Coronavirus (Covid-19)

any new suggestions besides what we have already read

None from me. I am reading that generally, steady on your meds unless you develop a fever.

What I do know is that it’s moving into my area fast. I live in New York, in Westchester County. We are the epicenter of New York cases. It’s just a matter of time before my town explodes with it. I’m not overly concerned, but I’ll also say that I’m glad that my parents don’t live in this area. They’re in their seventies, and that’s a high risk group.

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My daughter is flying to NYC tomorrow for spring break and I am a nervous wreck. She is is traveling with an adult who is stressing hand washing etc. I am so nervous what she will be brining back with her.
I am an enbrel and I am staying on it until my doctor tells me otherwise but I am so scared for her and me

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What I find a little difficult is that there’s so much publicity and ‘information’ about the virus but it’s all the same very basic stuff. So while it’s alarming there’s not much to process other than pondering minutely different ways of washing the hands etc.

Sadly, it does seem to be the very elderly who are most at risk. And actually I get angry that this group are not usually addressed directly, not in the UK anyway. They are talked of as ‘they’ as ‘them’. There should be much more publicity respectfully and helpfully advising those most at risk specifically.

However I don’t think having PsA puts us in a particularly high risk group. Some of the meds may contribute to increased severity of infection but available information mentions this rather than emphasising it.

I do have some lung problems, as yet undiagnosed. I gather that does put me at higher risk. Yet although my breathing issues have been lurking for quite a few years I rarely catch a cold and haven’t had the 'flu for about 8 years.

And as far as I can gather, Covid-19 is often very mild, not even as bad as seasonal 'flu.

All in all, I don’t feel particularly scared of the virus for myself. And I doubt that you should feel too worried. Is your daughter fit and well? She should be fine if so. And the chances of catching the virus are currently not that high. Enjoy the spring break with your daughter, don’t let worry win.

Re-posting the link @Stoney provided on the other Corona Virus thread:

https://arthritis.org/about-us/news-and-updates/coronavirus-and-arthritis-what-you-need-to-know

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Yes she is very healthy and very strong. She is an pre-collegiate athlete. She will be playing lacrosse in college soon. She is probably in the best shape she will ever be. She was suppose to go to Italy on a school sponsored trip but of course that got cancelled. So a mom from school called and invited her to to NYC with her daughters. At first I was hesitant but my husband said let her go at least she will be in the US and not in Italy. So I said yes.
She is so excited. I know she will be taking the needed precautions for I have drilled into her head and the mother as well to her. (Shoot she is armed with more small bottles of purell that she could probably hawk them and pay for her college education. HAHA). Any way, I am just worried what she will bring back to me. And since I am on Enbrel, I am one of the at risk people, as you know. I too also have a breathing issue and it is asthma. I am on an inhaler and also have an emergency inhaler if needed.

I dont want to worry but how can I not. I am a mom.

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I hear you. I’m exposed to lots of kids and households in my day to day. I’m in a similar situation as you are. Asthma, Embellishments, etc. I’ve never had problems with getting sticker than those around me, and I’ve been on my current med combo for maybe 6 years.

I can’t live my life consumed with worry. It’s not my style, and I’m too busy worrying about things that are actually happening, such as my broken feet issue. I don’t have enough in me to be worried about the rest. It’s here, probably in my town already. I’m washing my hands now frequently and thoroughly.

You should know that people hoarded hands sanitizer, so until new shipments come in (and get snatched up), there’s none to be found.

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Same here in Memphis. We went out to just do our weekly shopping and was surprised to see empty shelves. Makes me wonder if people never washed their hands before this situation. I am usually not a worrier but as a mom I cannot help it on this case.
Have a good day!

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Perhaps once this virus blows over there will be some good lessons learned at many levels. As sophisticated, educated and technologically advanced as we are, it is amazing how little it takes to knock us off our feet! I’d be happy if people who are sick and contagious learn to just STAY HOME out of respect for others. The common practice has been to demonstrate how tough one is and able to function in society while being sick. I feel “flu like” enough without any flu virus. But while being cautious and a bit put off by hackers and coughers in elevators, I really don’t let worry take away more than I have already lost. Fear and speculation cripples the mind…and I still need mine in good shape! Peace, encourage others and LIVE!

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I came across this article the other day, written by a molecular biologist and anti-tnf patient (has Ankylosing Spondylitis)!

Its actually quite reassuring and hopefully might make you feel better after reading it. I’m on Benepali (Etanercept) and it made me feel a bit better about things.

Have also seen some interesting scientific papers where Anti-TNF has potential to be useful in helping treat the lung inflammation thats been causing severe cases of Covid-19 (and other lung diseases). Again, early days and they don’t go into too much by way of saying conclusively it will help but again, somewhat reassuring.

Hope that is at least a little reassuring.

Don’t forget as well, they seem to be saying (at least in the UK) that its not all that easy to catch it, assuming you are staying away from ill people, crowded indoor places and are practicing scrupulous hand / mouth,nose & eye hygeine.

