Day 499: Coronavirus (Covid19)
On day 499 I thought I would tackle the topic of Coronavirus. I’ve thought long and hard about whether to post something but we’ve had so many messages asking questions I thought I would address them here.
First and foremost like everyone across the globe and in the UK we are taking our lead from The World Health Authority and the NHS . We’re not about to start deciding we’re some sort of experts, we never have when it has come to cancer and this is no different.
However what is probably different for us (the cancer family) vs. average population (lets call them muggles – humour me) is that we are always on high alert.
Whilst we don’t stockpile loo roll, we do wash our hands ALL the time. We buy antibacterial in 500ml bottles, I top up the small bottles I keep in every bag, in each of the cars and we’re neurotic about hygiene. Dettol spray and zoflora are ALWAYS bought in bulk.
I am trying VERY hard not to panic, but of course we are concerned. Every news outlet is worried for those who have underlying health concerns and of course that includes people with cancer and for us this means Bilbo.
BUT we can’t put our lives on hold, we can’t stop Bilbo from trying to live his life so we are taking a deep breath, we are staying vigilant and we’re following the advice.
I’m sharing this video as I think it is helpful, it is calm, thoughtful and from an expert.
Bilbo knows he has to wash his hands for 20 seconds. Harrison gets it too and obliges to hand sanitizer as he walks into his preschool. Rich and I have limited our time in the office, i’ve stopped travelling into London.
Of course I can write that we’re trying to keep things in perspective, however we’re acutely aware Bilbo is just as much at risk from the current chicken pox season that is under way, normal flu, an increase in measles and all the other bugs and germs doing the rounds.
He’s been admitted to hospital twice with temperatures in the last 6 weeks. And last week he was put on a 3 month course of antibiotics as he has been presenting a strain of pneumonia in his blood cultures.
Being scared for Bilbo’s health, being on high alert for symptoms and temperatures is just a normal day for us. BUT of course, saying this doesn’t change the fact that we are constantly facing the fear. Coronavirus is a worry. It is truly a constant headache for us and all cancer families, an additional weight on our shoulders. It is a f**king nightmare!
What Are We Worried About?
Truthfully – i’m worried one of us, one of Bilbo’s friends gets it and we infect him. I worry that the hospitals will be so full when Bilbo or one of his cancer friends get sick (Coronavirus or other illness) there is no space for them?
I worry that the horrendous media coverage that is scaremongering and says things like hospitals will have to make choices…it might mean choosing between a healthy person and our son with cancer.
We worry we won’t be able to get more soap or antibacterial gel when we run out because morons have been bulk/panic buying.
I worry that we won’t be able to go on our MUCH needed holiday in April, something we very desperately need at Easter.
I am sad thinking that Bilbo’s Make-A-Wish might be cancelled in May.
I can’t help but worry that Coronavirus will take the lives of those who are most vulnerable.
And I really worry about Bilbo and his mental health. He has already said he is worried he is going to die because of Coronavirus. He is a bright 6 year old he listens to the news, the radio and the incessant noise about it all. We can’t shield him from the facts but what 6 year old should have the worry of a virus on top of cancer?
Today was chemo clinic day. And after days of living and breathing Coronavirus/Covid19 comms at work (all part of the day job) it was time to figure out our own strategy for Bilbo.
And you know what it isn’t that dissimilar.
- Follow the guidelines to keep Bilbo safe
- Things are always and can always change – prepare for that
- Try not to panic
- Remain vigilant of Bilbo’s wellbeing continue to monitor his temperature and anything over 38 we go straight to hospital
- If someone we’ve been in contact with is sick or confirmed we seek expert advice
We will of course rigorously continue to wash our hands, wipe down surfaces and hope that Coronavirus doesn’t land on our doorstep.
Keep Calm and Carry On
And the truth is we don’t have a choice. What can we do? We’ve taken the necessary precautions against Coronavirus, we’re as prepared as we can be. All we ask is anyone who knows or sees us on a regular basis – watch the video above. LISTEN to the advice, wash your hands and stay home and away from us if you feel poorly.
And if you’re looking for a distraction…watch Bilbo’s first effort at being a YouTube star…