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I’ve come out of blog retirement to do a little post about the topic on everyone’s lips – coronavirus!

A few people have been contacting me today and yesterday, to check on me and that I’m OK. I guess the problem with being so open about having all these medical issues and drug treatments, is that everyone knows when you fall into one of the government’s ‘at risk’ groups!

Based on the updates yesterday, I now know that I fall into the group of people who need to be more ‘stringent’ about social distancing. This is because my doctor recommends that I have the annual flu jab due to my condition and treatments.

There is another group of people who are at an even higher risk, who are expected to be told to isolate themselves for 12 weeks and follow even stricter measures. The current government advice is saying that these people will be contacted later in the week or next week and told what they need to do. I don’t think I fall into this category, but I’m sure I’ll be told if I do.

[This information was all correct at the time of writing (17 March 2020, 6.45pm), and can be found on the government website ‘COVID-19: guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people’.]

For the foreseeable future, I will be working from home. I’ve got a very good workplace who allow this anyway, but they’ve now recommended it to everyone who works there.

I will be avoiding large social situations until told I don’t have to anymore. This isn’t necessarily because I’m afraid of catching the coronavirus, but rather because I don’t know how I will be affected. I don’t want to put any more strain on the NHS because I fancy going to the pub, and I don’t want to spread it to others because I am more susceptible.

I will still be taking my biological therapy every week, and ibuprofen if I need it for my arthritis. And I won’t be stopping until the government or the NHS tells me otherwise, or until I am instructed to stop by my own doctor. The last thing I want right now is a flare-up.

I won’t be following any advice that hasn’t come from official NHS, government or reputable news sources. However well-intended, please don’t send me any advice.

I don’t currently have any symptoms of coronavirus – yay! If I do have symptoms, I’ll call 111 or my rheumatology team and ask for advice, and if possible I will treat it at home with paracetamol. The latest advice is to use paracetamol rather than ibuprofen for coronavirus symptoms.

Due to offers from lots of kind friends who live nearby, I am now fully stocked (but not stockpiled) for paracetamol, ibuprofen and hand sanitiser, despite the stock levels being really low.

Yesterday, I had a really bad day and spent a lot of it on the phone to my family or talking to my husband in tears. It’s an overwhelming time for everyone, and there is so much misinformation out there. For the sake of isolated people, please don’t spread it. Trust people to manage their own health, and help those that can’t.

We need to stay safe and look after each other. Wash your hands; don’t buy all the toilet roll and soap; don’t send isolated people dodgy links.

Please check in on me from time to time, because no doubt in a few days I will be crawling the walls with boredom! As long as we can talk about something that isn’t covid-19…

Please remember, I’m not a medical professional and nothing I have ever said in this blog should be seen as medical advice. Speak to your own healthcare team if you need advice on what to do. 

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