People who live with compromised immune systems already know the importance of social distancing, hand washing, and safe practices to prevent infections. And right now, as the coronavirus spreads, they’re asking: ‘Why can’t everyone get on board?”Read More
I gave 4 rides tonight, all of them going to bars or clubs. After the 4th, I logged off, pulled into a parking lot, and sobbed. No one is quarantining. No one is listening. They don’t know it yet, but they are killing each other. The sense of hopelessness is overwhelming.
— Your Uber Driver (@uber_trips) March 15, 2020
“I’m a divorced father,” the driver continued. “Today was my day with my young son … I think all the fear caught up to me once I tucked him into bed at his mother’s house. She is immune-compromised, and I am terrified that without meaning to, I will infect her.”
The driver’s message resonates within the cancer community, where many have taken to social media to share the risks of being immunocompromised during a pandemic.
I’m a cancer survivor, stem cell transplant patient, and 1 of my lungs was removed because of my tumor. I have family members with asthma & leukemia…I want to graduate school and get a job and have a future. I’m worried. Social distancing matters. #HighRiskCovid19
— Christine (@christinewall28) March 16, 2020
Protect Each Other
Any infection — but especially COVID-19 — is dangerous for a person with a compromised immune system. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy commonly fall into this category.
The driver imagines the consequences if a passenger gave him the infection and he, unknowingly, passed it to his son’s mother, “and someday, someday, I will have to explain to my son why … I killed his mother. I am scared,” he added, “and have no one to tell this to.”
Public health expert, Dr. Waleed Javaid, of Mount Sinai, provides some basics about the disease and how those with weakened immune systems are vulnerable.
In fact, we all share a responsibility to protect each other from the virus now. Even those who are healthy, can pass the infection to someone with a compromised immune system. “PLEASE take the serious,” says another twitter user, “married to a cancer survivor,” says below: “someone’s life depends on it.”
As a 63 year old with asthma, married to a cancer survivor, whose son has chronic kidney disease & is scheduled for a kidney transplant on 3/24, PLEASE take this serious. Stay in. We all have a role. If you’re out, practice social distancing like someone’s life depends on it.
— VindogUnleashed (@Vindog56) March 15, 2020
The driver’s tweet quickly went viral: “I woke up to get a glass of water and found about 12 million notifications,” he wrote later. ” I’m overwhelmed by your kindness,” the driver said.
All these members of my family and myself are considered high risk for Covid-19 due to chronic health issues, age, cancer, etc. Just because you may be okay, we won’t be. So remember, please be mindful for those that are high risk and practice social distancing❤️#HighRiskCovid19 pic.twitter.com/NALoM8k9an
— ????????Stephanie???????????????? (@StephaniedeJag3) March 15, 2020
“I have a day job,” the Uber driver concluded. “It just isn’t enough. I use driving to drum up another $250/week … thank you again for listening,” he added. ” It does help to know that others have the same level of worry.”