“Remember my face: I’m one of the vulnerable categories for COVID-19.
I have low immunoglobulins (which, in nonscientific terms, are related to the immune system and are germ fighters) and weak respiratory muscles. To quote my doctor: ‘Elizabeth, it is beyond important you do not get sick. You must do everything and those around you must do everything so you do not get sick.’
The really harsh reality is not that I have a potentially higher risk of catching COVID-19, it’s I’d have a higher risk of not surviving COVID-19. Shoot.
As a country we are being called to do something we have never been called to do before: STAY HOME. We all know what the purpose of staying home achieves: flattening the curve. Flattening the curve means fewer cases of COVID-19 and even more importantly, fewer deaths.
In this unprecedented time, we are only as strong as our weakest link. Mark my word: we all see you ‘weak links,’ and are judging accordingly. And don’t worry — we won’t forget either. So please, don’t be the weak link. Be seen as the hero in this nightmare and stay home.
I know, I know, staying home all day is hard. At first, it sounds novel, right? Like ‘Omg, I’m being ordered to stay home and watch Netflix all day? I got this.’ Fast forward to day 18. Staying home is not as easy as we thought. And on top of it, there are financial burdens. There are mental burdens. There are emotional burdens.
There’s hardship wherever you look.
My health journey started 8 years ago, when I woke up unable to walk, with no sensation from my toes to my belly button. From there started a rollercoaster of unprecedented life happenings, health instability, disability status and financial hardships, and mental strength testing I had never thought possible.
Currently, I cannot verbally communicate (a symptom called dysarthria) and I am in a wheelchair due to mobility issues. It’s just been so not cute, let me tell you. For 8 years, my life has been spent mostly at home. My home is where I am safe — it doesn’t have germs, it is where I can sleep whenever my body needs, and it is where I am the safest, physically and mentally.
But being home constantly is a challenge, as we’re all figuring out. Here’s the advice I can offer having been through this for some time:
There’s no right way to get through this. You have to do what’s right for you physically and mentally. I know everyone and their mother has a tip list of what will get you through this: take what you need and leave the rest.
You just get through. Don’t push yourself because you didn’t do all the things. Be gentle to yourself. When we get out of this we won’t be asking each other, ‘How many pages did you finish in your novel?’ We will be celebrating each other for JUST GETTING THROUGH IT.
We all want this to end. We want this to end with the least amount of deaths possible. We achieve this by staying home and flattening this curve. We do this for the vulnerable. We do this by not being the weak links. We do this by remembering my face and the faces of so many others.
We do this together.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Eliz Martin. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more Covid_19 stories from those with chronic illnesses here:
‘I see you refusing to give up your nights out with friends, your weekend bar visits. I see you, and quite frankly, I’m fed up. My life is on hold.’: Woman with chronic illness says ‘we are vulnerable and we matter’
‘Did you think we were ‘lucky’ to stay in bed while you go to work? Reach out to us.’: Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva warrior says, ‘Check on the people you know who have to stay home for disabilities’
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