In light of recent events (Covid19) scaring the bejesus out of many people around the globe, I wanted to write a short piece. So we know the Coronavirus is now in Ireland and we are trying to stop the spread. The government have ensured that all pubs will close until the end of March. The government also has told people since schools/colleges and crèches are closed that we should stay at home or work from home as much as we can.
What have I seen recently? People ignoring this, people panic buying and people being nothing but selfish. My friends shared a video with me last night, of a bunch of people in temple bar having the craic and drinking their pints!. I don’t mean to be a party pooper BUT for once in your life cop the FUP on! This virus may only be a small flu like virus for you but it can be quite deadly and life threatening to many people around you. So please think of others after you’ve been out drinking around hundreds of other people. Please do not visit elderly family members or those with compromised immune systems.
I’m not gonna lie, in the beginning I didn’t realise the seriousness of the virus and yes people die of the flu all the time but we have a vaccine for that. I get my flu vaccine each year because I am part of the ‘at risk’ group. Does having Multiple Sclerosis increase my chance of catching this virus?No, I’d have the same risk as anyone else. But does my treatment increase my risk?? 100% YES!!
People like myself who have MS take many medications which are for symptoms and that’s not the problem. Most of us take a DMT (Disease modifying therapy) which is our treatment to slow down the progression of MS. Of course its a wonderful thing, we have something to help slow it down but with such medication comes risks. The treatment I take is called Gilenya and how does it work? Well it SUPPRESSES my IMMUNE SYSTEM so my lymphocyte count drops. Essentially if my cells are low, they don’t have time to attack my central nervous system (brain & spinal cord). So for many of you who think MS is a disease of the muscles, which surprisingly a lot of people who I’ve met, previously though it was that. Nope its a disease of the brain &spinal cord. Anyways, side effect of having low white cells or lymphocytes means our immune systems are compromised and therefore a small flu for you could be a life or death situation for us. I know many others who are on gilenya or monthly infusions which pose the same risks.
To be honest I know there are others out there who are also at risk or maybe even more at risk, there are thousands of people living with MS in Ireland with these risks, there are hundreds of cystic fibrosis patients, thousands with asthma, thousands with COPD, thousands of elderly people and thousands of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Yes we all need to practice good hygiene, so please wash your hands properly and if you’re out and about and cant get to a sink, use hand sanitizer.
It’s not the end of the world, if we act now we can save many lives. If you think about it, its only for a few weeks. I’m sure there will be plenty of time in the coming months to go out on the sesh with your friends. Ive been shocked by seeing kids in groups playing in the playground, teens all hanging around in massive groups and don’t get me Started on the people who cough into the air. It pisses me off, so many people take these things for granted! I know I did in my life pre-MS but its time not to think of just yourself but everybody else around you, especially the most vulnerable.
I’m not sure if Ireland will go on a complete lockdown but I do think its a strong possibility in the weeks ahead. So I’m hoping everyone will be safe and stay safe. Please look out for one another and look out for our most vulnerable and for the love of god Stay at home for **** sake, I for one will be staying in hiding until all this blows over.
Thanks for reading xx Christina
For my non Irish followers, the following terms defined:
GAF= House, your home, where you live
Cop on the FUP= Cop on to yourself the fuck