Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MySpondylitisTeam

Canceling Is Kindness: Keeping Safe From COVID-19 With Spondylitis

Posted on March 20, 2020

Article written by
Kelly Crumrin

Those of us living with pre-existing, chronic conditions such as spondylitis have likely felt the impact of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Medical appointments may have been rescheduled or switched to virtual, work and school may be closed, and we may worry about how the illness will impact ourselves and our loved ones.

Fortunately, social distancing is a powerful tool to slow or prevent the spread of infection. Social distancing only works when everyone stays home and limits their contact with others.

When Friends or Family Aren't Worried

Some of us have family members or friends who think the threat of the virus is being blown out of proportion. They may pressure you to join in activities as usual or become upset when you cancel plans to help keep yourself and your community safe during this high-risk time.

Here are some tactics that may help you talk to them about why health — yours, theirs, and the community's — should be everyone's first priority right now.

Have a Heart-to-Heart

Ask them to walk in your shoes. Ask them to imagine what you must be going through. Maybe your loved one will be fine, but you may be more vulnerable to not only getting the virus, but also being severely impacted by it.

Show Them the Numbers

According to research on COVID-19 in China, people who had one additional disease — from diabetes to cardiovascular disease to cancer — had a 79 percent higher risk of requiring intensive care, needing a respirator, or dying as a result of the coronavirus infection.

Six in 10 adults in America have at least one chronic illness.

Put It Into Perspective

The threat of COVID-19 was deemed serious enough to affect major institutions:

  • Walt Disney World and Disneyland are closed. These attractions have previously only closed for disasters such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
  • Las Vegas Strip casinos including Bellagio, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Wynn Las Vegas, and Wynn Encore are closing.
  • The NBA has suspended the professional basketball season.
  • MLB has ended its training season and pushed back the start of baseball season at least two weeks.
  • The 2020 Summer Olympics may be canceled or postponed.

These organizations are prioritizing public health over the hundreds of millions of dollars (or more) they will lose by closing. If we can stay home, we should stay home.

Use Peer Pressure

If you have any other friends or family who are taking the coronavirus threat seriously, ask them to talk to that loved one on your behalf. Social distancing only works if everyone is on board.

Distance Doesn't Mean Isolation

As our families, communities, and countries make it through this pandemic together, it's more important than ever to find ways to stay connected. Here are a few suggestions for ways to socialize from a safe distance.

  • Phone calls. Being stuck at home is a great time to call people and catch up.
  • Video gatherings. FaceTime or apps like Zoom or Skype can allow you to see and hear each other, no matter how distant, on mobile phone, tablet, or computer. You can even have a party with dozens of people on screen.
  • Gaming apps. Many mobile gaming apps allow you to connect and play with friends remotely.
  • Movie night. Cue up the same movie or show (whether on a streaming service or a DVD you both have) and stay on the phone or on video chat the whole time. You can even plan to eat the same snack while you watch and talk.
  • Listening party. Music apps, such as Spotify, allow people to share music playlists and even collaborate to create lists of songs.

MySpondylitisTeam is another way our community of more than 43,000 members living with spondylitis stays strong together. Here are a few conversations about how members of MySpondylitisTeam are getting through this difficult time:

Have you found ways to talk to your loved ones about COVID-19 safety measures? What are you doing to stay connected to others during this time of heightened concern and social distancing? Share in the comments below or post on MySpondylitisTeam.

Kelly leads the creation of content that educates and empowers people with chronic illnesses. Learn more about her here.

A MySpondylitisTeam Member said:

For years this prognosis was in my medical records I didn't know what that meant for I was diagnosed with cardiac syncope,cardiovascular disease and a… read more

posted 7 days ago

hug (3)

Recent articles

Setting intentions for 2020 with spondylitis
Eat healthier. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Pay off a credit card. Many of us have made...

Setting Intentions for 2020 With Spondylitis

Eat healthier. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Pay off a credit card. Many of us have made...
Practicing gratitude with spondylitis
This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and living with...

Practicing Gratitude With Spondylitis

This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and living with...
Chest pain and spondylitis
Do you frequently experience chest pain with spondylitis? You’re not alone. Chest pain is a...

Chest Pain and Spondylitis

Do you frequently experience chest pain with spondylitis? You’re not alone. Chest pain is a...
Spondylitis and brain fog
Forgetting names. Losing words. Trouble concentrating. “Brain fog” is a common - and disturbing -...

Spondylitis and Brain Fog

Forgetting names. Losing words. Trouble concentrating. “Brain fog” is a common - and disturbing -...
How to enjoy the holidays despite spondylitis
Living with spondylitis may change your holidays, but you can still have enjoyable and meaningful...

How to Enjoy the Holidays Despite Spondylitis

Living with spondylitis may change your holidays, but you can still have enjoyable and meaningful...
Mht carousel videoexpertseries drnorton v4
Dr. Hillary Norton is Medical Director of Santa Fe Rheumatology, a private practice in Santa Fe,...

Dr. Norton Expert Series (Video)

Dr. Hillary Norton is Medical Director of Santa Fe Rheumatology, a private practice in Santa Fe,...
Mht carousel videoexpertseries drnorton v4
There are things that you can do to manage your disease if you have nr-axSpA. First of all, there...

What can people do to manage their nr-axSpA?

There are things that you can do to manage your disease if you have nr-axSpA. First of all, there...
Mht carousel videoexpertseries drnorton v4
There is commonly a long delay in diagnosis for nr-axSpA, and that can be frustrating and...

What is the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of nr-axSpA?

There is commonly a long delay in diagnosis for nr-axSpA, and that can be frustrating and...
Mht carousel videoexpertseries drnorton v4
Things to ask your rheumatologist about nr-axSpA include: what to expect from the disease and...

What should you ask your rheumatologist about nr-axSpA?

Things to ask your rheumatologist about nr-axSpA include: what to expect from the disease and...
Mht carousel videoexpertseries drnorton v4
If someone has back pain that started before the age of 40 and has the characteristics of...

What should you ask your primary care provider about nr-axSpA?

If someone has back pain that started before the age of 40 and has the characteristics of...
MySpondylitisTeam My spondylitis Team

Get the latest articles about spondylitis sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
MySpondylitisTeam My spondylitis Team

Thank you for signing up.

close