Many autoimmune and immunocompromised patients are self-isolating because they are more at risk of severe disease if they contract COVID-19. Some of these patients have told their stories to the media, follow the links. Plus, several functional MDs that specialize in autoimmune share self-help tips for coping during the coronavirus pandemic.
In an earlier post (Useful Basics) we provided links to useful information about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Don’t put me at risk!
Pleas from autoimmune patients
Autoimmune and immunocompromised people, young and old, are at risk of more severe disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. These vulnerable young patients rightly resent being shrugged off as expendable by their healthier peers. But those peers are not as invulnerable as they think. In Italy, 50% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are under 50 years old.
This will be a serious illness for many, since humans had no herd immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In fact, it will take a couple of seasons of pandemic infection and (hopefully) a vaccine before we have significant herd immunity. Moreover, we do not yet know why the disease is mild in many and severe in few. Nor do we do yet know why some people, including some younger people, become gravely ill and require intensive care or die. Some previous healthy young people who got really sick share their stories, too.
Isolate or party?
The time for being in denial or cavalier about COVID-19 is past. However, in mid-March (Spring Break, Mardis Gras, St. Patrick’s Day pubs, I’m looking at you!) many partiers seem to not have gotten the message. But see these stories from the front: healthy young people who got seriously sick.
Surprisingly, both Fast Company and NBC news (here’s a second one from an MS patient who lost her sister in the H1N1 pandemic of 2009) wrote stories about immunocompromised patients, illustrated with salient Tweets.
A reporter, isolated in his own home after travel because his wife lives with an autoimmune disease, writes about how his family copes.
Creakyjoints has created an excellent Q&A page about COVID-19 for autoimmune and immunocompromised patients, applicable beyond those with arthritis.
Washington State has been the hottest COVID19 outbreak spot in the US. Crosscut, an independent, reader-supported Pacific Northwest online news site, provides a local angle with advice that anyone can use.
Self-help tips from MDs for autoimmune patients
Drs. Susan Blum, Jill Carnahan, and Aviva Romm have years of experience as conventional and functional physicians with particular interest in autoimmunity. They bring their background and experience to offer advice for coping with the pandemic.
- Dr. Susan Blum offers tips to autoimmune patients:
(Editor’s Note: I’ve used NAC, and 900mgs would put me on the ceiling! If you are older or have never used NAC before, test a smaller dose before taking this big a plunge.)
- Dr. Jill Carnahan asks Worried About Coronavirus? What you Need to Know to Protect Yourself.
- Dr. Aviva Romm comments COVID-19 and Autoimmune Disease Risk: It Depends on the Condition.
- Dr. David Brady, for those who prefer video, has a blunt if underproduced video update.
Your Autoimmunity Connection offers some additional tips:
- Tips and Tools to Conquer your Chronic Disease ,
- A reminder to take care of your oral health during this time.
Let us know what useful information we can provide. If you have questions or any other new information to share, please comment below.
Written by: Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA, Ellen M. Martin, Annie Rooker