COMMENT

For some of us this pandemic is just another challenge but we need your help to to stay alive

NEW OFFICE: As a journalist I am lucky we can work from home because self isolation is now a life saver for people who are immune suppressed or suffering from chronic illness and of course a must for our elderly residents.
NEW OFFICE: As a journalist I am lucky we can work from home because self isolation is now a life saver for people who are immune suppressed or suffering from chronic illness and of course a must for our elderly residents.

One message from our medical experts is absolutely clear: stay home and wash your hands regularly.

This virus, COVID-19, is spread by droplets so the less we socialise with each other the better the chances of stopping it infecting more and more people especially the vulnerable.

For once I have to report that am among that group having been diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2019 and starting chemotherapy the following month.

When you join the ranks of the immune-suppressed your world changes and, wow, does it change during a pandemic. I can joke that 'hey, nothing like giving someone a challenge, first cancer then a pandemic' but like everyone I am hoping to survive and grow older with my family.

People like me are now in self-isolation and that means our carers are in virtual self-isolation only leaving home for essentials or driving us for treatment.

I am just one of many people in this situation and I am most concerned about children and young adults undergoing cancer treatment and those suffering from chronic illnesses, the disabled and our elderly. Also the homeless in our community who cannot find shelter from this virus.

At home with our best mates Reg and Nina.

At home with our best mates Reg and Nina.

Never before have all of us relied on the general population to help us through these very difficult times. Our community is noted for its support when people need help. This paper has published thousands of stories on such fundraisers or special events to assist people.

Now we can't hold fundraisers but all of you can help us by adhering to the social distancing and personal hygiene advice. We are relying on you like never before.

Talking about relying on people we need to cherish our frontline health workers who are being updated on a daily basis on what's expected in the coming weeks and months.

Some of these scenarios are not pleasant, look at Italy where the death toll is now higher than China and growing. Our health workers will be relying on all of us to obey strict rules which no doubt will be extended and strengthened as the number of infections rise.

To all those people who have been laid off, closed their businesses or are simply in limbo about their future we know that it is a very difficult time for you. I don't know many local families who have not been affected in someway. Take care everyone and please, stay home and wash your hands.

This story Stay home, wash your hands and save lives first appeared on The Singleton Argus.