Learn more about our FREE COVID-19 Patient Support Program for chronic illness patients and their loved ones.
Living in the Omicron era can certainly feel scary, frustrating, and lonely for people who are immunosuppressed and have high-risk medical conditions. While those who are generally healthy may feel relieved to hear health officials tout Omicron as “a less severe variant” of COVID, people with weakened immune systems are not.
Instead, many feel upset, overlooked, unheard, and angry. Omicron is still a real and serious threat for this community, and they must remain vigilant to protect themselves.
But they can’t do it alone.
We asked members of the Global Health Living Foundation (GHLF) and CreakyJoints patient community this: If you could create a public service announcement (PSA) to alert the general public about the ongoing COVID risk for high-risk and immunocompromised people, what would it say?
The main message: Everyone needs to do their part to avoid getting and spreading COVID, so they can help protect those who need it most.
Read the powerful PSAs below, and consider forwarding, sharing, or printing them out for the loved ones in your life.
“Imagine if pre-disables actually understood that #HighRiskCovid19 immunocompromised folks are the most effective incubators of new strains of COVID and that their failure to protect us means they’re basically just weaponizing us against them. At the same time, we should be protected just because we’re human, not because we’re a potential threat.” — Charis H., who lives with ankylosing spondylitis
“If you would wear a ribbon for cancer, you should wear a mask for the immunocompromised. Some of us have been locked inside for upwards of two years in order to protect ourselves and others. But we may live with people who must go to school or work. Help prevent us from getting diseases our bodies can’t fight. — Tinu A., who lives with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia
“Immunosuppressed people who are fully vaccinated still have a high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms as our immune systems don’t function normally. We also rely heavily on the health care system to help us manage our chronic conditions. Please do your best to help protect us from COVID-19 and to reduce the pressure on the health care system by keeping yourself healthy as well.” — Rosemary A., who lives with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
“We are all neighbors. We are all called to love our neighbors. Some of our neighbors need extra compassion and kindness because of their health concerns from COVID-19. Thus, we are given opportunity to help our immunocompromised neighbors by choosing to be vaccinated, wear masks when we are with them, and other choices which help make them feel safe. Thank you for choosing to be a good neighbor today.” — Beth M., who lives with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
“We’re all tired of the ongoing pandemic, and all have a lot going on. But it is important to remember to be mindful even when your mind is full. Be mindful of your friends living with chronic illness who are particularly scared during this time. Respect our comfort level, be honest about your exposures/social choices if you’re seeing us, and don’t shame us for taking necessary precautions.” — Zoe R., who lives with ankylosing spondylitis
“Is the inconvenience of wearing a protective barrier over your nose and mouth so great that you wouldn’t want to help protect a preemie baby or their parent with a compromised immune system?” — Jaime H., who lives with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and Crohn’s disease
“Don’t hesitate and get vaccinated because Covid-19 and its variants can lead to our demise.” — Terrance H., who lives with sickle cell trait
“People take their health for granted. Those who are immunocompromised don’t have that luxury. Every day is a battle to keep things on an even keel. COVID-19 is an elephant, standing on the edge of that ship, in already bad weather.” — Cat C., who lives with chronic migraine and depression
“It’s important to follow the CDC guidance for the use of masks and social distancing to keep our condition under control and avoid further danger to our health. Together we can help each other say goodbye to Covid. Protect yourself!” — Wigna C., who lives with rheumatoid arthritis
“Most of us can get sick at any age. When our immune system is compromised, we need that added protection. Take all your medications as your doctor has prescribed to you and develop a care plan. The vaccine has proven to be safe. Don’t wait to get an infection and can’t fight off the illness. It can damage the body more. Get the damn shot!” — Diane T., who lives with psoriatic arthritis
“Small remote communities are already doing it tough. Limited health facilities and medical staff mean everything is always at capacity. COVID-19 makes everything harder and disrupts this delicate balance of keeping people safe and healthy, particularly those who are immunocompromised or chronically ill. Have respect for your vulnerable community. Be selfless to make a positive difference.” — Naomi C., who lives with rheumatoid arthritis
“The best act of love you can do for patients with chronic conditions is to take care of yourself and your loved ones. How? Get vaccinated, wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands constantly. The end of the pandemic is up to us. Let’s unite, so that together we can fight and say GOOD-BYE to this pandemic!” — Denise S., who lives with rheumatoid arthritis
To stay informed about the latest COVID-19 news for people who are immunocompromised, take immunosuppressant medications, or have autoimmune conditions, follow all of our COVID coverage here.
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