COVID-19 and Cancer: How are you preparing for the re-opening?

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, May 7 10:00am

I have stage 4 multifocal adenocarcinoma of the lung. It is an NSCLC. I would be very frightened to have to choose whether to get treatment, if needed, or stay home. This virus is deadly and spreads very easily. It can spread from a person who is non-symptomatic, which is even scarier. Having cancer is no joke. It makes us susceptible to so many other illnesses and CIVD-19 is one of them. Dr. Tanios Bekaii-Saab talks about being able to undergo treatments for cancer during our pandemic.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/podcasts/newsfeed-post/cancer-treatment-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

If you are under treatment for cancer, how are you going to deal with the country opening-up?

Liked by moonlightlady

I'm no doc, but do you have anyone who can run errands or something for you? I would recommend just avoiding all public places as much as possible (as hard as that is right now).
I know that personally I have my own hereditary stress/immuno issues and am currently taking care of my father who has cancer, and I'm just trying to tell him as much as possible we have to suck this up for the time being and be patient. But masks, sanitizer, etc. if you need to go out will put you in a better position. The virus is something to really be taken seriously. As far as opening up, I can't control my dad but I remind him that if he doesn't follow the guidelines and comes back to my home (which he has to) he's opening me up to get sick again. I also nag him and run right behind him to make sure he washes his hands and wears a mask etc. (btw not sick with COVID, I've been tested for antibodies but neg, but still had a stress-induced hospital immune-related stay). It's real stuff, and it should be taken seriously. Best of luck to you!

Liked by moonlightlady

REPLY

@merpreb I’m getting treatment for an autoimmune disease, not cancer, but I think our re-entry is much the same. Im going to make a few more masks so I’ll always have one available. I think we won’t be out of the woods until an effective vaccine is available. I’ve just decided to stay home and enjoy a do-nothing summer.

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@becsbuddy– You bring up a great point. Cancer is not the only illness in the world. There are many other illnesses where re-entry into public places should be done with hesitation and care, following safety rules such as wearing masks, social distancing and, washing hands are still the smart precautions to use. I agree also, Becky until there is a vaccination no one will really be safe from this group of viruses. There is still a lot more to be discovered and reliable tests that need to be made. We aren't nearly as improved with this virus as is published by certain media outlets.

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I would like to report that many things are open here in Minnesota, with more being added each week, but we continue to see many people wearing masks even though not mandatory- probably because our leaders model it routinely. Now comes the time to make hard decisions – when to venture back out into the world, to what extent, and what precautions to take to remain healthy.

Here are my observations, from trips to two grocery stores, pharmacy, my hairdresser, 3 doctors, 3 garden centers and a couple of necessary retail stops this week and last:
– Everyone at the clinics were wearing masks, but a few patients had them dangling below their noses. Temperatures taken & questions asked in the entryway, before admission. Sanitizing all spaces between patients.
– 90% of our retail workers are wearing masks, and most places are sanitizing carts, counters & credit card machines between customers. Almost every place had shields installed at registers, many had one-way aisles and barricades to control traffic. I have decided to not patronize any stores where they are not wearing masks & sanitizing, because I figure unprotected people who deal with the public all day are PRIME candidates to spread the virus – in fact I immediately walked out of any store where the employees were not masked.
– My hairdresser is in a solo salon, being extremely cautious because she herself has health risks. She is following CDC/State guidelines for sanitizing, health checks, masks for all…I felt perfectly safe there. My sister goes to a chain salon – she won't be going back soon, because she said it seemed like each stylist was following only those rules she wanted to – leaving everyone in the place at risk.
– In the garden centers (mainly outdoor facilities), nearly all workers wore masks, they had distancing & one-way paths marked, but few customers in masks, so I stayed outdoors, kept my distance and got out of there as fast as I could – no leisurely strolls to "see what's new."
– At least 60% of shoppers in stores where masks are not required do wear them – primarily the older people and the milennials, but not so much the teens or those between 40-60??? In the hardware store, seems like most of the tradespeople also wear them, my contractor brother thinks it's because they are used to wearing masks for dusty jobs, and are expected to wear them in peoples' homes and most businesses.
– The worst place was my pharmacy – one pharm tech came in from lunch, put on her mask, and started waiting on customers without sanitizing hands, the other had no mask in evidence – went to complain to the manager, and she had no mask either. Walked out irritated, and will look for a new pharmacy…

