This is a really good video and message. It is consistent with the government’s advice today which although it didn’t yet suggest all elderly and vulnerable people to stay home just yet, they did mention that some people in consultation with their doctors may want to do that now (and remember chronic blood cancer patients do NOT have to be elderly to be vulnerable due to our damaged immune systems).
Of course weighing up that this could be a THIRTEEN WEEK or more situation also factors into our discussions and decisions about what is best for us and it will be a personal and individual decision. Here is a summary of what was said at the government Press conference today
“This is the worst public health crisis for a generation … I must level with you many more families are going lose loved ones before their time” [Boris Johnson]
The Chief Scientific Advisor said that we probably really have between 5-10,000 cases in the UK at the moment based on the number who have died and those who are in ITU. Explains that it is not possible or desirable to prevent everyone catching this disease as we actually need some immunity in the population to protect us in the future. They are committed to trying to flatten the curve, but stating that if we shut schools now and did all social distancing now we would need to do it for about 13 weeks.
We officially move from contain to delay today.
ANYONE with a cough or temp above 37.8C (100F) should now stay home for seven days. The general advice is to ONLY call 111 if you are getting sicker and it was explained that there is no need to identify if you have the disease or not unless you get sicker.
One thing that is not quite clear to me is whether or not they would want someone with immune compromise simply staying at home with suspected coronavirus even if it is mild. I suspect that they might not especially since our usual advice is we need urgent review if we get a fever and remember that it could equally be a bacterial infection. I am sure it would make sense to contact your clinical team by PHONE and explain your symptoms (perhaps in addition to using the online NHS 111 service and noting that you are immune compromised). I do not think we should just go to the nearest A and E, however for obvious reasons of protecting others.
Perhaps Bloodwise might be in a position to try and establish guidance on whether patents with chronic blood cancer and possible coronavirus really will be left at home as I suspect that might be rather more worrying for many of us than it would be say for a healthy 20 year old.
Guidance for those with possible symptoms of coronavirus:
They speak about flattening the curve. This graphic explains the concept well. Obviously we want to try and avoid too many people being sick all at once even if we can’t avoid most people getting sick at some point. Otherwise we will clearly run out of ventilators and some people who might have survived will die.
Some people might still be thinking what is all the fuss about? Well this graph suggests that we are probably about a couple of weeks (today the press conference experts estimated that we are a bit longer than that) behind Italy.
This is a very personal decision for each of us. I have heard of people with chronic blood cancer taking their children out of school to protect the parent, I have heard of others who intend to carry on working as normal for now, and others who have been told by their employer they MUST work from home from now on. If you want to share about how this is all effecting you this would be a good place to discuss these matters, though of course we can’t really give specific advice to each other we can but empathise. I am relatively isolated personally anyway due to fatigue, but some family members travel on the tube, go to school and work in other vulnerable people’s homes. So lets just say I am trying to keep more than six feet away from my family most of the time at home even!