Just wanted to check in and see how everyone is doing with the COVID-19 (coronovirus) pandemic restrictions.
It’s a crazy time. And it can be scary – that’s OK. We will all have anxious moments, they will come and go.
These tough times will also pass, but tough people will remain!
Some will be wondering what they can do to decrease their risk of catching COVID-19, and if they get it, how can they minimize their chance of severe complications or worse. I want to reassure you all that the Australian Amyloidosis Network and the Myeloma Scientific Advisory Group, together with the Leukaemia Foundation and Myeloma Australia, are working very hard to come up with the best guidelines possible for treating doctors and nurses, given the data we have on COVID-19.
My advice to you is this: STAY AT HOME
Tell all your family: STAY AT HOME
Tell all your friends: STAY AT HOME
Don’t go out to the shops unless absolutely necessary – get others to do the shopping for you if you really need; stay at home
Don’t go visiting friends or family – stay at home.
You can’t catch or spread COVID-19 with a telephone call, so call your friends and family, reach out that way.
Obviously, if you have to go into hospital for treatment, that’s a different matter.
These are some of the changes I am advising you to do where possible, to decrease your exposure to hospitals and any chance of catching or spreading the infection to others:
- Use Telephone Consultations where possible, don’t come into hospital clinics (or private rooms) unless you have to
- Ask if blood tests and other investigations are really required, but if yes, whether they could be reduced in frequency
- See if your medications can be mailed out to you, rather than you or others coming into hospital to collect them
- Ask you doctor if you can reduce or delay your treatment, especially steroids or transplants.
- Use Telephone Consultations where possible, don’t come into hospital clinics (or private rooms) unless your doctor or nurse asks you to. If you are not sure, call them to confirm.
Please don’t do anything without consulting your doctor first.
Everyone’s case if different, we are learning more about COVID-19 every day. Everything is a balance between the risk of catching COVID-19, the risk of a serious infection if you do catch the disease while immunosuppressed, and controlling your blood disease.
I wish you all good health, together we will get through this. Now go wash your hands, and tell off anyone thinking of leaving home unnecessarily.
Good luck, and be kind to each other!
Simon and members of the AAN
Dr Simon Gibbs MBBS FRACP FRCPA
Consultant Haematologist (Myeloma/Amyloidosis Lead)
Department of Clinical Haematology