The government in England have now given us online guidance and updates, (see Further Reading), on what we can and can’t do while the coronavirus pandemic is with us. Devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continue coronavirus lockdown.
Wherever you live in the UK or, for that matter, anywhere in the world, if your immune system has been compromised by cancer, stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact. Even minor infections can turn serious if you have cancer. Shield yourself, keeping away from sick people, and keep washing your hands thoroughly and frequently.
New COVID-19 outbreaks are inevitable as countries begin to reopen and people go back to work. People with cancer are clinically vulnerable and should remain at home and avoid face-to-face contact for “some time yet”. Cancer patients and those with compromised or lower immunity remain at high risk until testing is available to all and a clinically certified covid-19 vaccine is available sometime in the next 12 -18 months.
Developing the vaccine should involve unprecedented cooperation between governments, academic institutions, private companies and global philanthropic groups. Sadly, at the time of writing, such a coordinated strategy looks improbable.
Keywords: Cancer, coronavirus, covid-19, immune system, vaccine.
Image credited to Jonathan Borba.