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Loosening COVID Restrictions: Immunocompromised Left Behind?

moderators Posts: 8,187

Loosening COVID-19 Restrictions and Immunocompromised People: Do You Feel Left Behind?

If you're immunocompromised, are you worried that other people's eagerness to get back to pre-COVID-19 "normal" will make you sick?

If you're being treated for breast cancer, you may be considered immunocompromised, meaning your immune system isn't functioning at its full capacity. As mask mandates are being dropped and other COVID-19 restrictions are loosening, many immunocompromised people feel left behind and are worried that other people's eagerness to get back to quote "normal" may make them sick.

Listen to the episode to hear Dr. Wojciechowski explain:

  • vaccine effectiveness in immunocompromised people
  • his mask recommendations
  • how immunocompromised people can continue to protect themselves
  • how he's talking to his patients about this issue
Running time: 16:30

Listen now or read the transcript.


  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
    edited July 2022

    I don't feel left behind. Everything is always going to be less safe for me regardless. I don't expect everyone to live restricted lives indefinitely.

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,617
    edited July 2022

    parakeetsrule, I totally agree.

    I don’t feel left behind at all. I have my own mandates based on avoiding Covid since the beginning. I check positivity rates when traveling outside of my local area, I mask when appropriate and I’ve been distancing my whole life. Ultimately, my safety is in my hands and I’d be foolish to rely on strangers.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited July 2022

    Totally agree with ParakeetsRule and Illimae... I don't feel "left behind" at all. I have always been responsible for my own safety and it's not up to other people to make me safe.

  • dancemom
    dancemom Member Posts: 404
    edited July 2022

    It depends on if you live in a dense area or not. I feel very "left behind". In order to leave my home I have to get in a little box that goes up and down 45 stories with strangers. I often wait 4 or 4 elevators until one where most people are masked. Also, public transportation is the only way around here. I wish visitors (it is mostly tourists and bridge&tunnel with naked faces) would respect the law and others and understand that when you are in an enclosed space shoulder to shoulder with others, you should not share your air. A few minutes of inconvenience for one can be life or death for someone else.

    I traveled for the first time since covid and my diagnosis to see my elderly parents. They live in an area where even though it is not mandatory, most people respect that indoors is safer particularly for vulnerable people if everyone is masked. I felt safe there taking my mom to the grocery store. Nobody was restricted, they just respect that if its crowded, it is helpful to others to wear a mask.

    Covid was devastating and very scary here. We saw the effects very clearly and up close. Healthy young friends died, are dependent on oxygen tanks, lost jobs and businesses... I wish people would just respect that in a dense urban setting, the simple act of covering your mouth and nose in an enclosed space can make a difference. (i can guarantee you are definitely NOT 6 feet from another person in a bus or subway unless its 3 am)

    I strongly believe in public health and that we all have a responsibility to care for others.

  • sunshine99
    sunshine99 Member Posts: 2,644
    edited July 2022

    I, too, will continue to wear a mask in most public places and ALMOST always have one attached to a lanyard around my neck. If I answer the door, the mask goes up. If I walk into the store, the mask goes up. Church? Haven't been since March 2020 and that was a huge part of my life.

    I decided not to go back when one unvaccinated, unmasked group refused to wear masks for the few paltry hours they were in church. Of course, they were sitting on the front rows, belting out praise music with their hands raised. They might as well as had their middle finger raised. It felt like pure defiance to me. I couldn't stomach it.

    So far, no stranger has commented on my mask wearing and if they do, they'll get treated to a mini lecture on Stage IV breast cancer and the SEs of treatment. My neighbors and my friends don't mention it.


  • dancemom
    dancemom Member Posts: 404
    edited July 2022

    Please ask others to wear good masks.

    Yesterday at one of my kids' extra curricular activities, I met a lovely family visiting from another state. Inside. They had no masks. I explained that I am immunocompromised and really appreciate it when people wear masks. They were very apologetic and said they didn't have any. I explained that I hoped they hadn't been on the subway yet, it's actually the law here to wear masks on public transportation. The teacher said he also always wears a mask when working with groups and they have some at the front desk. Then I started with the statistics. This zip code is at 425/100k daily cases. They looked shocked and immediately went and asked for masks. People really do not understand density or respect that rules are not to punish anyone. Rules exist so we can live comfortably in close proximity.

    While politics don't allow going back to mandates, we are in an extremely high vax rate area, and hospitalizations are lower than when we required multiple field hospitals (2 within a 5 min walk), health experts are now "highly recommending" well fitting masks "indoors and in crowds". I count indoors as anywhere, well, indoors! (grocery store, pharmacy, bus, subway are unavoidable for everyone...I don't do restaurants or theaters now that mask and vaccine mandates are gone) and crowds as anywhere where I can't put my arms straight out like a T without touching another person: basically my whole neighborhood.

    I am very frustrated that people continue to spread this because they are so special they can't cover their orifices for a few minutes.

    My family wears kn95s. Pre-vaccine I wore a surgical with a cloth one over it. I got covid then and it delayed my de novo diagnosis. In my view, choosing to not wear a mask is a blatant disregard for public safety. If one says it is their choice to vaccinate or wear a mask during an active wave, I say then they should also choose to not exhale in public.