I'm still not ready to sit down and eat in a restaurant, but we have been picking up takeout food from our favorite local eateries all along. Our church is not yet resuming in-person services (both pastors and many members are high risk, and they would have to have a lottery to figure out which of us would be allowed in anyway.)

Finally, I have been regularly hitting the less-popular local parks and walking paths on weekdays since the stay-home order lifted. It is easy to maintain distance, and great to see other people – have had some lovely conversations with strangers, sitting on adjacent park benches. I wear a mask, or have it handy, depending on the amount of people around.

Just so you know – through all of this, I have worn a mask, washed & sanitized my hands until they are like sandpaper, and sanitized my poor car repeatedly. Yesterday I had a presurgery covid-19 test, and it came back negative.

So, with some careful observation of how each business operates, wearing a mask, social distancing & good hand hygiene, sticking to slow times or senior hours, and avoiding the obvious more dangerous places, it seems is possible to safely get back out in the world a little bit.

What is everyone else doing these days?
Sue

REPLY

So very helpful thank you for taking the time with all this helpful info. I’m in NYC and it sounds like the same mask use and similar issues you had.

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@sueinmn

I would like to report that many things are open here in Minnesota, with more being added each week, but we continue to see many people wearing masks even though not mandatory- probably because our leaders model it routinely. Now comes the time to make hard decisions – when to venture back out into the world, to what extent, and what precautions to take to remain healthy.

Here are my observations, from trips to two grocery stores, pharmacy, my hairdresser, 3 doctors, 3 garden centers and a couple of necessary retail stops this week and last:
– Everyone at the clinics were wearing masks, but a few patients had them dangling below their noses. Temperatures taken & questions asked in the entryway, before admission. Sanitizing all spaces between patients.
– 90% of our retail workers are wearing masks, and most places are sanitizing carts, counters & credit card machines between customers. Almost every place had shields installed at registers, many had one-way aisles and barricades to control traffic. I have decided to not patronize any stores where they are not wearing masks & sanitizing, because I figure unprotected people who deal with the public all day are PRIME candidates to spread the virus – in fact I immediately walked out of any store where the employees were not masked.
– My hairdresser is in a solo salon, being extremely cautious because she herself has health risks. She is following CDC/State guidelines for sanitizing, health checks, masks for all…I felt perfectly safe there. My sister goes to a chain salon – she won't be going back soon, because she said it seemed like each stylist was following only those rules she wanted to – leaving everyone in the place at risk.
– In the garden centers (mainly outdoor facilities), nearly all workers wore masks, they had distancing & one-way paths marked, but few customers in masks, so I stayed outdoors, kept my distance and got out of there as fast as I could – no leisurely strolls to "see what's new."
– At least 60% of shoppers in stores where masks are not required do wear them – primarily the older people and the milennials, but not so much the teens or those between 40-60??? In the hardware store, seems like most of the tradespeople also wear them, my contractor brother thinks it's because they are used to wearing masks for dusty jobs, and are expected to wear them in peoples' homes and most businesses.
– The worst place was my pharmacy – one pharm tech came in from lunch, put on her mask, and started waiting on customers without sanitizing hands, the other had no mask in evidence – went to complain to the manager, and she had no mask either. Walked out irritated, and will look for a new pharmacy…

I'm still not ready to sit down and eat in a restaurant, but we have been picking up takeout food from our favorite local eateries all along. Our church is not yet resuming in-person services (both pastors and many members are high risk, and they would have to have a lottery to figure out which of us would be allowed in anyway.)

