I know by making the choice to write and publish this – that it opens it up to comments. I do want to say I respect everyone’s thoughts and feelings and we are all entitled to our own. I’m not making this as a political statement. I’m just sharing the perspective of someone with a chronic illness during this pandemic. These are my own thoughts and feelings. I can have a conversation but I will not debate. I respect you – please respect me.
We have been in this pandemic for awhile now. In the last months there has been something that has been really bothering me. I’m sharing this because I just want to raise awareness and possibly be a voice for others who experience this.
As someone who has a chronic illness that limits me physically, I’ve always felt isolated. I’ve become the “unreliable” friend. It’s hard to make plans with me and eventually we just stop trying. It’s hard because I can’t push myself in a wheelchair or get it out of a car. I can’t go up steps by myself. So going out with others means they have to do things to help and assist me. My symptoms can change so fast that it’s hard to make plans in advance, even a day in advance.
I’ve had to say goodbye to so many things. My social outlets were going to work and when I felt up to it shopping or going out to eat or seeing a movie.
As we are in this pandemic as someone who has a compromised immune system, I’ve been told by numerous doctors to stay home as much as possible. It’s not safe out there. I had an appointment earlier this summer with my doctor about going back to work. There was a lot of concern for my physical health. We knew mentally I needed to get out a little bit as long as I felt safe and safety measures were being put in place.
I wear a mask wherever I go. I know it’s not fun or enjoyable to wear a mask but if it protects me, my family, and my friends – it’s important to me. I don’t want to possibly spread COVID to someone. It’s just a tiny piece of fabric that goes over your mouth and nose. I have family and friends who work in the medical field. They are exhausted and overwhelmed. If I can help stop the spread of COVID I will.
I know there are some medical reasons people can’t wear them. I accept that.
I want to share my experience. I have numerous diagnoses. One of them being POTS. I can’t control my temperature. I sometimes get a little hot in my mask but I still wear it. I likely had COVID in March / April and I will tell you I would much rather experience the small discomfort I have wearing a mask then experience the virus again. I was recently at the doctor’s office and it was a little hot in there and I had to talk more since it was a new doctor. We had our masks on the whole time. My heart rate was going up and I was feeling a little dizzy but I still wore it. I wore it for myself, for my doctor, and for my Mom.
I want to talk about the isolating experience I’ve been feeling. I’ve felt like dirt a few times literally. I’m not sure if this is what people mean when they say this but I want to address it.
I’ve read it on all platforms of social media and I’ve heard it. People have said these words to me. The last few weeks I’ve had enough.
When someone says something along the lines of “I’m going to go out to eat and do XYZ and I hate wearing a mask so I’m not going to… if you have a compromised immune system JUST STAY HOME.”
It’s starting to feel like what they are truly saying is:
I don’t care about you because I want to do this.
I’m more important than you.
You stay home anyways so what difference is this.
Masks are stupid.
This isn’t real, you’re over-reacting and buying into the fear.
I want to respond to these statements.
“I don’t care about you because I want to do this. ” To me this hurts. Why? Because I want to be done with this pandemic and quarantine as much as you do. Does anyone enjoy this? No! I want to go out to eat in restaurant too and travel again. Did you take a minute to think about if you stayed home and listened to the guidelines by the CDC maybe we all could get back to a new normal?
“I’m more important than you.” I don’t think anyone is more important than someone else. God doesn’t view us that way nor did He create us like that. There are doctors and nurses who have to make incredibly hard decisions about who to put on a ventilator and who to take off during this pandemic.
“You stay home anyways what difference is this? Yes I stay home often. Am I staying home more right now -yes. The difference is now I have to stay home to protect myself, not to stay home and rest. I’m limited on my doctor appointments and some have to be virtual. I know that my immune system is different than yours. I have already said goodbye to so many things. Why do you think it’s ok to go out and do what you want and make us be isolated even more? This pandemic goes on longer because you aren’t taking precautions. I know it’s my choice to stay home right now. It just hurts to see people not care about those with compromised immune systems.
“Masks are stupid.” I’m glad you have a healthy immune system. Did you know I was healthy a few years ago? You know what woke this all up? An infection. Did you know a virus or an infection can trigger an auto-immune response in your body? I’m glad you don’t have to worry about picking up a virus and getting it worse and longer than the usual person because of your immune system. I hope you don’t have to experience this virus or end up in the hospital. Another thing to think about is if masks were stupid why did doctors wear them while performing surgery? Why do cancer patients have to wear them? Why do people with cold/flu symptoms at urgent care/doctor offices have to wear a mask? Because THEY PROTECT YOU and those around you.
“This isn’t real, you’re over-reacting and buying into the fear.” Since when is science false? Also isn’t it true in science that your answers can change as you work on something longer? I remember making hypothesis during my science classes at school and after doing the experiment discovering that I was wrong. Did the scientists and doctors say at the beginning that we didn’t need to wear masks? Yes. Can you change your answer after you have more research to back it up? Yes! That’s what science is so why are we refusing to listen to it? If you are doing science experiments with your kids etc. are you telling them it’s all false and that you can just make the data say what it wants? This letter came from my doctors office and I want you to read it.
Just like he states “Science has areas of uncertainty which can cause anxiety” but if we focus on what’s true that helps. “Science seeks the truth” the scientists keep searching and searching. If right now they say it’s safer to wear masks and social distance than I will follow that. If they come out in a year and say the masks weren’t as effective for COVID as we thought I won’t get upset. Why? Because it was just a SMALL piece of fabric covering my mouth anyways. I had the opportunity to keep myself safe and others around me from other viruses.
I do believe in science and I do believe in God. I know God says in the bible we need to love others as we love ourself.
I don’t want to get my neighbor sick nor do I want to get sick so I will wear a mask.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and read my perspective.
Again please let’s be respectful with comments. I will not tolerate inappropriate language.
“We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40