Covid-19. It has turned the lives of so many people upside down. People are forced to cancel family and social gatherings, wash their hands more often, avoid public spaces unless absolutely necessary and remain isolated in their homes with their immediate family.
This is a bizarre way of life – anyone you speak to would likely agree. It is, however, pretty close to our normal way of life with a transplanted child. We have cancelled many trips to see friends, gymnastics or swimming lessons, and many other events in order to keep Laura healthy. It’s kind of refreshing to see other people wiping surfaces and using hand sanitizer like it’s going out of style. 3 months ago, we were still given weird looks for doing the very things that are now becoming a normal part of society.
Of course, our lives are not COMPLETELY normal right now. We are avoiding our parents which is awful and hard and weird, we are both working from home (which has been an adventure thus far as band teachers), and we are not allowing Laura to go anywhere other than blood work (which we have no choice about).
So far, we are not going stir crazy. We have been keeping busy with renovations on the house and doing SO. MUCH. BAKING. We have baked bread many times, buns, dinner rolls, cake, cookies, biscuits, strawberry shortcakes… you name it, we’ve probably baked it in the last 5 weeks.
So far, there have been no children with CHD in Canada who have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a relief but also brings with it a lot of unknowns as to how children with heart conditions would fare with the virus. So far, the data shows that children fare pretty well with the virus and don’t often show many symptoms, if any at all. The question becomes what would it look like when a kid with a heart condition gets it, never mind with a compromised immune system.
The message from Laura’s transplant team has been and continues to be that we must remain vigilant as always, but realistically, this virus would be much more devastating for our parents and grandparents than it would be for our children.
We are used to being the family for whom people make deliberate different choices to keep safe. Church friends will stay home when their kids are sick to be sure not to give it to Laura or they will let us know that their kid has a runny nose and Laura shouldn’t play with them that day. We know the difference that it makes when a friend decides to get the flu shot for the first time to keep Laura safe – it shows that they genuinely care about more than their own feelings about the effectiveness of the shot.
Because we have witnessed first hand the generosity of those around us when they find out about Laura, we are hopeful that the public will take all public-health measures seriously to protect those who are most at risk from this disease. The elderly, patients undergoing chemo, those with auto-immune disorders, front-line workers and anyone with underlying health conditions – they need our help now more than ever.
Please remain vigilant. Stay home. Bake some bread rather than running to the store every 4 days. Make a meal from pantry staples (maybe chili!), do a craft, go for a walk, play in your backyard, paint your windows. Do whatever it is that you need to do to stay happy and healthy without putting anyone else at risk.
All the best. Have fun at home 🙂