Finally, I have been regularly hitting the less-popular local parks and walking paths on weekdays since the stay-home order lifted. It is easy to maintain distance, and great to see other people – have had some lovely conversations with strangers, sitting on adjacent park benches. I wear a mask, or have it handy, depending on the amount of people around.

Just so you know – through all of this, I have worn a mask, washed & sanitized my hands until they are like sandpaper, and sanitized my poor car repeatedly. Yesterday I had a presurgery covid-19 test, and it came back negative.

So, with some careful observation of how each business operates, wearing a mask, social distancing & good hand hygiene, sticking to slow times or senior hours, and avoiding the obvious more dangerous places, it seems is possible to safely get back out in the world a little bit.

What is everyone else doing these days?
Sue

Jump to this post

I also live in Minnesota, but in the far north…….my experience is much different with only very few places following any of the guidelines that have been outlined by the state. My community (with the outlying area has about 50,000 people), and numerous snowbirds. I rarely go anywhere unless absolutely necessary as it appears that people do. It believe we will be affected like other places……and I believe people who visit here from places that are required to wear masks, rarely wear them here. It is very disappointing that people are not willing to take these small steps to help ensure the health of themselves and those around them😔

REPLY
@migizii

I also live in Minnesota, but in the far north…….my experience is much different with only very few places following any of the guidelines that have been outlined by the state. My community (with the outlying area has about 50,000 people), and numerous snowbirds. I rarely go anywhere unless absolutely necessary as it appears that people do. It believe we will be affected like other places……and I believe people who visit here from places that are required to wear masks, rarely wear them here. It is very disappointing that people are not willing to take these small steps to help ensure the health of themselves and those around them😔

Jump to this post

I was a bit confusing as I meant I think people do not believe the virus will affect this community as it has other places. The only places I have found that are following the guidelines is the health food store, the clinic, and my salon (a solo salon).

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@migizii

I also live in Minnesota, but in the far north…….my experience is much different with only very few places following any of the guidelines that have been outlined by the state. My community (with the outlying area has about 50,000 people), and numerous snowbirds. I rarely go anywhere unless absolutely necessary as it appears that people do. It believe we will be affected like other places……and I believe people who visit here from places that are required to wear masks, rarely wear them here. It is very disappointing that people are not willing to take these small steps to help ensure the health of themselves and those around them😔

Jump to this post

@migizii Where are you in MN? I am not really surprised to hear that people are not following guidelines – much of our outstate family seem to have a similar attitude. My fear for them is that any surge will quickly overwhelm their small medical facilities, and that as the tourists come they will bring the virus. We have sadly cancelled our summer plans to travel there – maybe a day trip later to visit the cemetery and stock up on smoked meats from our favorite butcher…
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

I would like to report that many things are open here in Minnesota, with more being added each week, but we continue to see many people wearing masks even though not mandatory- probably because our leaders model it routinely. Now comes the time to make hard decisions – when to venture back out into the world, to what extent, and what precautions to take to remain healthy.

Here are my observations, from trips to two grocery stores, pharmacy, my hairdresser, 3 doctors, 3 garden centers and a couple of necessary retail stops this week and last:
– Everyone at the clinics were wearing masks, but a few patients had them dangling below their noses. Temperatures taken & questions asked in the entryway, before admission. Sanitizing all spaces between patients.
– 90% of our retail workers are wearing masks, and most places are sanitizing carts, counters & credit card machines between customers. Almost every place had shields installed at registers, many had one-way aisles and barricades to control traffic. I have decided to not patronize any stores where they are not wearing masks & sanitizing, because I figure unprotected people who deal with the public all day are PRIME candidates to spread the virus – in fact I immediately walked out of any store where the employees were not masked.
– My hairdresser is in a solo salon, being extremely cautious because she herself has health risks. She is following CDC/State guidelines for sanitizing, health checks, masks for all…I felt perfectly safe there. My sister goes to a chain salon – she won't be going back soon, because she said it seemed like each stylist was following only those rules she wanted to – leaving everyone in the place at risk.
– In the garden centers (mainly outdoor facilities), nearly all workers wore masks, they had distancing & one-way paths marked, but few customers in masks, so I stayed outdoors, kept my distance and got out of there as fast as I could – no leisurely strolls to "see what's new."
– At least 60% of shoppers in stores where masks are not required do wear them – primarily the older people and the milennials, but not so much the teens or those between 40-60??? In the hardware store, seems like most of the tradespeople also wear them, my contractor brother thinks it's because they are used to wearing masks for dusty jobs, and are expected to wear them in peoples' homes and most businesses.
– The worst place was my pharmacy – one pharm tech came in from lunch, put on her mask, and started waiting on customers without sanitizing hands, the other had no mask in evidence – went to complain to the manager, and she had no mask either. Walked out irritated, and will look for a new pharmacy…

