Sunday, March 15, 2020
With the coronavirus recently coming to the United States and infecting many different people the question is what are Crohn's patients to do. I contact my regular doctor and GI and both had similar advice in terms of avoiding large places/crowds, washing hands, and the usual common sense advice. Although I am not a medical professional I thought I would share what my game plane is to perhaps help other individuals.
The first thing I did last early last week was to stock up on water, toilet paper, and antibacterial soap. My views is that I could possibly be self quarantine for some period of time so I want to make sure I have the essentials. I have been washing my hands multiple times a day and avoid touching any public surface, I use the end of my key to press elevator buttons and use the end of the key to hit the automatic door opener just to reduce the risk. Also I have been avoiding going out as much as possible to also reduce my risk. However, at some point I will have to go out again to get groceries/get gas/etc.
Work wise I want to try to work from home later this week. I have a laptop that I can do work things but currently only have access to e-mail. Our company has a VPN (virtual private network) that I have used before but currently my VPN hasn't been working so I need to have that fixed before I can work from home. Honestly, I would be okay working from home considering I could do the same type of work from home. In some ways it would be a little less stressful (many times people will come in and ask for something).
My view is that my behavior of self isolating and self quarantining this week should reduce my risk of catching coronavirus. Also I have been on the lookout for anyone who might be coughing. I went out to dinner last night with my parents and noticed a woman sitting roughly 20 feet away from me and she had a dry cough but she only coughed a few times in a 20 minute period (so it may have been something else).
I currently take Humira which does lower my immune system however as I write this there is only 1 documented case of inflammatory bowel disease in the United States and there really isn't good data regarding what the outcomes are. Once the data is actually out there I would be curious to see if Crohn's patients would get sicker than just regular individuals. Also I would say other than Crohn's I am relatively healthy 33 year old male, who doesn't smoke, who doesn't have any cardiovascular issues, no diabetes, no cancer, no heart issues, and real other health issues.
My advice to other Crohn's patients is make sure you have enough supplies to last you a while, avoid going out as much as possible, wash your hands on a regular basis, if you do go out stay at least 6 feet away from other people, and just remember that this will eventually pass (even though it doesn't feel like it now) I know this too shall pass.