HURON — The Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the entire world has seen millions of people quarantined - voluntarily or otherwise - in their homes. While the effect of the virus is considered to be mild on younger adults, those who are older or have existing health issues are at a higher risk and need to take extra precautions to preserve their health.
Michelle Namanny Gascoigne is a 60-year old Huron native, who in July of 2012 underwent a double lung transplant at the University of Minnesota.
“As a transplant patient, I and others become immunosuppressed - our immune systems are suppressed - because of the medicines we must take. It is also in part to the disease or diseases which any of us may have.”
Gascoigne said it all means that she doesn’t have the ability to respond normally to any type of infection, due to her weakened and impaired immune system.
“I have precautions that I normally take, particularly during flu season,” she said. “For the most part that means thorough and frequent hand washing, while avoiding others who are ill.”
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“The best thing that I can do (in the face of the Convid-19 virus) is to self-isolate,” Gascoigne said. “Avoiding exposure is the simplest precaution to take. With my immune system suppressed, I need to avoid contact with sick people.”
She said that she continually washes her hands. “After using the restroom, before you eat, if you cough or blow your nose, or touch your face.”
She wears a mask and gloves when she goes out and reminds people that alcohol sanitizer needs to be at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
“People probably won’t see me out and about while the threat is still pretty high,” she said. “That way I don’t have to be concerned with who may be sick and who isn’t, as some people don’t take things like this seriously and stay home.”
She hopes everyone will be cautious and will check on elderly family members or neighbors, who may not be able to get out and get the things they need.
“The Covid-19 Virus needs to be taken very seriously,” Gascoigne said. “Whether you are immunosuppressed, or elderly, man or woman, whatever your race, I ask that you all be cautious out there. I have learned to control what I can and for anything I can’t control, I just let it be.”
She said she will continue to pray that any effect of the virus on Huron and the area will be minor.