Coronavirus caution has swept the country – or has it? As our government urges us to self isolate and takes measures to lock down public gatherings, leading scores of small businesses, big businesses, and individuals to financial crisis – some people still aren’t giving much of a shit about self isolating.
Maybe you think it’s an overreaction. Maybe it’s your mates, or your family, or someone on your IG feed who is still living their life like this is just a free pass off Uni or work. Most people who feel the isolation response to coronavirus is bullshit consider it so because they’re young, healthy, and unlikely to die from becoming infected.
But it’s actually not about you. It’s about those who are vulnerable. We chatted to someone with an auto-immune disease to find out why coronavirus is actually a potential death sentence.
Five years ago, Laura*, 26, was diagnosed with a rare endocrine (hormonal) disorder. Generally speaking, an autoimmune disease. To manage this life-long condition, she has to take a daily cortisol steroid – which is also an immune suppressant.
This means that while Laura lives a pretty normal life, she is a risk of developing a life threatening adrenal crisis – where cortisol levels drop to dangerous levels. This is most likely to happen if she is unwell. Like, if she were to contract the virus.
“Although I am young and healthy in most ways, there is a very high chance it would be worse case scenario [if I became infected],” Laura says.
I would need to be admitted to hospital and would require medical assistance immediately. Given our health care systems are already very strained and hurting I am not confident about this at all.
Up until recently, Laura wasn’t too worried. But then she learned some people can be asymptomatic. This means you might have coronavirus, but not show any signs of it. You’re at risk of infecting those around you, without even knowing it. Add in the fact the virus can take days or even a week to reveal symptoms, and you can see why even the healthiest-seeming person can be a risk.
When you think of hanging with 5 friends, who have possibly gone to the gym, caught the train, gone to a cafe to catch up with 5 other friends who have done the same thing you are doing no one any favours.
While people not taking self isolation seriously makes Laura “pretty worried”, she understands why a lot of young people aren’t following the rules. “I would have erred on this mindset in some respects if this current situation was to happen before I was diagnosed.”
But she also stressed that it’s quite clear what needs to be done now – and we’re still not really doing it.
We are watching countries suffer at unimaginable lengths. Healthcare professionals in Australia are telling us our country doesn’t have the means to deal with it yet people are carrying on like normal.
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#Repost @cristiano ・・・ Hi guys, just a little message and reminder of the steps we must all follow to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Please stay safe. #stayhome #staysafe . . . Thank you Cristiano Ronaldo for spreading the word on how to stop #coronavirus! #COVID19
Seeing people around her continue to flout the rules, find ways around them and continue on as if coronavirus doesn’t exist has taken a toll on her. “I feel very confused and frustrated. It is very selfish,” she said.
I think a lot of people have a very individualistic mindset and are hesitant to give up their normal routine/things they enjoy because they can’t see this having a direct affect on their own health, or perhaps they haven’t seen it affect anyone close to them.
Laura says people need to start being more self reflective.
Ask yourself why you don’t want to change your lifestyle for a short amount of time to save peoples lives. Think of yourself in someone more vulnerable’s situation, or think of how you would feel if it was one of your close friends or family members.
Mainly, how would you feel if someone you loved couldn’t be seen by a doctor if it was life or death?
If someone close to you were in a car crash, were then in a life threatening condition and had to go to hospital but were unable to be seen. How would you react?
Because that’s the situation we are heading towards if we don’t flatten the curve. Stay home. Practise social distancing. Don’t be a dick. It’s all pretty simple, but if you want more info we have plenty over here.
*Name has been changed.