COVID19 and Disabilities
A disability is essentially any condition or impairment of the body or mind that makes it more difficult for the person with the disability to do certain activities, or to interact with the world around them (Center for Disease Control, CDC). There are numerous disabilities from vision, hearing, thinking, movement, learning, mental health, social relationships,etc. How does COVID19 impact on people who are disabled?
It is not necessarily the case that disabled people are at higher risk from being infected with COVID19. However, it seems that COVID19 impacts people who have underlying chronic medical conditions, e.g., heart disease or weakened immune systems. According to the CDC, adults with disabilities, are three times more likely than adults without disabilities, to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer than adults without disabilities (CDC, April 2020).
COVID19 affects everyone. It spreads quickly from person to person. Risk of infection from COVID19 is higher for people who are in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID19, such as health care workers, household members, etc.
Please protect yourself from COVID19 by taking the necessary precautions--avoiding close contact in general with others who are sick, wearing personal protective equipment, and washing your hands often. Don't worry if you appear to isolate yourself from others. Your health is of utmost importance and it is important to show sensitivity to people who are disabled, to people who have compromised conditions or to those who are impaired in any way.
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