#HighRiskCovid19: Online campaign urges social distancing respect

People on social media share their stories to stress the importance of keeping distance for the most vulnerable.

The new coronavirus makes no exceptions. From the evidence so far, it can be transmitted in all areas and infect people of all ages.

But there are some who are more at risk than others.


  • Timeline: How the new coronavirus spread

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While 80 percent of patients experience mild illness, the World Health Organization (WHO) says older people, whose immune defences have declined with age, appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill after contracting the virus, which causes a highly infectious respiratory disease officially known as COVID-19.

Similarly, those with underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease have a higher risk of infection.

In recent days, as country after country has stepped up containment efforts by imposing sweeping movement restrictions, people at a higher risk of COVID-19 have been sharing their stories online to underline the importance of social distancing.

Using the trending #HighRiskCovid19 hashtag, they are urging others to abide by the measures to avoid overwhelming healthcare systems and save lives.

Here are some of the messages posted on social media:

I have Grave’s disease, fibro, cfs, and asthma. Just because YOU are healthy does not mean the rest of us are. Think about more than yourself. I am a single mom. I’d like to see my son graduate college. #HighRiskCovid19 pic.twitter.com/nQyjuyMZI3

I’m 17 months into my immunotherapy treatments for my second recurrence of #braincancer. I’ve been getting these treatments every three weeks, but I cannot get them if I’m sick. My body also overreacts to infections.
Please #stayhome! Please #SocialDistance. #HighRiskCovid19 pic.twitter.com/8M2O2P7F7f

I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which restricts my breathing. I have scarring in my lungs from frequent bouts of pneumonia. I also have heart arrhythmia when I have fevers. I am #HighRiskCovid19. Think abt me when you break #SocialDistancing. pic.twitter.com/3N05zPE4Ke

#HighRiskCovid19 my 88 mother in a nursing home. I’m locked out, she’s locked in. Let me see her again please. #StayAtHome please! pic.twitter.com/zBZX6yRXzu

I’m 46 and have been on immunosuppressants for 15 years. These meds keep my body from fighting itself and enable me to function. If you were to meet me, you’d never know. I look 100% healthy. Don’t take me away from my girls. My life matters. Our lives matter. #HighRiskCovid19 pic.twitter.com/ibQRFUz09B

Hi y’all! I‘m Kati. I have #EhlersDanlos w/ MCAS, celiac, congenital heart disease, (med resistant) gastroparesis, POTS, & more. I’m tube fed, IV hydrated via chest port, on corticosteroids, w/ 48% lung function.

I turned 29 2 weeks ago. I’m #HighRiskCovid19 & deserve to see 30. pic.twitter.com/MMCFi5nK0b

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