This song was written by the Director as a tribute to the healthcare workers who are selflessly putting the care of patients before themselves in the face of this novel virus every day. The Partnership thanks you and all the essential workers who are risking their lives every day to perform their jobs.
Navigating Life During COVID-19
It has been over 2 months since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the United States. Since then, there has been a dramatic shift in the way we conduct our daily lives and heightened anxiety due to the myriad of unknowns. Many people have lost their jobs due to the inability of organizations to pay their employees, and those who are lucky enough to still be working face struggles with working from home or are risking their lives every day in their “essential” positions. I myself am a student who, along with millions of others, has had to adjust to online learning due to school closures. Many students are at risk of falling behind due to a lack of internet, a computer, books or other resources at home while others, like myself, will most likely end their college or high school careers without a graduation ceremony. This has also become a difficult time for those who suffer from mental illness, as the necessary recommendation of self-quarantine has disturbed our routines and led to loneliness while we distance ourselves from anyone outside of our households. For cancer patients, there is increased anxiety about changes in treatment, clinical trials and access to survivorship needs such as support groups. Most care has been transitioned to phone and video calls for the safety of patients and healthcare workers, while support groups have been cancelled and some clinical trials are postponed for the time being. While this can make living with cancer more difficult, those who serve the cancer community have adapted to continue providing valuable care and resources through other means such as online forums and support groups. I am sure that the question on everyone’s mind right now is when will this really be over? While there is no definite answer right now, we can all help by following the guidance of public health experts and supporting each other during this difficult time. Our way of helping you is by providing updated information on COVID-19 through the form of articles, links to credible websites, and available cancer and non-cancer resources on our website that can help you to continue your routine.
All the best,
Administrator for Community Partnerships
COVID-19 and Cancer: A Caregiver's Perspective
At 6:30 am this morning on my way into Stop & Shop in Narragansett, the talk show host of a popular morning program was fielding questions from shoppers to learn what their shopping experience was like. Were there long lines? Were the shelves stocked? Was there enough toilet paper? Enough Depends? His attempt to be funny with this last question didn’t make me laugh. Instead I winced. For a senior who has come out of retirement twice to pay medical bills for a wife who is in her fourth clinical trial spanning 15+ years, it’s not a laughing matter. As a caregiver, I too have heightened anxieties about contracting the Coronavirus and passing it along to my wife whose immune system is compromised by the chemotherapy treatment that she is on. Once inside the store I quickly realized that while this may have been done with the best of intentions, it was one of the worst places that I could be. Aisles crowded with lines to check out starting at the back of the store next to the dairy section. Instead of keeping a distance of 6 feet, it was one carriage backed up against the next. I found a place to park my carriage and left the store, frustrated at not having had the opportunity to get what I went there for but also feeling that there has to be a better way of implementing these safeguards. For families whose loved one has a life-threatening illness, this is not the time to be making light of it. Later this morning, I learned that the Belmont Grocery Store in Wakefield had approached it differently. Only 25 people at a time were allowed in to shop but an outdoor tent had been set up so that shoppers who were waiting to get in wouldn’t get wet. It made a world of difference to shoppers to be treated in this way. It’s time for all of us to consider, not what is just in our own personal interest but in that of our neighbors too. Our anxieties, our fear of contracting the Coronavirus will be lessened if our experience outside of our home is one in which CDC guidelines are adhered to. This is not a drill. It’s the real thing and our lives and those we love are dependent on it.
August 24, 2020
Tips for Managing and Addressing Depression During COVID-19
Medically Reviewed By: Natalie Alas, LICSW; Nancy Borstelmann, LICSW, MPH; and Molly Reed Williamson LICSW, MSW, of Dana-Farber's Adult Social Work Program
A team of social workers from Dana-Farber have compiled a list of tips that can be followed to help manage stress and depression that may develop in cancer patients and their caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read at Dana-Farber.
July 2, 2020
The Dreaded 'C' Words: Cancer and COVID-19
Incessant and challenging these diseases demand our equal attention in our lives.
By: Khevin Barnes
Male breast cancer survivor Khevin Barnes writes on the importance of acknowledging both cancer and COVID-19 as neither one goes away in the presence of the other. Read at NBC News.
May 26, 2020
Cancer hospitals like Memorial Sloan Kettering fight cancer and the coronavirus at the same time
By: Kit Ramgopal, Cynthia McFadden and Kevin Monahan
This article recounts the inspiring story of a young woman fighting stage four appendix cancer, sepsis, and coronavirus. Hospitals including Memorial Sloan Kettering have had to adjust to treating cancer patients and individuals with coronavirus. Read at NBC News.
May 19, 2020
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Outpatient Visits: A Rebound Emerges
By: Ateev Mehrotra, Michael Chernew, David Linetsky, Hilary Hatch, and David Cutler
In this article, the authors discuss the change in the delivery of outpatient care due to COVID-19 and the resulting decline of in-person visits. Read at The Commonwealth Fund.
May 4, 2020
Routine cancer screenings have plummeted during the pandemic, medical records data show
By: Rebecca Robins
Data released by Epic, electronic medical records vendor, shows that screenings for cervical, colorectal, and breast cancer have all decreased by up to 94% since March. The article expresses concern for a rebound as states reopen in future stages. Read at STAT News.
April 28, 2020
Patients with certain cancers are nearly three times as likely to die of covid-19, study says
By: Laurie McGinley
A recent study found that individuals with blood or lung malignancies, or metastasized tumors have higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than those without cancer. Read at The Washington Post.
April 22, 2020
COVID-19 Diary Day 12: The Challenge of Continuing Clinical Trials
By: Don S. Dizon, MD
Dr. Dizon discusses the impact of COVID-19 on cancer services, including the opportunity to continue and join clinical trials. Read at Medscape.
March 31, 2020
What Does It Mean to Be Immunocompromised?
Medically Reviewed by Joseph H. Antin, MD
The CDC released that immunocompromised individuals are at high-risk for COVID-19. This article explains what it means to be immunocompromised, and what immunocompromised individuals can do to protect themselves during COVID-19. Read at Dana-Farber.
March 23, 2020
FAQs for Cancer Patients on the Coronavirus
Medically Reviewed By: Candace Hsieh, RN; Sarah Hammond, MD; Craig Bunnell, MD, MPH
This article answers common questions that cancer patients have in relation to COVID-19. Read at Dana-Farber.
March 10, 2020
Does vaping make you more susceptible to coronavirus?
By Christina Capatides
The number of teens and young adults vaping has been rapidly rising and the fact that young adults with no preexisting health conditions but who vape are ending up in the hospital suggests that it may make one more susceptible to coronavirus. Read at CBS News.
February 26, 2020
Four Things Patients with Cancer Should Know About Coronavirus 2019
By Conor Killmurray
This article provides information that cancer patients should know regarding COVID-19 to ensure their safety. Read at CURE Today.