How Immunocompromised People are Dealing with the COVID-19 Outbreak
There’s a pandemic, and the whole word is frightened. Watching the news alone is already scary. The number of confirmed cases kept on increasing, and there are reported deaths daily. Everyone is in chaos and panic!
When I first heard that there’s a confirmed case here in the Philippines, unlike most people, I already started to feel alarmed and scared. I knew how it had been in other countries, and, as a person with lupus, I couldn't help but feel worried. My body is a lot weaker now that I’m taking immunosuppressants to recover from a flare. This prevents me to go out now that there’s a virus outbreak that has killed thousands of people. This is the scariest time for people like me because we are at high risk. But how are we all living and coping during this pandemic? Here's what it's like:
Social distancing isn’t new to us.
When you have an autoimmune disease, it’s recommended for us to wear a mask everyday especially when going to a crowded place because we might catch a virus. Other people or even our friends might be offended but we can’t really go near people who are sick or have a simple cold. We're really sorry, friends, but we're just protecting ourselves.
We are extra cautious.
We have been very cautious even before the virus outbreak, but we can’t really help it if the people around us aren’t considerate enough to their part and prevent the spread. If we don’t help one another, things will get worse for us.
We are more scared than people with normal immune system.
We can’t help but be scared for our own lives. The elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more vulnerable to the virus. We wish we have a strong immune system (or even just a normal immune system would be great!) like others, knowing that healthy people can survive or recover from the virus. But life doesn't work that way, right? It's a struggle but we have to live with it. Some of us might feel helpless because we really can't do anything if we get coronavirus. Will we suffer more? Will it kill us? We don't even want to think about what will happen.
We are used to being at home.
Because we get sick and tired easily, we spend a lot of time resting at home. And some of us have even experienced self-isolation because of our weak immune system. Our bodies are busy attacking our own organs that's why we have to calm it down by taking immunosuppressants. That makes us more prone to other sicknesses. It's weird that everyone's now forced to stay at home and they're all whining about how hard it is because, well, that's how we've always been living our lives.
As you can see, people with compromised immune systesm have been taking care of themselves on a daily basis—with or without a virus outbreak. It’s already a struggle for us to be healthy, so we need your help this time. We can’t do really do much, but you can help us by protecting yourselves. Practice social distancing, maintain good hygiene, and stay at home. Let’s flatten the curve!