“Precaution is better than a cure.”Edward Coke
Like myself, I know that many readers of my blog, and within our community, are immuno-compromised. Maybe you have an illness like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme, Hashimoto’s, Arthritis, Epstein Barr, Asthma or Diabetes. Maybe you have a genetic issue, like cystic fibrosis. Maybe you’re older or are already recovering from an acute illness like Flu or Whooping Cough. Maybe you have an infection. Or cancer. Maybe you’re older. Maybe you’re recuperating from surgery, treatment, high stress, a breakdown or an accident. Perhaps you are on medication that suppresses immune function or you are living with impaired organ function. Maybe you know your own body, and know that you’ve never been good around respiratory infections. Or maybe you’re a carer for someone who is immuno-compromised.
It’s also a brutal truth that souls who are highly sensitive energetically (empaths, intuitives, psychics etc) are often sensitive in many other areas of their lives, including immune function, chemical sensitivity and gut health.
So, this post is for you.
Lean in. Pay attention. What I have to say is important.
It could even save your life.
What to know if you’re at risk
It’s okay to be a little over-cautious right now, when it comes to protecting your health.
Don’t worry if other people think that you are over-reacting. Don’t worry about being judged. Don’t worry about offending people.
I am talking to you today from a place of experience – of lessons learned the hard way about keeping myself safe, and from living with chronic illness including several acute and life-threatening episodes of more serious infections.
You and I aren’t like the 80% of the general public for whom infections like COVID-19 will be a mild illness.
We are the other 20%. The at-risk group. Some of us also fall into the 5% who are high risk. It is much more likely that COVID-19, the flu or similar illnesses can be more severe for us, or result in higher levels of complications.
So, for us, this is personal. It’s different. The stakes are higher.
Give yourself permission to own this truth. Bring that knowledge deep inside you. Know that you do not have to validate, justify or defend this knowledge to others. It’s your truth. Not theirs. Yours.
Owning this knowledge of your increased risk helps you to prepare your life, just like a home-owner might prepare their house before a storm. As the saying goes, better to be safe than sorry.
What to do if you’re at risk
It’s important to take measures to limit your risk in relation to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) as well as the usual issues of Flu, Whooping Cough and other infections which would be more serious for you than for an able-bodied and strong person.
Set strong boundaries for yourself, and continue to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face. Clean surfaces at home or work with a disinfectant or bleach solution. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about any additional precautions they advise.
Limit time spent in close company with people outside your family group. Avoid crowded places and people who are obviously unwell. Refrain from hugs and handshakes for now. Wait outside your doctor’s rooms or clinic if it is busy inside, have them text you or have a family member or friend alert you when it is time for your appointment. Tell practice managers, pathologists and other front desk people that you are immuno-compromised. They will usually have a plan in place for people like you to limit your risk.
Don’t assume that other people will know you have a weak immune system. Let them know, and tell them what you need from them. Informing and educating people goes a long way towards making your own life easier.
Choose less crowded times to shop or to use public transport. Consider home delivery and postal services. Choose open-air markets and cafes. Make your home a sanctuary, and limit or stop visitors.
If you know people who have no respect for your weaker immune system, cease physical contact with them. Stay in touch by phone or internet instead. Do this on your terms, not on theirs!
Reduce stress and stay well-rested. Stress and lack of sleep can decimate an already weak immune system.
Use hand sanitizers, essential oils, facemasks or any other thing that you would normally use to reduce exposure to germs. If it works for you, and helps you to feel safer or more comfortable and reduces your stress that’s what matters.
Do the things you know improve your health. Stay hydrated. Eat well. Avoid foods, activities and stresses that reduce your well-being. Limit engagements that exhaust you. Pull back and create a quieter, simpler life. Rest, rest, rest.
Consider retreat from the world if necessary. Build a small cache of essential long-life foods and medicines in case self-isolation works best for you, or if you need to quarantine yourself. Think about what you may need if you do go into isolation at home.
Finally, and most importantly, trust your intuition. If you feel uncomfortable about an activity or connection, honour that. If in doubt, favour caution over crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Stay home. Say no. Make other arrangements. Your intuition is there for a reason. Let it help keep you safe.
Don’t panic. Be prepared, and then go about your life in a way that acknowledges and accounts for your higher risk, and which gives you a greater sense of control and peace of mind.
I also recommend that you see this time as a time for soul work, personal projects, rest and reconnection. Let it be a gift, rather than a trial. Stay positive, and remember to practice kindness and compassion for yourself and others.
Much love, Nicole xx