Living with RA During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the world experiences the impact of the COVID-19, people living with chronic conditions have unique perspectives, challenges, and concerns during this time. This is also true for those living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on May 29, 2020. Further developments in what we know about the coronavirus are continuously emerging.

Living with RA during the coronavirus pandemic

Many advocates for have written about their COVID experience. Sharing their personal stories, writers have touched on different COVID-related topics such as mental health, creating/adjusting a treatment plan with their doctor, self-care, staying connected, or how RA has informed their approach to staying safe during the pandemic. Click on the article title to read more.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Heroes Everywhere
Kat Elton
April 6, 2020
"Social distancing has changed the way we relate to each other and the world. But, as my friend Daniel recently pointed out, people with chronic illnesses have so much experience with isolation that we can show others how it’s done."

A Moment of Strength in All This Uncertainty
Monica Y. Sengupta
April 1, 2020
"You are strong, you are competent, and in this context, you are way more capable of coming out the other end. You, a chronic illness warrior, were made for this very moment. You have been prepared for a crisis just like this ever since you took that first medication."

Self-care During COVID-19
Nan Hart
May 8, 2020
"Thanks to the additional time spent at home these days, I am trying to take better care of myself overall. That means eating in a healthier way, doing my Tai Chi and meditation more devoutly, reading and relaxing. My husband and I are playing board games more regularly and really enjoying them!"

I Am COVID-19 Positive and Immunocompromised, and My Case Isn’t as Dire as I Feared
Tamara Haag
April 14, 2020
"As a person with an autoimmune disease, when the coronavirus grew into a pandemic I felt a deep sense of dread. Living with rheumatoid arthritis/rheumatoid disease [RA/RD] and being on immunosuppressant medications for nearly 20 years, I’m all too familiar with being vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections."

Staying Positive During a Pandemic
Shelbie Atwater
May 6, 2020
"Living with RA, we all know our health is ever-changing. We have good days, bad days and everything in between. We are all living with an autoimmune disease that puts us at a higher risk of contracting certain illnesses, such as COVID-19."

Keeping Connected while Social Distancing
Kelly Mack
May 4, 2020
" distancing doesn’t mean we can’t stay socially connected. While experiencing a pandemic is decidedly not fun, humanity has never had more tools to connect from a distance with widespread Internet access, free tools on the web, video call capabilities, and just plain old phone calls and text messages."

How I Am Staying Calm and Resilient during the Pandemic (Or at Least Trying To!)
Mariah Z. Leach
May 19, 2020
"Many of us are missing routine appointments that help us manage life with RA, like physical therapy, massage therapy, exercise class, or talking to a therapist. And I know I’m not the only one who feels worried that COVID-19 represents extra risk for people living with chronic illness."

Sharing our coronavirus experiences

These are just a few of many stories shared by advocates that you have come to know over the years. If you'd like to read more personal experiences on living with RA during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

Now more than ever, community is important. As we each adjust to the changes brought on by the pandemic, remember that the community is here to continue to provide support during these uncertain times.

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