I'm still not ready to sit down and eat in a restaurant, but we have been picking up takeout food from our favorite local eateries all along. Our church is not yet resuming in-person services (both pastors and many members are high risk, and they would have to have a lottery to figure out which of us would be allowed in anyway.)

Finally, I have been regularly hitting the less-popular local parks and walking paths on weekdays since the stay-home order lifted. It is easy to maintain distance, and great to see other people – have had some lovely conversations with strangers, sitting on adjacent park benches. I wear a mask, or have it handy, depending on the amount of people around.

Just so you know – through all of this, I have worn a mask, washed & sanitized my hands until they are like sandpaper, and sanitized my poor car repeatedly. Yesterday I had a presurgery covid-19 test, and it came back negative.

So, with some careful observation of how each business operates, wearing a mask, social distancing & good hand hygiene, sticking to slow times or senior hours, and avoiding the obvious more dangerous places, it seems is possible to safely get back out in the world a little bit.

What is everyone else doing these days?
Sue

Jump to this post

@sueinmn– I'm about to go to my heart dr. for my annual check-up and I'm petrified. I'm also having my 6 month CT scan and that's rattled me too, a lot. So far I've been tot he hairdresser. She has just one partner and they alternate days so that there is only 1 client and hairdresser at a time. You have to wear a mask and gloves and notify her that you have arrived. No walk-ins. And one this that I forgot to tell Colleen is that there was no blow-drying. And she left the door open so that fresh air was always circulating.

Liked by moonlightlady

REPLY

@merpreb I think right now some of the safest places are our doctors' offices – especially specialists, because the health screenings and sanitizing are so thorough. Our local stand-alone imaging lab is doing similar screening, and sick people are not seen there. They also are operating at 25% capacity so there is at least an hour between patients (so any droplets are gone from the air), and everything is wiped down between each use.
Good luck.
Sue

Liked by moonlightlady

REPLY

@sueinmn– I just spoke to the dr's and my appointment has been switched to a call, not a Zoom. I asked for this because they have people in the waiting room and they do the "best that they can" for distancing..this is not good enough. Also, he never ordered blood work so there would be nothing except for an ekg for him to do at this point. Phew! There was no mention of masks or gloves.

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@merpreb That's good ,phone visit My Dr just did same Altho the office does the mask and one person in at a time. I have to make an appt but keep pushing it back No hairdressers yet

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@sueinmn

I would like to report that many things are open here in Minnesota, with more being added each week, but we continue to see many people wearing masks even though not mandatory- probably because our leaders model it routinely. Now comes the time to make hard decisions – when to venture back out into the world, to what extent, and what precautions to take to remain healthy.

