Living Like An Immunocompromised Person

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Living Like An Immunocompromised Person

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I have been living in fear of getting others sick rather than what will happen if I were to be the one to get sick. My FAMILY MEMBER is immunocompromised, so I have spent most of 2020 in my house. I have not been scared of coming back positive because I have had cousins who have been sick but have had no real issues. The reason I have lived a full year with fear and anxiety is the idea of giving the disease to my Diabetic FAMILY MEMBER.
Part of the reason I came back to campus when the semester started was to get away from my FAMILY MEMBER and the fear that I could be the one to kill THEM. Coronavirus has made this past year one full of fear, but the main character of my fear, meaning my FAMILY MEMBER, has talked me into feeling comfortable enough to return to college.
I knew people who had impaired immune systems had to watch what they did even before Covid-19 came into the picture. These days, immunocompromised individuals can barely leave their houses so I have followed the actions of my FAMILY MEMBER. If THEY has felt comfortable enough to return to teaching for middle schoolers and working at a camp with young children who were just learning to wear masks during the summer then I can go live on campus. I actually have a close friend in my dorm family unit who keeps me in check.
My FAMILY MEMBER and my friend do a great job but sometimes, I think I stay home and away from people more than some individuals I know with compromised immune systems or pre-existing conditions that put them at risk of dying from the disease. That thought will not dissuade me from continuing with my partially-quarantined lifestyle. I am confused and hurt by those who have not even tried to protect others or change anything in their daily life.
With the numbers that are currently being released in the United States and at my college, I will keep living in a way that will not increase my anxiety or the chance of my fears coming true. If my college continues to see rising positive cases, I hope we get put into a full campus lockdown or I have a little warning of being sent home so I can be tested and have a place to quarantine away from my FAMILY MEMBER. Everyone has Covid-fatigue but I will push through and stay as safe as I can. This year has taught me that when this pandemic is over, I need to live my life protecting immunocompromised people even if I do not know them. If I get a cold, I will wear a mask. I never want to be the one to blame for someone else falling sick or dying.

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This item was submitted on February 17, 2021 by Allison Milne using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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