COVID Confused? Local advocates share advice (including in ASL!)

We know. It’s a scary and uncertain time out there for many folks.

And you might still have lingering questions, concerns, confusions, or doubts about the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

How do you protect yourself? Your loved ones and friends? What if you have an underlying medical condition or compromised immune system? What about those people living with HIV; should we be worried?

Charlotte Pride has searched through the Book of Face to find answers to some of these common questions and concerns, all shared by local LGBTQ and affirming advocates and professionals, including those in the medical field and more.

Keeping yourself safe, reducing stress & busting myths

First up, our friends at Amity Medical Group, who sponsored the 2019 Charlotte Pride Festival’s Health Zone, shared this quick update via Facebook from the practice’s J. Wes Thompson, MHS, PA, AAHIVS, DFAAPA.

It covers all the basics — washing your hands and social distancing — as well as key tips for reducing stress and myth-busting some common misconceptions floating around the interwebs.

  1. Follow social distancing guidance
  2. Wash hands as instructed
  3. Clean surfaces frequently that are being used by more than yourself
  4. No supplements will prevent, treat, or shorten the course if you have Covid 19 and this includes silver containing products
  5. Boost your immune system by reducing stress on it. This includes reducing your personal fears and panic fueled by misinformation especially on social media.
  6. Further reduce stress on your immune by reducing or eliminating tobacco, alcohol, and party drugs. This includes all day weed smoking.
  7. Continue to exercise in moderation and get fresh air to boost your immune system
  8. If routine medical care is needed, consider tele-medicine or video-medicine
  9. No HIV medicines or current approved anti-retrovirals, or anti-virals prevent, treat, or shorten the course of Covid 19
  10. Saltwater gargles, drinking water with bleach, breathing hot steam or hot air from a blow dryer does not kill or shorten the course of Covid 19
  11. Practice patience and compassion with each other. Most angry people are actually afraid about something whether they realize it or not

Why self-isolating and social distancing are important

There’s been A. LOT. of confusion and misconception surrounding the need to self-isolate and practice social distancing.

“If I’m young and healthy,” the line usually begins, “why do I need to quit living my life and having fun!?”

Because this isn’t all about you.

Everyone of us knows and loves someone, or multiple someones, with underlying and pre-existing medical conditions. For LGBTQ people, who collectively face a higher than average likelihood of living with HIV, odds are you know several people who are HIV-positive and, therefore, may have compromised immune systems.

These are the folks who are most at risk of COVID-19’s complications and more severe symptoms — including fatal symptoms. And, by self-isolating and practicin

Project 70Forward, a local disability rights advocacy and education group, shared this quick and easy, educational cartoon outlining all the many — though certainly not all — kinds of underlying medical conditions that can make your loved ones more susceptible to COVID-19.

By self-isolating and practicing social distancing, you can ensure your loved ones and friends with underlying medical conditions are safer and more secure during these uncertain times.

Image description: A cartoon with the message, “Thank you for protecting us through social distancing,” and illustrating a racially, age, and gender diverse group of people, each with labels describing an underlying medical condition or those who are otherwise more vulnerable to COVID-19, including: diabetes, asthma, immuno-compromised, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Mast Cell Disorder, heart disease, those over the age of 60, those who are undergoing cancer treatment, CVID, kidney disease, dysautonomia, those who are on blood thinners, those who were recently pregnant, Sjogren’s Syndrome, high blood pressure, immune suppressed for autoimmunity, blood disorder, and liver disease. 

COVID-19 — In Plain Language

If all this still seems to confusing for you, NO WORRIES! Project 70Forward also pointed followers to a plain-language explainer for COVID-19 compiled by the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center.

This 8-page booklet was created by and for people with developmental disabilities and, according to Self Advocacy, “focuses on ‘need to know’ information (not ‘nice to know’ information)” with the goal of keeping people with disabilities healthy through this time.



Project 70Forward also shared an awesome, short explainer video in ASL!