As a volunteer at organizations that support cancer patients, I have become friends with a lot of people who have the disease. Some of them are winning against cancer and showing it who’s the boss of their bodies. Others know that they are on the losing side and merely want to make the most out of their remaining days. Either way, I admire all of them for not giving up on life as soon as they have learned about the diagnosis.
What worries most cancer patients now, though, is the coronavirus outbreak. Governors sent out an order to go into home quarantine indefinitely. Ill people are expected to practice more caution than everyone else. COVID-19, a viral disease, is not as effortless to shake off as flu, according to experts. Once the coronavirus enters your bloodstream, you can only pray that your immune system is tough enough to kill it.
The Virus Targets Immuno-Compromised Individuals
The most troubling fact about the coronavirus is that it targets immuno-compromised people. Cancer patients fall under this category. After all, chemotherapy and radiation force their immune system to protect healthy cells around the cancerous ones. If the virus goes into the mix, their immunity may become overpowered in days.
This is why you should try to follow the quarantine regulations as much as possible. Do not leave your home anytime; isolate yourself in a room if you live with someone who goes out daily. In case you are alone, ask the store manager if they can deliver your essentials right at your doorstep. This way, the coronavirus will get less to zero opportunity to enter your domain.
Checkups May Be Postponed For A Later Time
A close friend of mine was supposed to meet his doctor on the 28th of March. It was well into the quarantine period, though, so it got postponed. His last chemotherapy session should have taken place a week after that, but it was canceled, too. The doctor merely advised him to take oral medication, which practically worked slower than usual treatment.
Why is this happening, you may ask? Well, it is for the safety of both the cancer patient and the medical professionals. Chemotherapy often occurs in hospitals, and there may no longer be one that does not have a COVID-19 patient. In case they catch the coronavirus elsewhere and learn about it later, they may unintentionally infect the nurses or doctors they come in contact with during the session.
Transportation Can Be An Issue
Going from the house to the hospital and back did not use to be troublesome before the coronavirus outbreak. If the patient does not have a car, they can book an Uber or Lyft ride. Another option is to take the bus, subway, or taxi.
Although public transportation has not been entirely stopped even when people have been told to stay at home, cancer patients cannot use them without caution. After all, the drivers have no idea whether their previous passengers have the virus or not. It may linger inside the vehicle and get transmitted to others.
A lot of states are starting to ease their quarantine orders at the time of writing this blog. Some businesses other than groceries and restaurants can now open, too. Despite that, it may not be safe for cancer patients to go anywhere as long as there is no treatment for COVID-19. If a cure is available, after all, you have a better chance of getting the coronavirus out of your system. Without it, well, all your efforts to beat cancer may go to waste.
Stay strong and stay at home!