COVID-19 and Transplant Patients

Posted by jolinda @jolinda, Mar 14, 2020

As a kidney transplant recipient I have been extra vigilant/worried about protecting myself as COVID-19 spreads. Like most transplant patients I am used to washing my hands, carrying hand-sanitizer, avoiding sick people, getting flu shots, etc. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused me to take additional steps to try to remain safe but I am worried for my health. I would like to hear what you are doing to stay safe and how you are feeling.

@gingerw

@fiesty76 He is probably going to call his dr tomorrow; what may be discussed or decided, who knows? He has been quarantining up here for just over 3 weeks, but needs to return to his job for critical on-site testing of some equipment he is designing. Some of that designing has been done up here, remotely. He plans to leave here this coming Wed.

He is a kidney transplant recipient [Oct 2016] and it would be helpful to know. We are both concerned when we see the cavalier attitude of many, and the thought of a second wave of cases is upsetting. Our county has 22 confirmed cases, with no deaths. We have about 111K persons in this county, pretty wide-spread.
Ginger

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@ginger, Will be keeping my fingers crossed that he get hoped for results from his doc visit tomorrow. Impressive that your love is a designer of equipment. Hope all goes well for him with the on-site testing as well. Our county has over 350 active virus cases and over 30 deaths. Not sure of the county pop. but our city has over 200,000 residents and we are the largest city in the county. The spread has been rapid here and we are told the peak is still to come.

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@joyces

In response to Fiesty76's concern about the Texas Gov starting to reopen parks and retail and remove medical restrictions only 2 weeks after (finally) issuing a "stay in place" order: If you're cranky, how cranky do you think those of us fortunate enough to live in Oregon, where the Gov has been extremely proactive are? Gov Brown shut down restaurants and bars long before most states did anything, issued a "stay home" order shortly thereafter, closed all state parks, banned functions on site (including church services), set all the electronic reader boards along freeways and highways to say "stay home – save lives." The press conference was notable because she shared it with the Portland Mayor and Mult. County Commissioner–but all three stood far apart, took turns moving up to the mic to speak or answer questions. What a powerful message! If our national leaders had been doing that, it would have sent a message to everyone in the US!

Better yet, WA and CA, in spite of the fact that both states had early outbreaks that could have become huge, also have proactive Govs, so managed to contain the outbreaks without needing field hospitals, extra supplies, etc. All three West Coast states have sent ventilators that aren't needed here to NY. We also have medical people who've gone to NY to help where help is really needed. Still, all three west coast govs have agreed that they don't plan to reopen anything any time soon. Gov Brown says when the times comes, she visualizes allowing restaurants to reopen only if tables are separated by polystyrene dividers, people have their temps taken before entering, etc.

While we have a few idiots protesting every day at Noon in our town, they're considered fools by most. Virtually everyone here is being very careful to maintain distancing in stores, some of which only allow a few people inside at any one time. There are no clusters of people. Those of us who live adjacent to the ocean are allowed to walk the beaches (no one in their right mind would lie on a beach in Oregon except on an unusually warm day in August), but we must carry ID to prove we live here. Others are removed by the beach patrols. People walk outside, maintaining a distance, relying on the open air instead of masks for the most part. We're fortunate in that only 8,000 people actually live within our area, even though it ordinarily accommodates an additional 45,000-50,000 visitors most weekends. There is still lingering distrust for the VRD owners from other states who've shown up to use the houses that they usually treat like piggy banks and never use themselves; the police are called…and respond quickly. It's just not right that four cars (presumably at least eight adults, perhaps more if they have children) suddenly appear at a short-term rental property. Nightly rentals were shut down here almost a month ago.

Areas like this rely solely on tourists to support everyone in town, but we've tightened our belts and the town council is wrestling with how to operate without the almost million-dollar monthly income that flows in from TRT (transient rental tax) sources. If we can survive, why can't other areas of the country, especially those not totally reliant on tourism, survive through this crisis without "business as usual"? Shoot, the three most western states all rely heavily on tourism because we live in God's Country, but we've been setting a good example since early in this awful crisis. In our town, retired people living comfortably are contributing $$ and food to help us nourish all the people unemployed due to the total closure of restaurants and motels. It's great to see this hometown generosity!

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@joyces, It is so heartwarming to read what your area, state and region are doing and how people for the most part are following the guidelines set out while continuing to be helpful and generous to others.

Wish there was more national good news publicity like this because I believe it would boost morale for everyone while demonstrating how a unified effort by all can accomplish our shared goal of bringing this silent killer to heel. Sincerest thanks for sharing this.

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@wildcat

@fiesty76 My thoughts are with you at this terrible time. I lived in the US many years ago and still have friends in Minnesota where it seems they have similar problems.. I worry so much about you folks right now. Here in Scotland, people are more or les saccepting the lockdown restirctions. Sunday papers today say over 95% accept the lockdown regulations although we have somweho don't ( Covidiots they are called in the press). Whether that will remain the case weeks from now is anyone's guess. All you can do is stay safe and avoid all those people who are flouting the rules. Sadly, many of them will get sick. As transplant patients, many of us have faced death before and we know what must be done to avoid it again. Stay safe.

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Thank you so much @wildcat for your comforting and encouraging post. It is good news indeed that a whopping 95% of our Scotland friends are accepting and following lockdown restrictions!

I so agree that each of needs to do what we can to stay safe and healthy. Athough Connect members have all sorts of differing and varying degrees of chronic health issues, this is the group I can count on for being united and supportive in our efforts to stay well and helpful.

