Last month, a hashtag called #HighRiskCovid19 that trended on Twitter ignited a movement among people living with all kinds of chronic health conditions that put them at a higher risk for COVID-19 complications.
Now, the same patient leaders behind that powerful hashtag have launched another equally important one: #OpenAtMyHighRisk. The goal of this hashtag, according to patient leaders Molly Schreiber, Charis Hill, Dawn Gibson, Jennifer Walker, Jed Finley, and Ray Bouchard, is to make sure chronically ill patients are at the forefront of discussions about loosening stay at home and shelter in place orders.
As more states implement such plans (you can read a list state-by-state reopening policies from CNN), people who are immunocompromised or at a higher risk for COVID-19 complications are understandably worried. Reopening states too soon — and without measures in place to protect vulnerable patients and health care workers, such as comprehensive testing and tracking — stands to unravel the protections that have helped save lives so far.
As Axios put it in a recent news update, “if any city or state begins lifting social distancing measures without the right public health measures in place, it runs the risk of allowing the virus to get out of control.” If a city or state already has a growing number of coronavirus cases, “the effect of lifting the measures is akin to pouring gasoline on a fire.”
Here are some of the most powerful tweets from the #OpenAtMyHighRisk campaign. Hop on Twitter and contribute your story to #OpenAtMyHighRisk. We encourage you to visit the hashtag on Twitter to read and share every single one.
I have been doing a good job of keeping my distance and cleaning everything that comes in my house.— Jed Finley (@JediMaster941) April 21, 2020
But, if you open the world now, you are only going to spread #Covid19 more and make it so much harder for immunodeficient people like me. Don’t Open The Economy!#OpenAtMyHighRisk pic.twitter.com/XyNLwYhrzP
I get that people are dying to go out and for life to resume back to ‘normal.’ Folks like me don’t have that luxury because we’re trying to avoid dying from people like you. #HighRiskCovid19 #OpenAtMyHighRisk #CripTheVote #NoBodyIsDisposable #COVID19 #COVIDー19 #COVID2019 https://t.co/rntEeWAbKM pic.twitter.com/SJXwXeH08M— Alice Wong (@SFdirewolf) April 22, 2020
This is unacceptable! Sacrifice the weak? WTF? The children, the old, the immunocompromised...the #HighRiskCovid19 are not taking this. I’m “weak”. I have #RA &previous #PE Let’s be careful and open when ready. #OpenAtMyHighRisk #ShameontheSelfish pic.twitter.com/5vGSv6ntmx— Shelley Fritz (@Dividivigirl) April 22, 2020
Colorado is implementing a "safer at home" phase and lifting the SAH order this Sunday. @GovofCO does so at my detriment as I'm immunosuppressed because of #rheumatoidarthritis. I fear ppl will rush back to pre-COVID-19 behavior. I dont want to die. #OpenAtMyRisk #DoingMyPartCO pic.twitter.com/OVU2qplvXh— 😷 #HighRiskCovid19-dandilion1115 🦁 (@dandilion1115) April 22, 2020
I live with congestive heart failure, type 1 diabetes, gastroparesis, asthma, and other chronic conditions. I’m immunocompromised. I’m #HighRiskCovid19. It’s not safe for me out there now. We can’t open the Economy yet. #OpenAtMyHighRisk pic.twitter.com/GvknrXP7NK— Mike Durbin (@mydiabeticheart) April 21, 2020
I am the wife of a #HighRiskCovid19 man, a liver transplant recipient on anti rejection meds that lower his immune system. Opening early will cause me to put him at higher risk when I go out for necessities and come in contact with more people #OpenAtMyHighRisk pic.twitter.com/MHAQ04MeXy— (((Chrisa Hickey))) (@Chrisa_Hickey) April 21, 2020
Governors: I have autoimmune rheumatoid disease (RA). To treat it, I take drugs that suppress my immune system. I'm also 60+ w underlying conditions, so I'm #HighRiskCovid19 . If you open your states too soon for safety, you #OpenAtMyHighRisk. Please be careful. pic.twitter.com/9y4sB1xHrh— Leslie Wren Vandever (@RheumaBlog_Wren) April 21, 2020
Governors- I have autoimmune Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and pleurisy. To treat it, I take drugs that suppress my immune system, comparable to chemotherapy, causing leukopenia. I'm #HighRiskCovid19 . If you open your states too soon for safety, you #OpenAtMyHighRisk. pic.twitter.com/076unnODKK— Sarah (@saaamichele) April 22, 2020
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