Yes, it’s true that panicking during a pandemic isn’t necessarily helpful.
In any kind of crisis situation, we want people to remain calm and make smart choices! And while most “healthy” individuals will recover (and even remain asymptomatic) if they contract the virus, it’s awfully tempting to see the heightened response to COVID-19 as an overreaction.
But — and you knew there was a “but” coming, right? — this assumes that anyone with a compromised immune system doesn’t matter in this conversation.
That couldn’t be further from the truth, though — which is why the CDC has advised chronically ill people to take serious steps to prepare and, if possible, self-isolate.
While COVID-19 won’t impact each individual in the same way, each one of us has the ability to be a carrier of the virus. That’s why everyone体育投注网址 should be taking it seriously. We all have an obligation to make responsible choices, because our choices impact everyone around us.
How seriously we take the new coronavirus doesn’t just affect us as individuals, but it affects our communities, too — especially those who are most vulnerable.
So rather than telling people not to “overreact” to this outbreak, try encouraging those around you to take a proactive position.
Educate yourself and others about the best prevention methods体育投注网址, and commit to supporting one another in your efforts.
that all people wear cloth face masks in public places where it’s difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. This will help slow the spread of the virus from people without symptoms or people who do not know they have contracted the virus. Cloth face masks should be worn while continuing to practice physical distancing. Instructions for making masks at home can be found . Note: It’s critical to reserve surgical masks and N95 respirators for healthcare workers.
Because there’s currently no vaccine for COVID-19, the best way to stop the spread of infection is to utilize as many preventive measures as possible.
This, of course, means frequent hand washing (for at least 20 seconds!), cleaning objects you use frequently, not touching your face体育投注网址, and practicing social distancing.
This can also look like canceling the book club you host, working from home体育投注网址 if possible, getting your groceries delivered, canceling travel plans, and really any measure that allows you to avoid large gatherings — even if you don’t think you’ve come into contact with the virus.
Because there’s currently no cure, consider whether you need to go to the emergency room or urgent care.
体育投注网址A hasty rush to the ER often means exposing immunocompromised people and healthcare workers who are less able to protect themselves. Testing kits are limited, and many people who visit the ER are being turned away in order to prioritize higher risk groups.
体育投注网址Instead, call your doctor, monitor your symptoms, and if you’re advised to go to a clinic or hospital, call ahead of time and wear a mask if at all possible.
On April 21, the approved the use of the first COVID-19 home testing kit. Using the cotton swab provided, people will be able to collect a nasal sample and mail it to a designated laboratory for testing.
体育投注网址The emergency use authorization specifies that the test kit is authorized for use by people who healthcare professionals have identified as having suspected COVID-19.
Isolation is one of the best defenses we have right now in ensuring that COVID-19 can be contained and to protect our most vulnerable populations.
体育投注网址In fact, symptoms can take anywhere from 2 to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus. While the risk of transmission is low when symptoms aren’t present, it’s still possible to transmit the virus, especially to immunocompromised individuals who are inherently more susceptible.
The moral of the story? If a health official or medical doctor tells you to self-quarantine, you absolutely should, regardless of whether or not you’re exhibiting symptoms.
And to be clear, this means staying home and not leaving. Which seems obvious, but apparently we’re all still struggling to grasp this one.
Speaking of helping out, if you’ve got any chronically ill folks in your life, they almost certainly have errands that they’re avoiding due to the exposure risks involved.
体育投注网址Do they need help getting groceries or medications? Could they use a lift to work to avoid using public transit? Do they have all the supplies that they need, and if not, are there any you could bring to them? Do they need to unplug from the news, and if so, are there stories they’d like you to monitor for them?
体育投注网址Sometimes the simplest gestures are the most meaningful.
Asking questions like, “Do you need anything right now? How are you holding up? What can I do?” can signal to your loved ones that their well-being matters to you.
体育投注网址Knowing they aren’t alone in navigating what is undoubtedly a very scary time for them can mean the world.
When we think of people who are most vulnerable during this outbreak, many of us assume that this only includes older adults.
体育投注网址However, anyone can have a chronic condition, and as such, this means that anyone could be immunocompromised — including young people, folks who “look healthy,” and even people that you know.
体育投注网址So if someone tells you that they’re immunocompromised? It’s important to believe them.
And just as important? Don’t assume that you can know who is and isn’t immunocompromised just by looking at them.
You may, for example, work at a university with young people who “seem healthy,” but that doesn’t mean they aren’t part of an at-risk group. You might attend a dance class and assume that everyone is able-bodied and therefore not especially vulnerable — but for all you know, someone is taking the class to help manage the symptoms of their chronic condition!
It’s also true that you might come into contact with a caregiver who works with an at-risk population, making it even more important not to make assumptions about who is and isn’t vulnerable.
So if it’s recommended that you self-isolate? Don’t assume that you can bend the rules. You can still be putting someone in danger even if no one around you “looks compromised.”
体育投注网址You should assume that any time you go out into the world, you almost certainly are coming into contact with someone who’s immunocompromised (or cares for someone who is), and behave accordingly.
体育投注网址, this also trivializes the struggles of being home bound — not for fun, but out of sheer necessity — which many people with chronic illness grapple with.
体育投注网址Similarly, when talking about COVID-19, it can be outright offensive to make comments like, “We’re all going to die!” and likening it to an apocalypse… or on the flip-side, making fun of people who express sincere panic due to their own vulnerabilities.
The reality is, “we” aren’t all going to contract a more serious form of COVID-19 — but those who are unlikely to should still be mindful of those that could.
Many people are living with the (very valid) fear that they’ll become gravely ill because of their chronic condition, and we should take them and their concerns seriously.
More often than not, people with chronic illnesses are extremely educated around their own conditions and the issues that impact their health.
体育投注网址So when you frantically send them an article about the new coronavirus and ask, “Did you see this??” Chances are, they read it last week. Frankly, many of us have been watching this story develop long before anyone else.
体育投注网址People with chronic conditions don’t need lectures right now about hand sanitizer and the pros and cons of wearing a face mask.
体育投注网址And unless someone asks you to help them find articles or resources? You probably shouldn’t send them.
Instead? Consider just… listening体育投注网址. Check in and ask how they’re doing. Offer a safe, compassionate, and nonjudgmental space for them to share their honest feelings. Allow them to be sad, scared, or angry.
体育投注网址Chances are that’s going to be a lot more helpful than the segment Dr. Oz did about hand washing.
Add a pandemic to the mix, and you can imagine why it’s an especially hard time to be chronically ill right now.
体育投注网址That’s why it’s so important to offer grace and compassion when you’re engaging with people living with chronic illness. Because whether they go on to contract the virus or not, this is still a very difficult time.
So above all else? Be responsible, be informed, and be kind. That’s a good rule of thumb always, but especially now.
And speaking of thumbs? Make sure you wash those, too. Wash your hands体育投注网址, yes, but seriously, some of you haven’t been washing your thumbs. There are now about a million videos on TikTok to show you how… so no excuses.
Sam Dylan Finch is an editor, writer, and digital media strategist in the San Francisco Bay Area.He’s the lead editor of mental health & chronic conditions at Healthline.Find him on and , and learn more at .