What a strange time we find ourselves in.
COVID-19 is challenging the world on so many levels – from the availability of safety equipment to working at home while raising kids to figuring out a simple grocery shop. For people living with serious illnesses like cancer, COVID-19 adds a whole other dimension, one that threatens health over and above just the virus.
As far as is known, for people living with CML who are stable, COVID-19 poses the same risk as with ‘healthy’ people. Know that CML organizations — and CML specialists — around the world are watching these developments closely to ensure that our communities are safe and well.
I have also heard concerns about drug shortages. As far as we can tell, there are no shortages of CML medications and pharmacies are doing their best to control stockpiling to ensure that everyone gets the treatment they need.
As of today, no one can tell how long COVID-19 will be a threat, or how long we can expect to be staying at home and practicing physical distancing. What we do know is that we are in this together. It’s our responsibility as humans to do what we can to help curb the spread of the virus and ease the pressure on our healthcare providers. It’s also our challenge as humans to continue our lives every day despite the chaos in our world, looking forwards with hope and courage, knowing that there are people out there risking their lives to ensure that we are safe and well.
I have always believed in the value of connection – especially with those who understand and share your experiences. And with our Living Well with CML conference on hold until the fall and the halt of all patient group meetings, I know that many of you will be missing that regular check-in with our community.
That’s why I have set up a private Facebook page called Canadian CML Network Chat – so we can continue to talk openly in a safe environment.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There is also a huge need for help. If you know a healthcare worker in your neighbourhood, why not leave some groceries, or a new toy for their child on their porch. Check in on elderly neighbours — maintaining a safe distance, of course — perhaps they need medical supplies. Your face may be the only one they have seen in weeks.
I am planning a virtual meeting — everyone is invited to log in — which is scheduled to happen on April 11, 2020 at 3pm, EST. Call-in details to come shortly.
I hope you are all keeping safe. Please feel free to get in touch any time.