Skip to main content

Coronavirus COVID-19


Coronavirus 2020 - BellybuttonPanda.co.uk

Coronavirus 


In December 2019, the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province of central China recorded the first known cases of a novel coronavirus in humans. By the start of 2020 cases where being recorded in Italy and it was quickly spreading across other European countries. The UK recorded its first case on 31 January 2020 and by 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic. 

15 March 2020

I am taking no risks regarding Ryan. We as a family have made the decision to actively distance ourselves socially and we are doing all we can to ensure he is safe. 
The ultimate aim of herd immunity is to stop disease spread and protect the most vulnerable in society. However, this strategy only works to reduce serious disease if, when building that immunity, vulnerable individuals are protected from becoming ill, for example through social distancing. If not, the consequences could be severe. Not enough is known yet about the virus therefore we don’t yet know if this novel virus will induce long-term immunity in those affected as other related viruses do not.
We have spent the last four years fighting for his life and I don't care if people think I am overreacting, I make no apology. If I cancel plans and events please understand this is my reason why. Stay safe. 💗

17 March 2020

As a family Duncan, Ryan and I are socially distancing as best we can for the next 12 weeks. I have cancelled my engagements and events and Duncan has been given permission to work from home. Both he and Ryan are in the high-risk categories for COVID-19 and as I am Ryan's carer I need to shield him and Duncan by limiting my exposure to the virus too. Stay safe and keep well. 💗

18 March 2020

So schools have closed to pupils but have to remain open for children of key workers. What about school staff who in high-risk categories or have vulnerable children or elderly parents at home? Are school staff themselves classed as key workers, can their young children still attend school to allow the school staff to be in work? Some parents can work from home, with the operative word being WORK, how are they to be child carers as well? No GCSEs or A levels exams this year. These are unprecedented times. There is no ideal solution to any of this and we must adapt and survive as best we can. Stay safe and keep well. 💗

19 March 2020

The takeaway message from today's press conference is that if we all play our part to socially distance and self-isolate where needed we may be able to "turn the tide" of the curve within 12 weeks. Can we do it? 
Of the 2,626 confirmed UK cases, 65 are known to have recovered. I am sure there are many more that have had the virus and are better again now but we are not tested, only those admitted to hospital are being tested so case numbers are not a true indicator of the real spread. Stay safe and keep well. 💗

20 March 2020

Further closures of business are being enforced as people need to listen to the advice and social distance themselves as much as possible. I believe there will be a full lockdown as seen in other countries. Do we really want to get to that point? Please stay home if you can and help to save lives. More funding has been announced for businesses and individuals so I have added the UK Government website below for more information. 💗

23 March 2020

I knew it was coming and I still want to cry. 3-week lockdown begins tonight. Please stay safe. 

24 March 2020

So, what we are going through as a nation is a tiny snapshot of how oncology families live for months and years. Losing jobs, struggling to juggle finances, avoiding germs, avoiding crowded places, keeping a distance from other people, not being able to go to school, not being able to have visitors or visit family/friends.  Living an isolated life. 
One huge difference between that and what we are currently dealing with is your child/loved one isn't fighting for their life - yet if we don’t change our ways! To get through this all we have to do is stay at home and enjoy our families. Enjoy a break from our busy busy lives and protect our loved ones. 
❤ Life will get back to normal again. We will savour everything we took for granted. Our family and friends will mean more to us than ever. We will realise there is a deep well of kindness in our communities. We will get through this. ❤

27 March 2020

Thank you to Teenage Cancer Trust South West and South Wales for telephoning us this afternoon to check on how we are doing and to ask if we had any questions regarding Shielding that we must now do for the next 12 weeks, as Ryan is on the extremely vulnerable list. 
It was reassuring to know we do all the right things and that Ryan is being well looked after. They said they would call again next week to check everything is okay before we go for his regular immunotherapy treatment on Friday 3 April in Cardiff. 💙

3 April 2020 

Sat in an empty UHW Cardiff Hospital concourse (there is 1 other person) as I am not allowed onto the Teenage Cancer Trust Ward while Ryan has his cancer treatment. First time in 4 years he has gone alone. Strange times.

7 April 2020

I have always believed Doctors, Nurses, and health care providers are the real heroes. They have saved Ryan's life four times now, with Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, treatment for Sepsis and life-saving emergency surgery for Peritonitis. My biggest hero is Mr Darwish the surgeon and his team that operated for over 5 hours and gave me the news at 2am that they had tried their very best and that Ryan possibly had a maximum of 2 days it was 50/50 but the vast medical team in critical care saved him. I will never be able to thank the NHS for all they have done and all they continue to do. 💙

15 April 2020

UK coronavirus rules are relaxed for people with autism and learning difficulties. The lockdown measures have been updated after lawyers challenge them as 'discriminatory'.
The current lockdown rules in the UK state that you can only leave your house for essential travel or to exercise once a day. This has now been updated to include:

If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the house to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area - then you can do so. 

This new wording covers, for example, people with autism that require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day - ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.  

Do these new rules go far enough or do they discriminate against other groups? These are unprecedented times with no agreed rule book on how to proceed. It is a logistical nightmare to protect the community yet keep the economy from crashing. 

I would love you hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me on social media. 💗

UPDATE: April 2021

The rest of 2020 saw various lockdowns and numerous restrictions with a crazy and not fun Christmas. 

The beginning of 2021 saw the rollout of the new vaccination program to immunise everybody across all four nations of the UK. This has been done in 2 phases. 

