The Chronically Ill During A Pandemic

As we are all aware of now, the coronavirus is spreading and causing a panic among many people. But what about those who are disabled and have chronic pain? What about those whose immune systems already don’t function as well as they should? There needs to be more information on how others should be respectful during this crisis to those who will be more affected. There has always been an issue with able-bodied people and those who are sick, a disconnect of understanding. But the time is now for us to explain our needs and why they need to listen in order to assure our safety.

Bulk buying: Why non-elderly and able bodies shouldn’t do it

Trust me, I would love nothing more than to have handfuls of cleaning supplies and a pantry stuffed with food. But when able-bodied people and the non-elderly buy out everything at the stores, this makes disabled people at a disadvantage. Personally, I am unable to get far distances and some days I can’t even get out of the house. Recently, I walked a few blocks to get supplies I would buy even if there wasn’t a virus, just to find empty shelves. I see people standing in huge lines while I think about the thousands of disabled people sitting at home wondering how they can protect themselves too. I’m left wondering how I will get cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer that I desperately need to keep myself safe. Even with online ordering, which a lot of low-income, disabled people can’t even afford, things have run out of stock.

If everyone just got a week's worth of their items, there would be enough for everyone. This is what every community needs right now. This is all yet another reminder that we are usually put aside when it comes to getting the care we need.

Lack of healthcare

In times like these, even more important than supplies is healthcare. Sick people sometimes avoid doctors, ambulance rides, etc. because they already owe so much in bills. Now being faced with an illness so serious, what will those who are already struggling to pay their normal medical bills do? This, unfortunately, I have no control over. That being said, this is the time to think about what changes America needs to make. There is just no reason everyone shouldn't have access to healthcare. Those able-bodied, disabled, and elderly have the human right to be covered for what they need.

Taking care of yourself

Right now, I’m preparing for yet another endometriosis surgery. So it is a time where I’d already be nervous about staying healthy. On top of that, like most with chronic illnesses, I already go to the doctors more than most. It’s important that you communicate with your friends and family that you are more at risk. We are so used to taking care of ourselves, but those without illness didn’t have these worries before this virus. Remind loved ones to wash their hands, avoid social events, and do their best to stay home while sick. Reminding them that even though they are healthy and might not have symptoms if they got the virus, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be as careful. Every time they do something to ignore the seriousness of this virus, they are putting millions at risk. This is a time for everyone to look out for each other, not just the disabled. And as always, reach out to your sick friends for support. At the end of the day, our community is always stronger with each other.

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