Is this for real? Yes it is. I was sat for hours thinking of where to start in writing this. I don’t even usually do personal posts on the Lady Janey blog but just feel that it’s right to put pen to paper about the Coronavirus and share with you the importance of self-isolation, why I’ve been self-isolating or as I call it, practising ‘extreme social distancing’ and why you should do too.
Living with a chronic illness
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001 when I was in my mid twenties. At the time I was working for British Airways as cabin crew, seeing the world and making the most of every opportunity. Initially I carried on working but as time went by with relapse after relapse I couldn’t keep flying so had to admit defeat and leave the airline after considering and deciding against working on the ground instead. This might sound odd but I count myself lucky with my MS as diagnosis was quick and Disease Modifying Therapies (DMTs) were just starting to be approved by NICE. The picture otherwise could have been very different. I’m also very well supported by family, colleagues and friends, am able to work part time and flexibly to accommodate the unpredictability of the illness and manage symptoms and am generally a glass full kind of person. A bit of positivity can go a long way health-wise but no amount of positive thinking can save you from the virility of Coronavirus. That’s something you have to try to safeguard against in other ways.
Self-isolating vs Social Distancing
I’ve been asked a number of times why I chose self-isolating rather than just social distancing as I’m not currently experiencing any symptoms of the virus. Everyone has been advised to follow social distancing measures especially the over-70s, pregnant women and the adults normally eligible for a flu jab (e.g. me) in order to reduce the chances of infection. Having MS doesn’t increase your risk of getting COVID-19 but many people with MS will have some increased risk due to the progression of their MS, or the effects of their medication. Disease Modifying Therapies affect your immune system, which can make your chances of infection, or complications from infection higher and these risks vary for different DMTS. Currently I’m suffering from a relapse which increases my vulnerability so my concern is that if I do pick up the virus then I may well be hospitalised and as such place additional pressure on the NHS at a time when resources are already stretched to the limit. After years of invaluable support I don’t want to let the NHS down when it now needs me to do my bit for it by self-isolating.
So that’s why I’ve stayed home and gone down the route of self-isolating, allowing others to help me and hoping that by doing so I’ll reduce the risk to myself, His Lordship and countless others who I would come into contact with on a daily basis as I tour the Cotswolds as Lady Janey. This virus is spreading at a shocking rate so action needs to be taken and it needs to be taken now. Self-isolation is an absolute must if you start to display any symptoms of the Coronavirus but it’s better to be safe than sorry so if you are vulnerable or elderly and if help is at hand, please take it.
In the UK we were given a chance to keep some of our freedoms, to make the right choices and by doing so, make a definitive difference to the spread of the Coronavirus. Government advice was to avoid all non-essential contact and stay at home wherever possible. If you went out for whatever reason then the advice was to stay more than 2m away from others to limit the spread of the disease. However although a number of people followed advice to the letter, there are thousands more who didn’t meaning they are not just putting themselves at risk but everyone else too.
Wise up and stay home because we don’t have any other choice if we want to beat this.
#staysafesavelives #stayhomestaysafe #NHSThankYou