More About Your Immune System

May 22nd, 2020 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Those Pesky Preexisting Conditions

It’s the middle of May and most states are stopping the ‘stay at home’ orders because of COVID-19. Some believe it is too soon, and we will see another spike in numbers of infections. Others don’t. And frankly, it doesn’t matter what you think or believe, the infection rate will increase if people are infected and they come in contact with others, that is, if they ignore the social distancing advice. Furthermore, people with certain health conditions are at significantly higher risk than the rest of the population.

What are those preexisting conditions? The big ones most experts agree on are diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure/heart disease and lung/respiratory disease. People in these high risk categories already have a major assault on their immune systems, that’s what a ‘preexisting condition’ is. The immune system is necessary to fight off infection, and it is losing the battle for good health even before COVID-19 hits.

Once a high-risk person gets the corona virus, the chances for survival drop significantly because the immune system is already damaged. In an article in the New York Times, May 18, 2020, Dr Micaela E. Martinez, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, says “This infection is highly contagious and we have no vaccine, so it will inevitably sweep through (emphasis added) our populations unless we have very tight measures in place to prevent that from happening,” The world has already seen over 300,000 deaths. And many of these deaths occurred in people who had preexisting conditions.

Are There Any Good Options?

Medical science and research around the planet are doing all they can, as fast as they can, to find a vaccine. Ultimately, a vaccine will be what slows down (stops?) this virus. Until then, we must follow the advice of experts. You and I are not experts. We have beliefs, which may or may not reflect reality. Let’s first be sure we distinguish between the two.

Then, putting our belief system aside, we must look at what medical and research experts are saying about this virus. Those experts are telling us COVID-19 is spread primarily by human contact. In fact, they now are looking at just how much or how little it is spread from surfaces.

The one thing people with a preexisting condition can do is be extremely cautious about being in contact with the general population. This is really our only good option. Remember, the immune system fights disease. An already compromised immune system will have a very difficult battle with a virus on top of the existing health issue(s), a battle that could cost you your life.

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