Phase One - to vaccinate according to age and risk of serious illness if someone catches coronavirus. A priority list of 9 groups was decided by the UK's Independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

People living in care homes and their care staff. 
All those aged 80 and older, plus frontline health and social care workers.
All those aged 75 and over. 
All those aged 70 and over, plus people who are clinically vulnerable and required to shield. 
All those aged 65 and over.
Individuals aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions*.
All those aged 60 and over.
All those aged 55 and over.
All those aged 50 and over.

*Underlying Health Conditions for group 6. 

  • Chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and severe asthma.
  • Chronic heart and vascular disease. 
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Chronic liver disease.
  • Chronic neurological disease including epilepsy.
  • Down's Syndrome.
  • Severe and profound learning disability.
  • Diabetes.
  • Solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients.
  • People with specific cancers.
  • Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment.
  • Asplenia and splenic dysfunction.
  • Morbid obesity
  • Severe mental illness. 
Phase Two - All those aged 16-49 with no underlying health conditions. 

Vaccinations

Ryan received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday 19 February 2021 as part of group 4 mentioned above. He was really poorly with an immune response for 3-4 days after the jab. 

He received his second dose on Friday 30 April 2021 and suffered no ill effects this time. 

Duncan had his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday 19 March 2021 as part of group 6 and only suffered for 36 hours with fatigue and 'flu-like feeling'.

I had my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as an added group of carers on Friday 30 April 2021 and suffered similarly to Duncan for 36 hours with fatigue and 'flu-like feeling'.




Stay Home, Save Lives - COVID-19












Comments

Popular Posts

Missing Education due to Illness

The Importance of Attendance If you read any news articles on education, correspondence from your child’s school, or are simply clued up on parenting then you will know the importance of school attendance. Schools place a great deal of focus on targets and will often offer incentives and competitions to encourage and increase attendance figures, but what if your child has a serious illness. What happens if they really are not well enough to attend school. What happens then? Attendance targets at Ryan's school are currently set at 95% attendance for the school year. Therefore realistically your child can only miss 10 school days due to illness. Medical appointments such as GP or Dentist do not count, but you are encouraged to make these appointments outside of the school day where feasibly possible. If your child consistently misses school, even if it is only one day a week, that equates to 39 days over the school year. Even missing one day in a week results in pressure on the

Questions to ask after Cancer diagnosis

Cancer Sucks I have shared with you Ryan's lymphoma journey where we have talked about the ups, the downs, the protocols for drugs, the side effects, but I realised recently I have never shared the questions. This post is all about what to ask when you receive a diagnosis of cancer. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is never ever going to be seen as good news. It can never be dressed up or made pretty. It is devastating, it is gut-wrenching, it is life-changing. There is so much information to process you will not think of the questions you need to ask or you will have hundreds of questions you want to ask all at once. These are just some of the questions you can ask once you have processed the news, in order to gain a better understanding of your fight ahead. General Information What type of cancer do I have? Where is it located? What are the risk factors for this disease? Is this type of cancer caused by genetic factors? Are other members of my family at risk? What lifestyle c

Worrying About the Future

  Worrying About the Future. Ryan said to me recently. "Childhood gave me Autism. My teens gave me cancer. What will adulthood bring?" Big worries for someone so young. So much pressure and conditioning are placed upon us about the importance of education and the set path that the majority of us will take through the system to university and/or the job market. What happens if you do not follow that path or miss so much education that the path is no longer open to you. How do you plan for the future? What options are there available to you? Ryan was excluded from his primary school in year 2 and I home schooled him for a year while we worked with the Educational Psychologist to find a placement that would suit his complex needs at the time. Due to his speech, language and communication difficulties the decision was made to withdraw him from Welsh-medium education and focus on English only which meant our choices were limited in the area of Wales that we call home. We

Swansea Community Farm

Swansea Community Farm In April 2021 Ryan began volunteering at Swansea Community Farm (Welsh - Fferm Gymunedol Abertawe). For now, he attends one day a week on a Tuesday from 10 am to 4 pm but there is a possibility that he could also volunteer on Thursdays as well also 10 am to 4 pm. About the Farm Swansea Community Farm is the only city farm in Wales set in 3.5 acres of land with a variety of animals, an allotment, wildlife habitats, beehives and a café. The animals include donkeys, goats, sheep, ducks, geese and chickens. The farm aims to improve wellbeing, build skills and create a sense of community engagement by caring for the animals, producing local food and caring for the local environment. Duties Ryan has enjoyed a variety of different duties so far. He has walked the Donkeys, Sheep and Geese from their barns out to their fields and pond. Collected eggs from the Chickens, and has mucked out the donkey sheds. He has also cleaned out the chicken coops, cleaned and refilled all

3 Years in Remission

  3 Years in Remission In May 2017 Ryan finished his 6 gruelling cycles of Chemotherapy and was in remission for 3 months before his cancer returned in September 2017. I wrote about our first 3 month cancer free milestone in our blog post here . In August 2020 Ryan once again finished treatment. This time he completed 3 years of Immunotherapy treatment and in November 2020 Ryan had tests done to confirm he is once again in remission. This is, of course, outstanding news but we were muted in any celebrations as it was such early days and we had been here once before. Ryan has been having regular check-ups every 3 months and in May 2021 we were able to confirm he has reached the 9-month milestone which was phenomenal news. Massive Scare - Relapse #3, ALMOST. Tuesday 4 October 2022. Ryan mentioned to me about an Ulcer on the roof of his mouth. I took photos and monitored for a couple of weeks before we start to panic too much.😳 Thursday 27 October 2022. Sadly Ryan has had to have yet a