Jonathan

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I’m listening & watching and I have to say my views on the virus are changing. The information that’s influencing my thoughts most just now are first-person accounts from Italian doctors. One said 'stop saying that it’s a 'bad ‘flu’. His message is that this thing can be serious even in younger people. They are really battling over there.

Panic & worry won’t help one bit - quite pointless. But I’m going to self-isolate if I get so much as a sniffle.

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I have asthma so I’m watching and waiting. I have a pain management appt that I don’t intend to miss tomorrow but we’re not tarrying.

I will say my state response has been better than the national coronavirus task force.

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Maybe we should all meet in one place and self isolate together with matching PsA shirts? :smiley:

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With our names on as well. Just in case we forget who we are as well as what we’ve got.

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I think that, if we don’t watch out, we could all end up going round the bend because of Coronavirus. I’m not saying it isn’t serious, because it is. But this really shows up how 24 hour news channels, access to the news every time you log online, alerts popping up on your phones, and newsstands full of alarmist headlines really don’t help. Twenty years ago, we’d have seen it on the news at six or news at ten and then that would be it. Compartmentalised and not really thought about until the next day - but it’s much harder to do that now.

It’s a wonderful space filler on news programmes, and a headline grabber for newspapers - both of which seem intent on telling us that X will happen if Y happens, or that this “may” happen, or that they “think” that will happen, or the “worst case scenario” is whatever. None of these “maybes” are likely to help anyone. For example, the news today reiterated that the govt was planning for 100,000 deaths in the UK - there haven’t even been that many CASES in China where it all started, let alone deaths! We’ve got to royally screw things up in the UK if we’re going to reach those figures! Then again, I look at Boris Johnson and think “if anyone can screw it up…” That said, there is some irony that a health minister in the UK govt now has the virus, and the health secretary Matt Hancock might therefore have to self-isolate. You couldn’t make it up.

According to the biologics nurse I saw last week, we don’t stand more of a chance of getting it on our drugs, but we do stand more of a chance of it being more serious, depending how bad our immune systems have been hit by meds. My bloods seem to be “normal” even on the drugs, which helps, I guess. On the other hand, many of us are not in work because of the arthritis, and so I’m guessing that lowers our risk of catching it. I’d be far more concerned if I was teaching at the university while this was going on!

Oddly, despite having health anxiety quite badly, this hasn’t really bothered me a great deal. I don’t mean that in a callous way, but i’m not obsessing over it. Perhaps it’s because I’m doing a jazz gig next week, and my mind is focused on that - although I’ve now got a sore throat, which is typical, so I’m hoping that’s due to singing too much rather than a cold coming. Perhaps, also, my views might change when the virus gets closer to home. Luckily we don’t have any cases yet in Norfolk, and Suffolk and Cambridgeshire (which border us) only have one each. That will alter, of course, but it’s a bit of reassurance.

I did go panic buying today, though. I thought I’d follow everyone else. So I came back with tea bags, chocolate, sweets, cake, biscuits, sausages, frozen chips, and printer paper. I think I’ll be just fine if the worst happens!!! hehe.

The problem with Italy seems to have been that they missed a case earlier on, thinking it was flu, and the person in question unknowingly gave it to multiple people, who then gave it to multiple people, and then it was off and running. But the UK’s growth rate is well behind where Italy’s was/is. They got from 3 cases to 400 in about five days. It’s taken us around a month. We probably benefit from being an island too, I guess.

I have to admit that it has crossed my mind to stop the meds that don’t seem to be helping much yet. How can I know if and how much MTX and sulfasalazine are weakening my immune system? I’m already fighting foot, knee and other joint pain on a daily basis while waiting for rheumatologist appointment in early April and possible biologics. Are biologics better or worse on the immune system than MTX and sulfasalazine?

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I do not know the answer to that question. I would make a phone call to your doctor s/he will be able to answer this better. What I do know is that I feeling hopelessness/depression coming on and that is not a good combination for me.

Ahhh, I knew you guys would blow some good sense into me. I read the most recent Gov’t announcements and started to worry that, even though I no longer consider myself immunocompromised from my bio, maybe THIS time I should worry. Asked the hubs… no help. Then I remembered all of you. Thank you for doing what you do best!

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Don’t you worry Rebel_mom. The fact is that everyone’s going to be weighing all this up the best they can. That’s inescapable.

But your lovely daughter’s having a whale of a time in NYC I bet! Enjoy that knowledge! You all made the sensible decision for her not to go to Italy. It’s all good, she has to live her life. Please don’t sink into worry and depression.

The doses of MTX and Sulfazalazine given for PsA patients are actually incredibly low, very unlike doses given for pts with Ca. Anecdotally, people I have spoken to here and in other communities have either been sick less or equal to the number of times they were prior to meds. I tend to believe that untreated PsA is a greater stress on the body than any of the medications given to treat it (except the steroids, of course). I think if we are careful with frequent, quality hand hygiene, reducing voluntary social interaction, avoiding places sick people gather, and encouraging any sick family members to self-quarantine, we will do just fine.
We also don’t want to underestimate either. Should you experience any symptoms, call your RHEUM first for advice about your meds.
Take care and happy suds-ing!

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