The DISabled to ENabled podcast

*COVID 19 Special | Sneha Dave: How COVID-19 is affecting people with chronic illness*

March 17, 2020

we are here with Sneha Davi let's have a little bit of a chat about the coronavirus because Coronavirus or COVID-19 is something that is affecting everybody right now. It is a global worldwide thing.
And for people with chronic illnesses it is you know, obviously a really worrying time for everybody, though, so say how whereabouts are you at the moment and how is it kind of affecting you? Yeah, so um, so I am also
classified as an immunocompromised individual. And so I think, you know, initially, it had been incredibly terrifying for me. And it still is because, you know, the more you hear about it, and the more you hear stories, it becomes even more anxiety-inducing, at least for me. And so I think, you know, the biggest thing, it's affecting every part of my life right now, as I'm sure it is for everyone around the world. But you know, for me, specifically, my university is now going to be entirely online, which is bizarre to me, because last year, we, you know, struggled to even cancel one day of school because of a snow day. And I go to a large public university, and so it brings in an additional challenging dimension. And so I think another thing is, too is that I currently cannot go home to my parents as well because my dad is a provider and he has seen coronavirus patients so for fear that he is a carrier because of the really
Easy to catch it is really, he does not want you to same location as he is. And so it's been kind of tricky to because I'm kind of stuck where no one is at my college, you know, college town. And that's been interesting as well. And and the other thing too is that I am in between infusions in starting different infusions. And so I really need to get on another infusion because my previous one causing allergic reaction and, but I'm just having to kind of wait this out because that will make me even more immunosuppressed and taking that's also been interesting, and I quite frankly don't even want to go inside a hospital right now. Um, because of the fear of COVID patients there as well. So I think it's been hard and also just my day to day things that I do like climbing, going to coffee shops and everything like that has been, it's just been kind of hard to be in my house, even though I have you know, went through a period of about five years of, of real isolation. This is
This kind of hits differently because right now I'm able to, you know, like, go outside and climb and stuff like that. Whereas earlier, I was really sick and I didn't feel like going anywhere. So isolation was a little bit easier at that time. Yeah, definitely. And I think, um, and it's the same for you, but I kind of feel like, it's not just the virus. That's scary, but I kind of feel like, I'm kind of scared of the public reaction to it. Yeah, in the UK, we've had lots of like, things like stockpiling and things like that CES, as you saw, you know, getting emptier and emptier and things like
that. they've, they've kind of been a little bit. And I don't know if this is right or not, maybe, maybe, but I kind of feel like they've been quite reactive in the government's approach to the coronavirus in the UK. I mean, it was only yesterday. Our schools are still open. And, wow, why? Things to select None for now, but they made a decision yesterday to put something in place called social distance.
You've heard about this. Oh, absolutely. Oh, yes. Yesterday a meter over away from everybody right now, apparently.
So we've got to stay away from everybody say, Yeah, like a meter away from everybody. And then they've closed bars and restaurants
and theatres and stuff like that. So, yeah, people are really kind of self-isolating at home now and right. It's a weird time to be alive. It's
really, it's really bizarre even my professors during my last class, because at that time, we, we had only had two weeks of virtual
classes. But as of a couple of days ago, the rest of the semester is virtual classes, but even our professors were like, kind of like it was nice to see you in person like this is probably the last time we're going to see each other in person. But I've been really surprised because I think I mean, our government had been very reactive. I think for a long time, but now it's becoming a lot more proactive. So social distance
Seeing is so popular and in particularly in Bloomington, Indiana, where I met, people have been really, really incredible about really maintaining, you know, if they're healthy, and they're not one of the high risk individuals and they're sitting at home still. And, you know, they're Yeah, it's it's really it's been really, actually really exciting. And it's, it's really made me see the sort of morality of people and tried to protect people that they don't even really know. And so I think that's been really powerful. And really, it's been really wonderful to see people actually taking it seriously even though they're, you know, if they get coronavirus, they might be, you know, able to recover pretty quickly. If there's something kind of amusing about it for me because like, so for years and years and years, I've been obsessed with my hand sanitizer and disinfecting surfaces and all that and they have mocked me so bad, but and now everybody's like, oh, there's no hand sanitizer anywhere and they're panicking. Oh, where have you been like this is my no
I know and even with soap I'm like, did no one use soap before this? Oh, yeah, ran out of all soaps and I'm just like, Oh, can you get everyone just start now? You
know? Yeah so it's been interesting is like you change and all the toilet paper sold out and I'm like I really toilet paper because I have ulcerative colitis data. So it's like it's yeah it's been I personally have not been prepared for this influx of purchases of necessities for myself. So yeah, I think if, if anything like
it kind of wakes you up to the realisation that actually this, this is kind of a thing that can happen, you know, like numerously so maybe we need to be more prepared in life and maybe it's teaching us to actually know start taking now that we can able to and absolutely don't know what's gonna happen. Yeah, and especially with climate change, it's like a whole new issue that like we need to be more prepared for this type of stuff. And I think it's, this is a great you know, and
A short lesson. Hopefully it is the last but I think it's a really great lesson for for our community to be prepared and just to know how to feel, you know, during these situations as much as possible and prepare for that. Yeah, I think one thing before we go one thing that has kind of annoyed me a little bit about rhinovirus thing is like, for for years and years and years going back, you know, people with invisible illnesses and chronic illnesses and disabilities, whatever you want to call them. They go to their employers and say, and their employers are like, Oh, no, you can't work from home, you can't do this. You can't do that. You know, it's like completely blanked out now. Like, everybody's just sick. And it's like, well, everybody must work from home and, you know, it's all of a sudden become really possible. So I thought, yes.
offices, how came the wait? Yes, absolutely. And even with our healthcare system, like being able to accommodate certain people and like get them care as fast as possible, I mean, you're completely right with the
working from home to me, I find that incredibly kind of hilarious in a way because it's like, you know, you're you're being so explicitly hypocritical right now, which is great that, you know, employers are taking this step to really promote social distancing. But you know, it is true for our community that we've really been silenced in that way for so long. And I guess this will bring up a lot of talking points after this pandemic. Can you
just imagine people going and got you like, Well, you did it for the COVID virus. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. It might encourage a whole lot more remote working anyway. Right? Right. It's a more efficient thing personally. Right, right. And giving people that option sincerely like when they're on days that they're not feeling well as a stay at home is really empowering. I think too, and, and you know, when you want to go into work, it's completely different because some people prefer that option but to have that option always available is I think it gives a lot of security.
For a lot of hours, it does nothing could be better for businesses as well in the long term because you didn't need all these huge massive buildings at the pace in which money for guys that you know, you're working even if it's just a few days of the week, you know, so
getting or whatever and the ultimate Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, definitely interesting things. Yeah, absolutely.

Check out our guest Sneha Dave on the show in April 


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