What I learned from my Rheumatologist’s office yesterday about staying safe through COVID-19

Are you an immunocompromised patient or caretaker seeking information about what to do with corona virus lingering over our communities? I was able to televisit with my Rheumatologist’s office yesterday and wanted to share my findings. Some of these might be obvious, some not as much.

  2. WASH YOUR HANDS!!! Don’t touch your face. Use hand sanitizer with 60%+ alcohol content. Don’t have any on hand? You can make DIY hand sanitizer with rubbing alcohol, aloe vera and lavender or tea tree oil.
  3. Outdoor walks and exercise are OK, especially if you live in a single family home and don’t have to use common hallways, doorknobs, ride on elevators, or pass folks in the stairwells to get outside. That said, stay 6’feet away from folks outside your household at all times. I’ve been walking about 1.5 miles per day with my daughter and our dogs. The fresh air and exercise are great for our mental and physical well beings. While this might not be realistic in all areas of the US or for all folks with chronic illnesses, I personally need this outlet and was happy my Rheumatologist gave me the green light to continue.
  4. If you do need to get out and shop because you live alone, or your local retailers lack delivery times or grocery pickup services (Walmart, Peapod, Instacart, Amazon Prime, etc. are all 4-5 days out right now), shop during off hours and at less busy stores (ie. I’ve been told Office Depot has TP and hand soap).
  5. Take advantage of shopping times for seniors and others in the “vulnerable” community. Side note, I’m not sure what proof you need to show that you are an “immunocompromised” individual.
  6. Wear a mask & gloves, wipe down grocery cart and leave wipe in hand as barrier if you don’t have gloves.
  7. Bring a written grocery list vs. touching your phone while in the store. Stay at least 6 ft. away from others.
  8. If a loved one is doing the shopping, ask them to take all the same necessary precautions while shopping for you.
  9. Wipe off all containers before putting them away. Throw away plastic bags immediately and/or wash reusable cloth bags.
  10. Take shoes off & don’t wear them in your house.
  11. If your spouse and children are quarantined at home with you, it’s OK to kiss them. This was a really big question for me and it was nice to have it confirmed that human touch within your household between families members who have practiced social distancing is safe.
  12. Prednisone is OK in small doses. That said, I try to avoid taking my prednisone completely these days unless I’m having a major flare. There is research that indicates Prednisone further suppresses your immune system, putting you at greater risk of contracting a contagious infection such as Corona virus. Note, I’m not a medical professional so please consult yours to discuss this and other medications. More information about Prednisone and COVID-19 can be found at CreakyJoints.com.
  13. Don’t change any medications unless you’ve spoken with your physician.

I hope you find this list useful and I invite my readers to add their suggestions and tips to this list. As a reminder, I’m looking to connect with guest bloggers so if you have a topic you want to feature here, please let me know.

Be well, sending virtual hugs.



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