Here are my observations, from trips to two grocery stores, pharmacy, my hairdresser, 3 doctors, 3 garden centers and a couple of necessary retail stops this week and last:
– Everyone at the clinics were wearing masks, but a few patients had them dangling below their noses. Temperatures taken & questions asked in the entryway, before admission. Sanitizing all spaces between patients.
– 90% of our retail workers are wearing masks, and most places are sanitizing carts, counters & credit card machines between customers. Almost every place had shields installed at registers, many had one-way aisles and barricades to control traffic. I have decided to not patronize any stores where they are not wearing masks & sanitizing, because I figure unprotected people who deal with the public all day are PRIME candidates to spread the virus – in fact I immediately walked out of any store where the employees were not masked.
– My hairdresser is in a solo salon, being extremely cautious because she herself has health risks. She is following CDC/State guidelines for sanitizing, health checks, masks for all…I felt perfectly safe there. My sister goes to a chain salon – she won't be going back soon, because she said it seemed like each stylist was following only those rules she wanted to – leaving everyone in the place at risk.
– In the garden centers (mainly outdoor facilities), nearly all workers wore masks, they had distancing & one-way paths marked, but few customers in masks, so I stayed outdoors, kept my distance and got out of there as fast as I could – no leisurely strolls to "see what's new."
– At least 60% of shoppers in stores where masks are not required do wear them – primarily the older people and the milennials, but not so much the teens or those between 40-60??? In the hardware store, seems like most of the tradespeople also wear them, my contractor brother thinks it's because they are used to wearing masks for dusty jobs, and are expected to wear them in peoples' homes and most businesses.
– The worst place was my pharmacy – one pharm tech came in from lunch, put on her mask, and started waiting on customers without sanitizing hands, the other had no mask in evidence – went to complain to the manager, and she had no mask either. Walked out irritated, and will look for a new pharmacy…

I'm still not ready to sit down and eat in a restaurant, but we have been picking up takeout food from our favorite local eateries all along. Our church is not yet resuming in-person services (both pastors and many members are high risk, and they would have to have a lottery to figure out which of us would be allowed in anyway.)

Finally, I have been regularly hitting the less-popular local parks and walking paths on weekdays since the stay-home order lifted. It is easy to maintain distance, and great to see other people – have had some lovely conversations with strangers, sitting on adjacent park benches. I wear a mask, or have it handy, depending on the amount of people around.

Just so you know – through all of this, I have worn a mask, washed & sanitized my hands until they are like sandpaper, and sanitized my poor car repeatedly. Yesterday I had a presurgery covid-19 test, and it came back negative.

So, with some careful observation of how each business operates, wearing a mask, social distancing & good hand hygiene, sticking to slow times or senior hours, and avoiding the obvious more dangerous places, it seems is possible to safely get back out in the world a little bit.

What is everyone else doing these days?
Sue

Jump to this post

@sueinmn. On Saturday my daughter who live about 60 miles north of me came and took me to her house for a week's visit. Both she and her husband had been staying/working at home since beginning of March. I have only been out twice, once to TJ, and once to get lab work done, so we feel it's pretty safe. It's great to see them again.
My daughter gave me a much needed hair cut and she did it better than my hairdresser! They cooked paella on Saturday. I helped her with her sewing machine problem. On Sunday we had a prime rib take out dinner from a private club they belong to. We stayed in the car and they loaded the meals in boxes in the trunk. We still have masks on, and they did too. This was my first beef meal in 6 months!! This week they will get fish from an Alaskan fisherman , most likely halibut, and regular veggies delivery from local farm. I am so spoiled.
She has also started a vegetable and herb garden. The herbs are growing really well, except something is eating the dill seedlings. Her fig trees are full of figs, not ripe yet. She said when it gets close to being ripened, the squirrels or birds would start making small bites on each of them to find a ripe one and she ended up nothing. She tried putting a net over it but it didn't help. We actually saw a squirrel leaping off the roof of the guest house to the tree!
I still do my walk every morning, the very famous Descanso Garden is one mile away so that would be my route, but I don't think it's open. It's usually very busy because they have beautiful flowers and cherry blossoms in March.
I'm really enjoying this change of scenery, hope everyone is doing well and keep walking.

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@mayofeb2020 I was thinking of you the other day glad to hear your doing well A good change for you .Take care

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