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Living with COPD takes some adjustment at the best of times, but during a pandemic, having a chronic, progressive lung disease like COPD makes an already difficult situation even harder. If you have COPD, read on to learn how to navigate this COVID-19 pandemic by taking the extra precautions required by living with a chronic illness.
We are living in an unprecedented time when most of the nation is practicing social distancing and social isolation. The majority of the United States has already issued stay-at-home orders, which help keep everyone safely in their homes and protected from being exposed to COVID-19. However, for people in high risk categories, like those with COPD, these stay-at-home orders are essential. The best way to avoid exposure is to stay home as much as possible to avoid being around anyone who could carry and spread the virus.
This can be difficult for people who are chronically ill, however, because there are often medical needs that must be met. People with chronic illnesses usually have regular medical office visits, medications that must be refilled and oxygen supplies to maintain. Additionally, people with illnesses that make things like grocery shopping more difficult may rely on help from others. These things all become significantly more complicated when a stay-at-home order is in place and people are supposed to avoid contact with one another.
So, if you have COPD, how can you meet all your needs while following the stay-at-home order and maintaining social isolation? Here are few ideas to help you weather this pandemic and get the supplies you need.
If you absolutely cannot avoid going out for some reason, follow the CDC’s recommendations. Wear a face covering like those recommended by the CDC, even if you will not be in crowded places. Bring hand sanitizer to use whenever you have to touch a surface others have touched, avoid touching your face and wash your hands for 20 seconds as soon as you can. Wash your hands well as soon as you get home and wash your face covering so it is ready the next time you need it.
Social isolation can leave people feeling lonely. This isolation can be particularly difficult for people with chronic illness who rely on others when they are not feeling well, and it is especially tough for people who live on their own. It may be harder to keep in touch and maintain relationships during quarantine, but it is not impossible! Try one of these options to stay connected and maintain your mental health.
It is certainly not easy to be homebound, and knowing that you have to stay home because of the pandemic can be hard to stomach some days. Still, it is the best way to ensure that you stay safe and do not take any unnecessary health risks. Navigating this unusual time can be complicated, particularly when you are already living with a chronic disease like COPD. However, with the tips above, you can find ways to stay safe, get the things you need and stay connected with the people you care about most.