BE SAFE! #COVID19 & #Myeloma, All We Have To FEAR is the LACK Of FEAR Itself!

Myeloma patients in general have a higher risk of infection, which is 7 times that of the average person.  It is because of this we take special care to be on top of any infection.  I have written about this in the past.  CLICK HERE for the link.  I always have Tamiflu and an antibiotic Z-Pack for whenever I get a fever.  I have had pneumonia three times and gone septic once.  This combo has saved me so very many times.  However, COVID19 has put a whole new level of FEAR into the equation.  Before the flu vaccine or antibiotics for secondary infections were developed, the Spanish Flu resulted in the death of an estimated 50 million people worldwide, and 675,000 deaths in the US.  With the development of the flu vaccine, antibiotics, and antivirals, the typical US flu season now has just 34,000 deaths in the 1918/19 flu season. The new level of fear for anyone over 65 is outlined in the following graph.
 
However, myeloma patients have many other complicating factors.  People with commodities like cancer, compromised immune systems, Diabetes, Kidney Insufficiency, Heart disease  etc., have an even higher likelihood of death at over 30% as seen in France and Spain.  A recent study of cancer patients with COVID19 in NYC has shown hematologic malignancies were associated with a higher rate of mortality of 37%.  During the shelter in place order, it is imperative to take extra care to be safe.  Shop by curbside pickup, wear a mask, social distance,  wash hands, hand sanitizer et. al.  These efforts to be extra careful by myeloma patients and the government limitations and their policing, I believe have been able to keep our infection rate lower.  Our fear of getting an infection with no known FDA approved treatment has been a motivator for a SAFETY FIRST mindset. So why should we Fear the Lack of Fear Itself?

It is because not everyone is on the same page and do not social distance, will not try to move aside on the sidewalk, do not wear a mask in grocery and drug stores, or are younger than 44 and feel bullet proof and feel no social responsibility to protect those at high risk.  I will set this up by posting a few headlines which highlighted a need for a new heightened vigilance by the myeloma patients. 

California Governor Newsom announced a “hard close” on all beaches and state parks in Orange County on Thursday, after news photos circulated showing people not following social distancing guidelines over the last weekend of April.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan says heavily armed men and Confederate flags at state capitol ‘depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history’

‘Devastatingly worrisome’: Dr. Deborah Birx decries scenes of protesters not practicing social distancing amid coronavirus

I see and experience this lack of compliance in everyday life even under restrictions, just think what it will be like when they open up the economy with relaxed restrictions.  My appeal to you is that YOU must look after yourself, because with COVID19 a good defense is the only defense.   Until a vaccine is developed or a cure is found, our best  way of surviving COVID19 is to make sure we do every thing we can to stay virus free. 

Continue to Shelter in Place or Self Quarantine to protect yourself!

If you do have to expose yourself to the public then please follow the recommendations outlined in the following Wall Street Journal article.
Safety Advice for Reopening: How to Reduce Your Risks as Coronavirus Lockdowns Ease.  As businesses reopen, we asked public-health experts for guidance on venturing out.  CLICK HERE to view.

Dr. Landgren of MSCC has outlined what one of the best cancer centers in the world does to PROTECT the patient and you can hear the broadcast if you CLICK HERE.  Some of the safeguards include all patients are tested for COVID19, and based on your results you go to a COVID area or COVID free area, all patients and care personnel wear masks, visits are limited, all oral protocols are considered, and many more recommendations.  In addition, Mayo Clinic has recommendations coauthored by Dr. Morie Gertz and you can view them if you CLICK HERE.  

Good Luck and May God Bless OUR myeloma journey. For more information on multiple myeloma CLICK HERE and you can follow me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/grpetersen1