I am so lucky to live in a little village with a community of people who are caring and check on each other. Just recently a friend of mine had shingles and I was doing my bit to help make her recovery as painless as possible. What struck me today was the impact of a single phone call which made me broaden my thoughts around the coronavirus and how people are coping who are in at risk categories.
My sister called me, she has 3 kids, works in a school and has a husband who works in London. She raised the point of Mothers Day and whether, due to the coronavirus situation, we should all be meeting up given that both my parents fall into the high risk category. Until that phone call, whilst I obviously am keeping an eye on the news and understand what’s going on, I didn’t have a first hand account of how it affects families with busy lives living in built up areas. We decided to postpone the meal we had planned, my sister (quite rightly) not wanting to put either of our parents’ lives in jeopardy.
It got me thinking, it’s been so long since I had that worry of a virus infecting my mum whilst she was going through chemo, I had forgotten what it felt like. I was taken back to those days of littering the house with hand sanitiser and disinfecting areas to prevent the slightest risk of infecting her. With ordinary folk bulk buying hand sanitiser and hand wash, I can only imagine the panic and fear of chemotherapy patients and their families who desperately need these products day in, day out to protect themselves from daily bugs let alone coronavirus, but can no longer get hold of them.
If you are undergoing chemotherapy treatment and are worried about keeping germs at bay, here is a recipe to make your own hand sanitiser:
You will need:
99% isopropyl alcohol which is also known as rubbing alcohol (or use ethanol 90-95%) dont use any other type because they are toxic
Aloe Vera gel
Essential oil (optional and please look up the one you want to use to make sure it’s not going to do you more harm than good on your chemo treatment)
Mix 2/3rds cup of alcohol with 1/3rd cup of Aloe Vera gel and if you are using essential oils, add no more than 8 drops
Put it in a pump dispenser (not a spray)
You might also find disinfectant difficult to come by, there are lots of homemade recipes online using vinegar or rubbing alcohol which might help tide you over online too so if you have to buy a big tub of rubbing alcohol you can put it to multiple uses and make it go a long way for you.
Whats most important is to look after yourselves and if you have run out of what you need, let friends, neighbours and family know so they can give you any spare products they have or stock you up when they are out and about. I know that you lot are all heroes and don’t want to lean on anyone more than you need, but under these circumstances, voice your concerns and get that little village of people who live around you to help and ease that burden of worry that you may be silently carrying around with you.