So, this Covid-19 virus thing really has be on my heels. Schools are cancelled. Concerts, sporting events, and big social gatherings are all cancelled. Grocery stores are out of bread, toilet paper, and cold medicines. It feels surreal.
Less than 90 days ago in far off China, a doctor reported a strange new pneumonia unlike anything he had seen before. Today, over 100,000 people have this virus. It is overwhelmed the health system in Italy. In the US, we are on the verge of our healthcare system being overwhelmed as well.
I know that they say that young, healthy people are not greatly affected by this virus. I know BeyondCeliac says that celiac disease alone does not put us at increased risk from the virus. I know that it is likely my whole family will get this virus and chances are good that we will be minimally impacted. I know all of this, but I worry.
I worry that they don’t really know what is going on. I worry that since much of our immune system resides in the gut and out guts are messed up that maybe we are more at risk. (Again, just my fear, no science behind this at all.) I worry that if I have a random allergic reaction to something, like I did last March, that I won’t be able to get the care I need because the system will be overwhelmed.
I worry that people will start hoarding food. I worry that there will be no gluten free pain relievers at the stores. I worry that I will have to resort to eating gluten filled foods in order to not starve. I worry.
I will say that most of the gluten free items were still pretty well stocked in the 4 times I’ve been to the grocery store recently. So there is good news.
Social distancing is the route to go. Stay away from people as much as possible but there is no need to isolate yourself. For example, if you need groceries here is probably the right way to think about it Make a list, go to the grocery store, and then wash your hands on returning home. If you are sick, stay home. If you think you are sick, stay home. If you think you are sick and need groceries, call a friend to go to the store for you.
My son was invited to a bowling birthday party. Anything else, I probably would have let him go. I imagine shared bowling balls with the finger holes at the bowling alley. The person before you wiped their nose, stuck their fingers in the holes, and then my son uses the ball. Next thing you know, my son brings home this virus and I end up in the hospital. That’s what my husband and I fear. I think that is what most of us fear.
So for me, I’ve been trying to remain upbeat and I’ve been trying to keep my worries under my hat. The last 4 days have shaken me and made me worry more significantly. I’m sure you all have been worrying too.
Listen to the experts. Wash your hands a lot. Stay home if you can and limit your trips to where there are lot of people. If you believe you are ill, call the doctor’s office or emergency room before going to protect others. Change your clothes when you get home after being out in the world.
Sorry, I don’t have celiac specific information but it is really hard to concentrate on my celiac when there is a potentially deadly virus on my doorstep.