It’s a bizarre time to be alive, is it not? I do wonder how everything since the ‘credit crunch’ will be written up by future historians. They’ll be looking back from their floating homes and edible sofas, wondering what the bloody hell we were up to.
I dunno. But I know it won’t be the ‘era of empathy’. Despite countless moments of courage and kindness these last days. Hoarding and ‘last nights out’ all squidged together seem to be way too fashionable.
Right now I sit tapping from my wheelchair, knowing I am classed as ‘vulnerable’ to Covid-19. And wondering if that means I will be looked after. Or discarded?
As the Coronavirus tragedy started to emerge, I could have drawn a tidy graph of my anxiety mounting. Info was scarce. Gobby, opinionated twitterers were writing us off, (the neatly labelled ‘vulnerable’), as conveniently expendable. Here’s a charming ex-footballer giving his expert opinion: https://twitter.com/mattletiss7/status/1235512053990862849?s=21 . To summarise his thoughts, “Calm down and just think about yourself”.
Anxiety is a common symptom for MSers. Partly because Multiple Sclerosis messes with our brain just as much as it does with our eyes, or limbs, or bladder. And partly because our disease is one of the most unpredictable ones out there. “What symptom will I get next?” “How bad will it be?” “Is this relapse the big one?” “How much worse am I than last year? Or than last week?”
So when I read and sense the sheer panic spreading through the very fabric of society, I totally get how terror and navel-gazing are spreading as fast as the virus itself. I can’t speak on behalf of every MSer, but lots of us are feeling everything that the general public is feeling. Plus our free-of-charge, built-in anxiety. Plus our anxiety about Covid-19 and its specific, potentially harder impact on us.
Neurologists and other geniuses are still trying to establish exactly what might be the risks and watch-outs for MSers as a clearer picture emerges, and those of us on ‘immunosuppressant’ drugs have been particularly anxious. Here’s a great explainer delivered via https://shift.ms/a few days ago: https://youtu.be/6sjyx46UJ7I
No, that’s not me on the right. That’s someone called Dominic who happens to wear glasses and has MS like me. But he has more hair.
Thanks in no small part to that expert video, I have felt my anxiety levels decrease just a little. Turns out I’m not as vulnerable as I feared.
BUT. But. But. Please do be one of the empathisers. The social distancers. The grateful. The guideline followers. The patient. The hand washers.
Here’s my CEO talking to The Huffington Post about why we should ALL take care. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/coronavirus-symptoms_uk_5e66c9e0c5b6670e72fd0f17
And here’s a Daniel Craig lookalike (with a misspelled racing driverish name) saying similar this week: https://youtu.be/CsPjiyKceEE
Stay safe. Stay kind. Wash your hands. Leave some pasta on the shelf.