Hello, I hope you are well. It’s a difficult time for many of us no matter where we live, as the COVID-19 virus has spread to most of the world by now. By the time this is published, I don’t know what the situation will look like. However, based on many projections, experts say the situation where I live, in the southeastern region of the United States, may get worse before it gets better.
Currently, my friends and family members are on edge. The shelves at my local grocery stores are barren. And COVID-19 has certainly disrupted my own routine and plans.
I had planned to be in Ohio by now to celebrate my maternal grandmother’s birthday. My family had planned a big reunion, and I was looking forward to seeing family members I hadn’t seen in ages. I also had planned to meet up with college friends a weekend ago. But of course, COVID-19 blocked that as well.
I am transforming into even more of an introverted potato as gyms and restaurants close, churches turn to online services, and my colleagues and I who work at a local library change our entire roles as libraries close to the public.
My first reaction to all of this was annoyance. But now, I recognize that I’m privileged in my position. I have friends and family members who are considered high-risk for infection during this scary time when every interaction, no matter how minor, seems to demand a risk analysis.
Several friends with compromised immune systems due to disabilities pointed out that they live with this fear in their day-to-day lives, pandemic or not.
And while I am afflicted with a disability from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, as experts point out, CMTers, especially those with mild symptoms such as me, don’t seem to be at any more risk than the average able-bodied person. Indeed, the message from some CMT experts seems to be that as long as CMTers don’t face pulmonary issues as a result of their CMT, the condition itself doesn’t make us more prone than others to COVID-19.
But I don’t know if this fact makes me feel much more comforted. All of these conflicting thoughts — concerns, worry, and the recognition of my privilege — ebb and flow through my mind. I feel like it’s leaving me in a state akin to shock and confusion. I honestly don’t know how to feel about all of this. It’s all very troubling.
I know some who have tried to spin the COVID-19 craziness into a positive thing; some do it ironically, while others not as much. Some look at the pandemic as an opportunity to catch up on housework or a chance to meditate and “get away from it all.” However, I can’t seem to look at the situation as anything but a net negative. While we can certainly try to make the most of it, I find it insensitive to try to spin the pandemic any other way.
I will try to stay optimistic during this period, and I wish everyone the best. I will stay tuned and follow the advice of experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and I think we should all strive to do the same. Stay safe everyone.
Note: Charcot-Marie-Tooth News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Charcot-Marie-Tooth News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
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