FINDING CALM DURING CORONAVIRUS
Prayer for a Pandemic By Cameron Bellm
May we who are merely inconvenienced Remember those whose lives are at stake. May we who have no risk factors Remember those most vulnerable. May we who have the luxury of working from home Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent. May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close Remember those who have no options. May we who have to cancel our trips Remember those that have no safe place to go. May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market Remember those who have no margin at all. May we who settle in for a quarantine at home Remember those who have no home. As fear grips our country, let us choose love. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.
Where We Are Today…
In the past few weeks, our lives have been turned upside down as the coronavirus outbreak has evolved. At first, the threat seemed far away, separated by an ocean. Today, we are united nationally and globally in our fight against the coronavirus.
We initially watched from afar as our country, state, and city declared a state of emergency. We noted the domino effect of cancellations of conferences, events, festivals, and mass gatherings such as South by Southwest, Coachella, and the Boston Marathon. Sporting events and live audience events followed soon after. Broadway went dark, as did the Las Vegas strip. Theme parks, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and retail stores closed. Travel has been disrupted. Workplaces began telecommunicating. Meetings and medical visits switched to teleconferencing. Universities, colleges, and K-12 schools transitioned to online instruction. Visitation to retirement communities, nursing homes, and hospitals has been limited or altogether banned. We were initially told not to gather in groups of more than 10. Soon after, we began sheltering in place.
Learning New Terminology…
Social distancing refers to the actions taken to slow down the spread of the virus. It includes the community actions described above. For an individual, it also means staying at least 6 feet from another person to avoid getting infected or infecting someone else.
Flattening the curve means to slow the spread of COVID-19. Because there is currently no cure, staying home is the best strategy we have to help save lives. We can keep too many people from getting sick at the same time which would overwhelm the healthcare system. By taking action to curb the spread, we can help keep the daily number of disease cases to a manageable level for the healthcare system.
The Washington Post’s article shows the difference precautionary measures can make on the curve through a series of simulations.
With all these drastic measures, it’s becoming clear that this coronavirus pandemic is a serious matter. It is NOT just the flu. While many early cases were linked to travel to an affected area or exposure to a known case of coronavirus, it is now clear that there is community spread—meaning the virus is spreading from an unknown source. While there are people at higher risk for more serious complications, we are all called to take action since individuals can spread the virus before showing any symptoms. The Coronavirus poses a serious challenge to our personal and community health. It affects us all.
The NET Community is Resilient!
We, the NET community, are familiar with living with uncertainty. That’s what the NET journey is all about. We’ve had our lives disrupted. We’ve learned to catch curveballs. We’ve learned to find a new normal. Through our journey with NET, we’ve developed inner strength and resources. We can and will adapt to this too! We ARE resilient!
What Should We Do?
1. STAY INFORMED.
Here are reliable sources for the latest accurate information about the coronavirus:
LA County residents can also call 2-1-1.
Cancer & COVID-19:
Cancer Treatment Centers of America's Cancer & COVID-19 Podcast
NET & COVID-19:
Read the COVID-19 information for NET patients and caregivers.
NorCal CarciNET President Josh Mailman, Stanford NET specialist Dr. Pamela Kunz and Stanford Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Janice Brown prepared an ongoing FAQs for the NET community.
Watch a video interview with Dr. Pamela Kunz here.
Read COVID-19 & NETS FAQs here.
Dr. Mark Lewis, a NET Oncologist and patient, shares his recommendations for cancer patients in a video interview.
Consider switching your monthly injection to home administration:
Somatuline Depot (Lanreotide)
Read about the IpsenCares Nurse Home Health Administration Program.
Enroll on the IpsenCares website.
Sandostatin LAR Depot (octreotide acetate)
To read more or enroll in the home administration program, click here.
2. PRACTICE SELF-CARE.
Attend to your body, mind, soul, and spirit to stay healthy!
Get adequate sleep and rest.
Eat balanced meals.
Stay physically active.
Go outdoors and get some sunlight daily, if possible.
Breathe. Take a mindful moment, meditate, or pray.
eMindful opened its entire platform of live guided mindfulness practices for 30 days to help us during this season - at no cost.
UCLA MARC offers free guided meditations and virtual drop-in meditations.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, think of things you can do! Take this as an opportunity to do things you’ve been meaning to do!
Take a break. Limit your time watching the news and checking social media.
Find the space to process how you’re feeling.
Pace yourself. This is a marathon, not a sprint. (Read our Marathon Training blog Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)
Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces like phones, tablets, and doorknobs daily. The CDC recommends at least 60 percent alcohol.
3. SOCIAL DISTANCING DOES NOT MEAN ISOLATION.
Here are some suggestions for preventing isolation and loneliness during this season of social distancing:
Name it and face it head on.
Find a buddy and call each other regularly.
Video-conference with friends or family using apps like FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, or Zoom.
Check-in with your neighbors.
Gardening. Take the opportunity to plant your own vegetables.
Read a book that you’ve been wanting to read.
Write a poem or short story.
Sing or play an instrument.
Play a board game with those in your household or virtually with friends or family.
Work on a puzzle.
Organize and/or declutter your home.
Learn a new skill.
Livestream a church service.
Stream an opera (i.e. Metropolitan Opera or Los Angeles Opera), a Broadway show.
Explore a museum, gallery, National Park, or zoo or aquarium from the comfort of your home.
Take a free virtual cooking class.
Dance along with an online or live-streamed dance instructor.
Find a way to help someone else in need while maintaining social distancing.
Talk to a professional. Nonprofits such as Cancer Support Community and Cancer Care offer free counseling and have moved to virtual counseling sessions.
Connect with a LACNETS NET Connect mentor.
Invest in your self-care by engaging with a LACNETS health coach.
Catch up on videos of past meetings on our LACNETS YouTube Channel.
Test your NET knowledge with our NET Quizzes.
Organize your medical information by filling out your NET Vitals.
Reread past LACNETS blog articles.
Network through our social media channels — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Let’s flatten the curve, reduce stress, and redefine
Join us every Wednesday
LACNETS provides a safe space where we can virtually come together for support and community. Join the next support group.
Written by Lisa Yen, NP, NBC-HWC
Director of Programs & Outreach, LACNETS