emphasises you should use your common sense. ‘Would you call your GP when you have the flu? No! So, call in sick and stay home until you feel better. But if you’re short of breath, if you feel like you can’t breathe and think, this doesn’t seem okay, then call your GP.’

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