Coronavirus: Be Calm And Aware

The coronavirus has been on the news more times than I can count and it’s inducing a wave of panic across the world. People are nervous and scared - and that’s okay - but what does it mean for the cystic fibrosis community?

Cystic fibrosis and coronavirus

I asked myself these questions as I listened to the news and read endless articles, and even talked to my CF clinic and transplant coordinator. I was never in “panic” mode about the coronavirus; but now, after various discussions with my cystic fibrosis care team, I am less nervous. This is strictly because, as a CFer, I am probably the most hygienic and careful person I know. I wash my hands more times a day than I can count and I stay away from crowds and large gatherings. I stay clear from anyone who is sick and I have a monitor built into me that senses anything that can harm my health.

Yes, we are a very vulnerable population because each CFer takes so many different medications at a time. We take a range of steroids, antibiotics, blood thinners, insulin, etc., that compromise our immune systems.

CFers are resilient

Every CFer is different and in various stages of health, but we share one thing in common: how to survive. I am concerned about this virus, as I am with other viruses, bacterias, and infections that can harm my already battle scared body. I refuse to panic about this because I know how strong I am.

I know how to be sick; I was born sick, I live sick every day. Being sick is all I know I’m good at. But with my sickness comes a strength inside me that I never thought I had. Being sick taught me how to be strong, persistent, and develop a fighting spirit.

How I'm handling the coronavirus

I will be following the advice being given by the CDC, but I am not going to panic about this. The CF community is very encouraging and supportive. I do recommend that if you have any concerns about the coronavirus to just reach out and talk to your CF care team and address all concerns. Advocate for yourself and speak up about how to better protect yourself and your family.

The precautions I take at home

  • I have an air purification system that cleans the air and removes the nasties from my home so I can breathe
  • I have everyone remove their shoes before they come inside to avoid bringing any germs all over the house from the streets or sidewalks
  • I sanitize my home surfaces, including doorknobs, light switches, and handles
  • I wash my hands several times a day, including after I come home from outside
  • If I am shopping I clean the handle of the shopping cart as well

There’s lots that you can do to minimize getting sick. I get sick very fast so I tend to be a bit clean crazy, but it’s become second nature to me that I barely notice. While the coronavirus is scary and I am aware of the danger it poses to me as someone with cystic fibrosis, I am not panicking about it. Be safe everyone! If you have any concerns about coronavirus, please talk to your cystic fibrosis care team. They will have great advice and insight on how you can be safe.

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