Oh, the life of a cancer patient who is navigating the same environment with the Coronavirus
On a beautiful and bright Sunday afternoon, Teresa and I visited some close friends of ours and their son, who just returned home from a deployment in Iraq. When we arrived at their home and were greeted at the door, Teresa and I didn’t engage in the usual handshakes and hugs that we’ve been so accustomed to throughout the years of our shared kinship. Instead, we replaced our bosom respects and salutations with a precautionary formal bowing and the flattering ‘air’ fist-bump.
As a cancer patient, based on reports and health warnings, I’m a bit more vulnerable to the Coronavirus, along with “people who are older (particularly over 70) and people with underlying health conditions, such as chronic lung disease (think COPD), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.” And if I’m affected, I may have to be admitted to intensive care as a precautionary measure.
So, to prevent any possible exposure and possibly contract the virus, Teresa and I have taken the following precautious measures:
- First, we are keeping up to date about the Coronavirus and how to prevent, and if needed, to treat;
- Second, we've stopped shaking hands and giving hugs to family and close friends, at this time;
- Third, we have decided to avoid large gatherings, which includes attending church services (but we still give faithfully through tithing); and
- Last, I’ve restricted my involvement in community service, such as my Federal Career Connection program.
As someone who enjoys warm hugs and handshakes...fellowship with other Christians...and the service of others in the community...the above measures are hard to accept. But, ‘tis the life of a cancer patient.
At the time of writing this blog, there are currently 566 confirmed cases in the U.S., which puts our country at the #9 spot of the 111,363-total confirmed across the globe. While this number indicates a low risk among Americans, you should still take the recommended precautions from credible institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
And for those who are not affected, you do not need to wear a respirator, such as the N95 respirator. CDC does not recommend the routine use of respirators for those who are not affected (read more about personal protective equipment here).
For more useful information and resources, check out the links below:
- Coronavirus: what cancer patients need to know (March 6, 2020)
- Common Questions About the New Coronavirus Outbreak (March 4, 2020)
- Coronavirus 2019: What People With Cancer Need to Know (March 3, 2020)
COVID-19 Interactive Maps:
Creative ways to greet others: