As you all know we are dealing with a new type of coronavirus called COVID-19 all across the world, that is being labeled as a pandemic and the CDC has come out with some guidelines we need to follow. This includes washing your hands for twenty seconds including the front and back of your hands, avoiding large crowds, and the implementation of social distancing (keep 6 feet between yourself and others when out in public), and staying home as much as possible to avoid spreading the virus.
Those who are over 60, have heart or lung conditions, or a compromised immune system due to underlying conditions need to be extra cautious. Most assume that this primarily affects the elderly in our society, but there are those who are affected by autoimmune diseases that have a weakened immune system.
This category can be people of all ages, in fact there is a movement called # High Risk COVID 19. NBC news published a story on this movement on March 16, 2020 and shared some of the stories of those who are immunocompromised. According to the article those who posted the hashtag and shared their stories wanted to bring awareness to the younger generation that it was not just those over 60 years old that could be affected by the coronavirus. And to encourage others their age to stay home and not to go out to local restaurants and bars to prevent the spread of the virus.
Not every person with an autoimmune disease will have a weakened immune system. Those who are most at risk of complications due to the virus are patients that take immunosuppressants. According to Healthline.com there are many different types of immunosuppressants like, corticosteroids (such as prednisone or prednisolone, Janus kinase inhibitors, calcineurin inhibitors, mTor inhibitors, IMDH inhibitors, biologics, and monoclonal antibodies. If you are not sure if your medication falls under one of these categories, contact your doctor.
The most important take away from the CDC’s guidelines is to stay vigilant and if you are at higher risk stay home as much as possible. We don’t need to panic as that will only lower the immune system. Those who have autoimmune disease know that stress can trigger a flare. Control what you can in your environment and let go of what you can’t. I know easier said than done, but now is the time to be prepared and rest as much as possible. Worrying never solved anything but being proactive can. Which is why the CDC has issued the guidelines in the first place. If you have concerns, contact you doctor and see what they recommend. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time. Have a blessed day!
A fellow Warrior Amy Archibald