A teacher with cystic fibrosis since birth will not go back doing the job she loves next September because of the risks to be too high to deteriorate his state of health.
“This might be the end for me if it was necessary that I catch the COVID-19 “, laments Chelsea Gagnon, a teacher and substitute since 2014 in a few schools of Montreal.
“We used to be close to our students to teach them and I can’t afford to take the risk that one of them could be infected without his knowing about it,” says the one who can only teach once or twice a week due to his state of health.
When she returns home after a long day of work, the woman 31-year-old should take a nap of about two hours and goes to bed to 20 h.
“These are days very exhausting,” sighs she.
Up to 30 drugs
It can take up to 30 medications per day in addition to his daily treatments of two hours that she should administer it at home.
“I still have difficulty breathing because my lungs are working at 40 % capacity,” she says. The COVID-19 weakens the respiratory system and that is a risk I can’t allow myself to take. “
Last may at his home in Montreal by train to receive treatment for treating cystic fibrosis that she has had since her birth.
Chelsea is adamant : it will not return to teach in the fall when back-to-school will be mandatory for all.
“It’s too dangerous for me and I would not go back unless we find a vaccine [before], but I have little hope,” she said without hesitation.
“My colleagues miss me, but what I miss the most are my students and teach them so that they can learn “, she adds.
Living with his mother during the pandemic, the mother claims that during the confinement, she is leaving her home only to walk and when she passed someone on her way, she swam about 15 feet to avoid being contaminated.
“Since 13 march, I see my buddy through the window and that it is my brother who comes to bring us our groceries. No one has entered the house “, confirmed the Newspaper a few weeks ago.
The understanding of the disease
The teacher believes that the COVID-19 could allow to understand the reality of people living with cystic fibrosis.
“Do not approach people, wash everything you touch and live in fear of being infected has always been a part of our daily lives “, she explains.
► A little more than 1220 people are living with cystic fibrosis in Quebec. Among them, 787 adults and 436 children.
Cystic fibrosis Canada is flooded with calls
The organization cystic Fibrosis Canada is inundated with calls from people with the disease are concerned about their health since the beginning of the crisis.
“We received more phone calls over the course of the two [first] month during a whole year “, writes the director general for the Quebec cystic Fibrosis Canada, Olivier Jerome.
“At this moment we have more questions than answers as we learn a little more each day on the COVID-19 “, he adds.
The questioning of people with cystic fibrosis are, for the most part, on the risk of contamination, back-to-school and day care setting.
“We have a new enemy, which brings its share of fear, supports the director-general. We passed a shorthanded five against four five against three. “
Mr. Jerome stated that no case had been reported in Quebec of people with cystic fibrosis who have contracted the COVID-19.
“These people are accustomed to practice social distancing, to disinfect everything and wear a mask “, sets out there.
The pulmonologist André Cantin also confirms not to have had wind of the case in the province.
“Nothing seems to prove that these people are more at risk of catching the COVID-19. In addition, they avoid putting themselves in danger unnecessarily, ” says Dr Cantin. He mentioned that he had read medical article on the subject which mentioned that only forty of these people in the world had contracted the virus.
“They are not dead and they have had the same symptoms as those who were not living with cystic fibrosis, that is to say, the cough and fever,” he concludes.
The pulmonologist, pediatrician Patrick Daigneault says the risks are low for children with cystic fibrosis who have returned to school to get the COVID-19.
“We are cautiously optimistic,” he said. They don’t seem to be most at risk, but those who have respiratory problems that are more serious should wait before returning to school. “