As someone who has a long-term sickness, I am sure you will agree with me that having a crisis at this time will not be the best thing to happen to anyone of us, as warriors. I was trying to get some sleep one night, (I normally don’t sleep well at night), and I must have dozed off because I was awoken, with pains in my body. I was like, what! Is this thing about to disgrace itself at this time? I dragged myself out of bed and went into the kitchen to find something to eat and take a morphine tablet.
I took it and prayed that the pain would subside and it would not get to a situation whereby I have to go to the hospital for any pain management. By the end of the first day, the pain had dramatically reduced. There was a particular localised area that remained sore for a couple more days, but compared to the initial pain, this was a small price to pay, in order not go to the hospital.
Since coronavirus is what all new outlets are talking about, I thought I would remind you how it is important for anyone with sick cell disorder, to stay safe during this season, as one is more susceptible to infection at this time. Coronavirus affects the lungs and breathing. People with SCD already have breathing problems. It could be a lung infection, such as pneumonia, or a pulmonary embolism. Asthma is a top cause of acute chest syndrome in a young child who has SCD. Sickle cells can block blood flow. One of the problems this can cause is trouble breathing which can lead to acute chest syndrome.
This is therefore the time to look after yourself more than before because the virus spreads by particles in the air and by people coughing in the air and the droplets hang around or rest on surfaces anywhere, where someone else can touch the surface. Sneezing and coughing, spread by droplets or aerosol and you inhale it. If someone shakes hands and that person had coughed into their hands and they open door knob, this coronavirus can live on surfaces for least seven hours.
That is why the advice is to cough into a handkerchief or tissue and throw it away after use or to cough onto your elbow or the sleeve of your top. Coronavirus can spread easily and quickly; it has a high degree of mortality and it can spread when not symptomatic, which can be devastating.
Young people are not invulnerable to the virus. One could have the virus and not show symptoms but that person can infect a vulnerable person who then passes away. Children do develop COVID-19 but few children will develop a severe infection with COVID-19.
The symptoms of this virus varies from person to person and many people may have it already and not know. Some people will have flu-like symptoms, cold-like symptoms, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, high fevers, muscle aches, shortness of breath, loss of smell and taste and cough.
An important recommendation regarding this virus is to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for 20 seconds with any kind of soap and water and if you are unable to do so, then use hand sanitizer. Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth unnecessarily.
There are many expressions being used that one needs help to understand what the terms mean:
You self-quarantine because of possible exposure to someone who was diagnosed as having coronavirus or because you have travel to an affected area. You should then stay home and away from other people as much as possible for a 14-day period. Such a person is to not go out shopping, eating or socialising. Once you have self-quarantined for 14 days without any symptoms, you are free to go about your usual activities.
When experts use the term asymptomatic, it means that a person could have the virus but is not showing any signs of it and would have no idea that they have it. People who are symptomatic are contagious. When someone has the common symptoms associated with a disease or condition, they are considered symptomatic. When a disease exists without noticeable symptoms, the person is asymptomatic.
The use of hydrochloroquine – This tablet is being tried on people who are over 50 years of age in the Western world. A clinical trial is going on but it is not yet proven that hydrochloroquine works.
Mask, to use or not to use? Wearing a face mask is certainly not an iron-clad guarantee that you won’t get sick because viruses can also transmit through the eyes and tiny viral particles known as aerosols, which can penetrate masks. However, masks can be effective in capturing droplets, which is a main transmission route of coronavirus.
How to clean your phone – switch off your phone, unplug it and remove the case. Use a microfibre clothe, with soap and water to clean your phone. Do this carefully, so that no liquid goes into your phone.
Your responsibility is to protect yourself and other people. By self-isolating or self-quarantining, you help by not infecting two to three people. Remember to either use plastic gloves or use your elbow or a cloth to open doors.
Myth busters: Drinking water every 15 minutes is fake news. According to the World Health Organisation, there is no evidence that garlic helps with coronavirus. The news about not eating ice cream is untrue; the idea of heating your body and being in the sun, does not work; some people are saying drinking silver will treat the infection and it is also untrue.