A personal message from our Head of Patient Services, Pat McBride (pituitary patient)

We will look forward as they did.

Our grandparents and great grandparents had many tales to tell about the war; children evacuated, rationed food, bombs, gas masks – a massive, horrendous impact. The 70’s brought power cuts and 3-day weeks; candles sold out fast like the toilet rolls of today!

They all stood strong, as we will. They used common sense as we will.

We will look forward as they did.

Our Helplines have been ‘battered’ but that’s OK, as that is exactly what we are here for, we are in this together and we won’t let you down. Despite the guidelines offered, anxiety remains (of course it will) with many questions around complexity within patients’ individual conditions, employment or age group etc. One of the most common questions - Do we self-isolate or social distance???

These are the differences

Patients with adrenal insufficiency are part of the group of vulnerable individuals who should be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. As per updated guidance /news/2020/03/coronavirus-advice/

  • Strongly advised against social mixing in the community
  • Strongly advised against having friends and family to the house
  • Strongly advised to use remote access to NHS and essential services
  • Strongly advised to vary daily commute and use less public transport
  • Strongly advised to work from home

Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself away completely, and it isn’t the same as quarantine. Neither is it a government-enforced lockdown. The idea is to reduce the amount of contact each person has with others. If an infected person goes to the theatre, they could potentially spread it to many other people in the room. Whereas if the whole country stayed at home then the virus would have less chance to move across the population. Social distancing won’t stop Covid-19 completely, but will mean that not everyone catches it at once.

Self-isolating

  • stay at home
  • not go to work, school or public areas
  • not use public transport like buses, trains, tubes or taxis
  • avoid visitors to your home
  • ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you - such as getting groceries, medications or other shopping

Self-isolation is stricter. The government has advised that if you have symptoms of the virus, for example a fever or persistent cough, you should self-isolate for seven days, not leaving the house and avoiding all human contact. If a family member or housemate shows symptoms, everyone in the household should self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolation in this way is like quarantine, where you are kept separate from society until it is certain you don’t have the virus.

For more vulnerable people, such as those over 70-years-old or with underlying health conditions, the government has advised more stringent social distancing measures. This isn’t called self-isolating as it is for an indefinite period of time.

Every person’s health and personal situation is different so heed advice from professionals, but above all use your common sense to protect your physical and mental health. If in doubt, don’t risk it.

Pat Poem