Coronavirus Pandemic: Welcome to My World
As the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, I had a quite different reaction than most people. My viewpoint came from somebody who was severely immunocompromised for two years. I still watched as the pandemic seemed to continuously teach society some pretty basic lessons.
My history of being immunocompromised
When I was diagnosed, I had 5 T-cells and had 35 T-cells by the time I was released from the hospital. Obviously, this meant I was highly susceptible to acquiring basically any illness. While my T-cells have increased due to my antiviral treatment, I am still very susceptible to illness.
Due to this, it became my second nature to take steps to lower my risk of picking up anything that could cause me to become sick. This meant going above and beyond what everybody else did/does on a daily basis.
Basic hygiene practices and COVID-19
I was surprised to see the basic lessons that society needed to learn from the coronavirus pandemic. The fact that news stations felt the need to do advertising on the proper way and time to wash hands was something that I could not believe needed to be taught to adults.
Stay home when you're sick
Another lesson that was trying to be instilled in society was for an individual to stay home if they were sick and even for others to stay away from those who were sick. Granted, I have wished for years that sick people would stay home!
Keep areas clean or sanitized
Cleaning your home and using hand sanitizers or antibacterial wipes when touching things in public became actions that were stressed to the public as well.
Proper hygiene is engraved in my nature
The little things that professionals were trying to teach people to do were things I already did naturally at this point in my life. Basic things like washing my hands frequently, using a straw when drinking something from a public place, and even not shaking hands with everybody were things that were engraved in my nature.
I also appreciated the fact that people were finally respecting my personal space without me feeling rude for not wanting so many people in my bubble. Things in my life went as far as it being normal for my sister to reschedule plans with me when she noticed my nieces having a cough or something. She has never wanted to possibly put me at risk of picking up something from her or the children when I visit.
My COVID-19-related frustrations
There have been a variety of frustrations for me due to COVID, but not the issues most people complain about.
Limited availability of cleaning products
I have had a hard time finding the cleaning products that I normally use at home and in my car. One such example is the Clorox wipes.
I have always used these wipes to clean almost everything in my house, especially after having somebody visit. It seems that everybody started using these wipes to such an extreme extent that it makes me wonder if they cleaned their homes prior to COVID.
Finding masks to fit my small frame
I had never previously used masks unless I was at the hospital waiting on a room. My small stature caused such a headache in being able to find a mask I could wear regularly. To find one that would fit, I had to try multiple kid styles.
Doctor visits are more complicated now
The pandemic also made being able to see my doctors much more complicated. Due to my health issues, I am more susceptible to respiratory issues and need to be able to be seen in person by my doctors.
How am I maintaining?
While the COVID pandemic continues, I regularly have people ask how I am maintaining. For the most part, I just tell them that not much has changed for me compared to how I was already living my life.
While not everybody will understanding the depths of my response, those closest to me or living in the same situation will definitely understand.
Have you ever experienced discrimination due to your HIV status?