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@mayofeb2020

@joyces.. I live in Southern California, Los Angeles County has extended the shut down till may 15. I live in Orange County and I think we're on the same path. We have Disneyland, Universal Studios and Hollywood, Knotts Berry Farm, not to mention all the beaches up and down the coast, they are all closed now. Tourism is a big industry too, and alot of people are out of work. I feel very badly about that too. But if we could just hang tight a little longer and not rush to reopen, we could see better days. Otherwise we may never recover. I hope those who have would share with those who have not. We're in this together.

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@mayofeb2020 If we look back at history, that is exactly what happened in Philadelphia, they did too much too soon and a terrible outbreak occurred. The people who are demonstrating to reopen everything are being very short-sighted.
https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/flu-epidemic-hits-philadelphia
JK

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@contentandwell

@mayofeb2020 If we look back at history, that is exactly what happened in Philadelphia, they did too much too soon and a terrible outbreak occurred. The people who are demonstrating to reopen everything are being very short-sighted.
https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/flu-epidemic-hits-philadelphia
JK

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I believe peoples actions/reactions to COVID-19 are a direct reflection of their mental state and accumulated life experiences. On one hand, many families were devastated by the 2008 recession and it took a heavy toll: marriages crumbled, college funds were wiped out, homes lost, dreams dashed, mental stability shaken. When I look at the protesters through this lens I have compassion for their fragility and desire to change their perceived outcomes. On the other hand I am a transplant patient and came way too close to dying to risk my health. I think both sides are protecting themselves in the best way they can think of.

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@jolinda

I believe peoples actions/reactions to COVID-19 are a direct reflection of their mental state and accumulated life experiences. On one hand, many families were devastated by the 2008 recession and it took a heavy toll: marriages crumbled, college funds were wiped out, homes lost, dreams dashed, mental stability shaken. When I look at the protesters through this lens I have compassion for their fragility and desire to change their perceived outcomes. On the other hand I am a transplant patient and came way too close to dying to risk my health. I think both sides are protecting themselves in the best way they can think of.

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@jolinda I couldn't agree with you more. I am very conflicted on this. I lost my job in 2009 when the company I worked for closed because of the recession. The stress of those times were extremely difficult. We have thankfully rebounded financially after several difficult years. (We certainly aren't wealthy by any means but our bills are paid and we have a small savings) I truly understand wanting the economy open. I also care for my father (heart transplant) and know the health risk for him and the need to protect his life (and others!) At this point, I continue to work, social distancing and avoid any extra unnecessary outings while still caring for my father. It is difficult to balance the economic and the physical health of the country. I am glad I do not have to make the decision on this. No matter what people are going to be upset.

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Such good points, @jolinda and @fatherscaregiver. You may also wish to add these sage thoughts to this discussion:
– COVID-19 Concerns: How do you help others understand? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/how-do-you-make-them-understand/

Easing back to a new normal will not be a mere flip of a switch to the pre-COVID days.

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@jeffdavis0617

I am 13 1/2 years out on my transplant. Being immunosuppressed, am I going to have to wait until there is a vaccine before I am able to socialize again?

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Hi, @jeffdavis0617 I haven't had a transplant but with several serious chronic health issues and older to boot, I am going to take re-entry into the world-at-large very slowly. The price is too high for me to do otherwise. Discouraging to contemplate that it may be much longer than I'd first thought and hoped but maybe just continuing to take each day at a time will make it doable for the longer run? Best to you.

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@jeffdavis0617

I am 13 1/2 years out on my transplant. Being immunosuppressed, am I going to have to wait until there is a vaccine before I am able to socialize again?

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@jeffdavis0617 Welcome to Mayo Connect. I hope you will find us to be a helpful group in navigating the world during and after this pandemic. There is a fairly large and active community of people living with transplants in the group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/transplants/ who discuss many of the challenges they face. They have an ongoing discussion about precautions they are taking in this discussion: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-19-in-transplant-patients/
I hope you find the information helpful.
Sue

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I am 13 1/2 years out on my transplant. Being immunosuppressed, am I going to have to wait until there is a vaccine before I am able to socialize again?

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@jeffdavis0617

I am 13 1/2 years out on my transplant. Being immunosuppressed, am I going to have to wait until there is a vaccine before I am able to socialize again?

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Hi @jeffdavis0617, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You'll notice that I moved your question to this existing discussion called "COVID-19 and Transplant Patients". I did this so that you can easily meet other kidney transplant recipients like @jolinda @rosemarya @dshaver @cmael and many more.

Jeff, you ask a great question – Being immunosuppressed, am I going to have to wait until there is a vaccine before I am able to socialize again?

Many in this forum are grappling with the same question and listening attentively to the evolving developments. The short answer is that no one knows yet. The latest news seems to indicate that people, especially those who are immunosuppressed, will have to keep up some form of social distancing until a vaccine is found. What socializing might we consider safe in a month from now? What safety measures are you still practising?

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@jeffdavis0617

I am 13 1/2 years out on my transplant. Being immunosuppressed, am I going to have to wait until there is a vaccine before I am able to socialize again?

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@jeffdavis0617
Hi Jeff!
Congrats on keeping you transplant healthy for so long, that's an awesome accomplishment! It's good to have you here where you can socialize freely with a 0% chance of contracting COVID-19. We are all asking the same questions and wondering when we can return to normal. As for me, the risk of going out hasn't outweighed the reward but I am getting antsy. How are you coping? Are you staying in? Working from home? Binge watching Netflix?

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