COVID-19: Thoughts from an Immunocompromised and Medically Fragile Girl
Updated: Jul 5
With everything that has happened over the past two weeks, I pretty much have to write something about the coronavirus, right? It’s all everyone is talking about and I don’t blame them. As someone who is considered “high risk” if I catch the coronavirus, I am taking various precautions to try my best to prevent contracting it. Although, if I’m being honest, I’m worried about what will happen if I do end up catching it- It’s a terrifying thought for someone like me who is considered “medically fragile”.
There is no denying my body is in rough shape- I typically spend around ¼ of the year admitted to the hospital and I require many different types of medical intervention daily. Because of this, it is important that I am very careful year-round. I thoroughly wash my hands often and am constantly disinfecting surfaces, especially my infusion backpack, wheelchair, walker, leg braces, etc.
As someone with a multi-systematic, progressive disease, I have to take preventative measures every day of my life because a minor illness like a cold can land me in the hospital- The coronavirus is a whole different ballgame though. If I were to catch it, I most likely wouldn’t survive and sadly, many of my friends face the same reality. This is the time for everyone to take all the precautions they can. This is the time to do what is right for EVERYONE in your community- Practice social distancing.
Right now, there are many healthy people living their lives without taking precautions. Even though the coronavirus may not seriously affect you, when you live your life without preventative actions like proper hand washing or go to unnecessary places like the gym, you can pick up the coronavirus and spread it all around. I understand that for the general population, the coronavirus is a minor illness, but that isn’t the case for over 10 million Americans.
Still, I’ve seen dozens of people post about how the precautions America is taking are ridiculous because the coronavirus is only life-threatening to the elderly and immunocompromised population. I saw a comment on a post about social distancing that said “I mean its sad that people will die but they are already old or sick. I just think its unfair that everyone has to put their life on hold.” I take those comments personally because I am the person they are talking about. I am the person whose life doesn’t matter to them.
I will be social distancing until the coronavirus pandemic has died down, only leaving my house for doctor’s appointments. My mom is only leaving the house for supplies and my dad is only leaving the house for work. I also have home health workers that come to my house to treat me. All of them potentially picking up the virus at work, the store, or patients’ homes and bringing it into my environment. So, despite how hard we try, there is still a risk of me being exposed to the coronavirus. That is why we need everyone to do their part and practice social distancing.
I’m not asking you to completely put your life on hold- I know that would be ridiculous. What I’m asking is for you to live cautiously and think of the most vulnerable when making decisions during this pandemic. There are so many ways to entertain yourself during this pandemic that won’t contribute to the spread of this virus. Go for a walk in the park or take a free online class! Really, you can do anything that doesn’t require close contact with people outside of your household!
Everyone in my household is trying their hardest but that isn’t enough. In order to prevent this virus from rapidly spreading more and more, we need everyone to do their part. Do it for your grandparents. Do it for your neighbors. Do it for me.