Hi again folks. Its been two weeks since I wrote and a lot has happened…..
By which I mean its basically like two weeks ago. There has been some exceptions mind. Whether by caprice or someone read my rant my NHS letter came the very next day from the blog. I then called up Tesco and realised I needed to be put on the website. After another week I now have a Tesco account with Vulnerable shops and we had our first order from this, so that’s good news. I’m still not sure the availability of shop will always be there, so we are still relying a bit on friends, but hopefully we won’t be so much of a burden moving forward.
Additionally I got involved with a lovely couple who are printing PPE for charity and donating them to care homes and hospitals, Emma and Alex. Between the three of us we are raising money to print out face masks and provide them to the people who need them. After a very brief nudge on social media 80 came forward, including Newport hospital and said, basically give us all you got. I have a just giving page for this, as the heroes on the front line should probably have the equipment they need to not get sick why they work ridiculous shifts and put their lives on the line. Currently the three of us have raised £2810 between us, and so are making face masks day and night on five 3d printers set up, with a couple more on the way. If you have a couple of spare pounds please do give below.
Finally I have been very carefully reading the news and think I have worked out what the future holds, a little bit. For me and the vulnerable at least. Basically lockdown will ease in the next month or two. Other shops will reopen and there will be some kind of easing, before maybe a full release in two or three months time. So far good news. The only downside is that they will definitely also tell the vulnerable to continue shielding. This will undoubtedly be the case until there is a vaccine (hopefully) in a year and a half’s time.
The government won’t say that right now. They have intimated it, but they won’t say it as its super depressing, and they are balancing disease spread/Economy/Mental health right now. Its what will happen though, as I show below.
There is no other way to manage the risk of death with the vulnerable. If you have such a serious condition that you are likely to have severe covid-19, nothing short of a full remission (good work NZ) would work for the shielded to come out. Seems that boat has well and truly sailed and we can assume the Coronavirus is now endemic within most European countries, there is no way it won’t continue to affect people and spread, even if in smaller numbers. Given how shielding works (I.E you stay away from people to not die) I can’t see even a full unlock, but with some of the virus still spreading around, including vulnerable people. The only way this will not be a problem is
A) I get it despite precautions, and survive (and am a lucky survivor who does happen to have a high level of antibodies in my system)
B) A vaccine comes out.
The irony is, if I am going to get it. The sooner the better. I am in relatively good health. have not needed treatment yet (which will decimate my white cells when I do have it and leave me immunosupressed) and get marginally worse every day. So getting it now might be better than getting it in a year, IF I HAVE TO HAVE IT AT SOME POINT ANYWAY.
Given how many institutions are investing money into plan B (vaccine). This doesn’t make sense right now.
So I have pretty much concluded I will now be in my house for the next 18 months. Except, and here is the thing, Grace is due to go to school in September. I’d guess they will be open then. That means we have a tough decision ahead. If she does go to school, then I am no longer shielding, as kids don’t really understand personal space. So what do we do? Having talked about it at length the following options are.
A) We let her go and take the risk, outweighing my vulnerability with her personal development.
B) Talk to the school and see if they will put a class together from across Witham of all the kids with shielded parents. (great Idea from Jo).
C) find a few other shielded kids and try and get a tutor for them, or an informal teacher.
D) Home school them (not a goer with Avery around, as its super tough for us to do this at the moment as it stands)
E) I move out and live alone. (Not something we are currently seriously considering).
Its a toughie. Really. Luckily we have until September and a lot of things might change. A vaccine is not one of them, and nor is the Coronavirus being completely removed in the UK. (even if that was possible, flights, boats from the rest of the world would have to be quarantined). Additionally care-homes would have to be brought under control, which by all accounts have a higher mortality than hospitals right now, but are just being left to it).
If I need treatment before a vaccine, this will be a big problem. So even with symptoms I will likely chug on as long as I can, so that I don’t get something whilst my immune system is shot
if you are in the same boat as me, I truly am sorry. I don’t mince words and I genuinely think this is the scenario I (we) should be planning for. Its not a great one, but nor is coming to terms with having incurable cancer in the first place and its better than risking it. I know you may not have come to this conclusion yourself, but do consider it, and see if you could make it work. I’m also more than happy if anyone disagrees with my premise (no vaccine, and no eradication equals no vulnerable unlocking) for them to tell me. Please do. All comments and chats are hugely welcome.
If not I can assume I will be mostly at home for a fair while yet. I hope there’s some good telly on.
I understand your concerns. I was diagnosed with stage 4 SMZL last May and last November my Oncologist wanted me to have a splenectomy but I refused because I am also a first responder and did not want to be left with absolutely no immunity. Since then my spleen has shrunk on its own and my blood work is fairly decent. My 8 year old has been home since Spring break in March but will start back to school in August. My oldest daughter who is 24 works in the hospitality industry and had developed all the classic symptoms of Covid-19 during our Spring break in March and was extremely ill for 3 weeks, I was exposed to her quite a bit. In my area where I live which is a very remote West Texas town, we had no way of testing for Covid-19 and are just now able to test. Also around the 1st of March my mother became extremely ill while I was staying with her and she ended up in the hospital with viral pneumonia and sick for quite awhile, again, no access to testing, so most likely I’ve been exposed a few times to Covid-19 and have been asymptomatic although as you know some of our B symptoms can mimic some of the the symptoms of the virus. Last week I was finally able to be tested since I am also a healthcare worker and still have not received results yet. I will do everything I can to be cautious and not risk anyone including myself but I just don’t want to spend the rest of my life living in fear! Five years ago I went through severe treatment for a metastatic advance stage cancer with a statistically slim chance of surviving but obviously I did so I feel like I’m kind of on borrowed time anyway. For me living in fear is not really a healthy way to live. The town I live in is also a tourist town and our local officials have been very strict so we’ve been in shelter-place along with all hotels/motels, RV parks, and private rentals shut down. But with our Texas governor opening our state up even though our cases are increasing daily as of midnight tonight our small tourist town is opening to all these tourists who are running from their hotspot cities to come here and hide out exposing our small local community!! We have one 25 bed hospital with 4 ventilators that has to accommodate an area the size of the state of West Virginia. We’ll see how things go! Hope you can come up with a workable solution for you and your family concerning your daughter starting school in the fall. I have concerns because that is also the time of year that seasonal flu mixed with the second wave of Covid-19 may be problematic. Stay well and safe!!