Students that have other conditions are more conscious about their health during this time.

Joshika Sathyamathan

Archit Kalra

Many students here at this school may have chronic health issues that require repeated trips to the hospital and for these students, it may be challenging to make appointments and get the care they need because of COVID-19. Senior Skylar Greaves developed Crohn’s disease when she was 7 and was diagnosed when she was 8.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that usually affects the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine. This inflammation not only leads to abdominal pain and fatigue, but it also makes it harder to fight infections. Treatment can most likely help the patient, but it cannot be cured. This chronic condition requires many trips to the hospital because there are various lab tests and imaging to be done. This could cause scheduling issues due to COVID-19.   

 According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), more than half a million Americans are currently affected by this disorder. It is most common in Western Europe and North America, where it has a prevalence of 100 to 300 per 100,000 people.

 Greaves said she can get the care most of the time, but one week when she had an appointment there had been a hospital lockdown. As a result, her treatment had been postponed a week, during that week Greaves said she felt very nauseous. 

“This was a really scary week for me because I was in a lot of pain and I didn’t know when the appointment would be rescheduled,” she said. Greaves said when she can go into the hospital the staff is extra diligent. “My hospital makes sure that everyone is safe by checking temperatures and asking questions like if I had been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19 in the past 48 hours.” 

“It’s important for everyone to be safe, even if you don’t have any issues, because if I were to get sick it would increase the chances of me having a higher risk of death.”  Moreover, when asked what has been the biggest takeaway from this situation, she emphasizes that in order to alleviate these risks of getting sick, Greaves said she chose to do school virtually. 

But Greave is not alone. Sophomore Akshita Parlapalli has had asthma has also chosen to learn virtually. Asthma can cause difficulty in breathing, coughing, and wheezing due to airways being inflamed, narrowed, and swelled. While Parlapalli said genetics likely plays a major role in having asthma given her sibling’s medical history, she said that it does take a toll on her life at times. She said wearing masks for long periods of time or exercising can make it hard to breathe. Additionally, people with asthma tend to take extra care when any type of respiratory illness is spreading in their community. Although asthma can be treated with inhalers or pills, it is a chronic disease that may need multiple trips to the hospital. 

 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 13 people have asthma, and more than 25 million Americans have it. Parlapalli said that she was not able to do an annual checkup, because of COVID-19.

 Carolyn Robinson, a pediatrician at St.Vincent Carmel Hospital, said doctors are working hard to keep those with chronic conditions like Greaves and Parlapalli safe during these unprecedented times. “We are trying our best to make sure that all of our patients are scheduled in for appointments and we follow all of the safety procedures needed to make sure that everyone is as safe as possible,” Robinson said. The most important protocols people follow are to stay at home, wash your hands, and avoid touching your face. All of these precautions can majorly impact not only your health but also the people around you. 

Greaves encourages people to consider those who have underlying conditions when they make their own health choice in regard to COVID-19. “Even if you don’t have any issues it is important to think about others because this ensures everyone’s safety. ”

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