The pandemic has changed the world in more ways than can be counted. Countries went into lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus, upending their economies and drastically altering how people live. The virus is under control in some countries, but in many others the infection rate continues to climb, in some places very rapidly. Other countries that thought COVID-19 was under control have seen cases spike as they reopen from lockdown. All in all, the daily worldwide caseload and death toll continue to increase.
In the U.S., as of June 16 there are over 2.1 million confirmed cases, with many more considered presumptive COVID-19 (but never tested) and/or undetected. More than 116,000 people have lost their lives. Although the virus remains active, all states are in various stages of reopening from lockdown. Unfortunately, cases are starting to climb in the states that reopened first, and areas that did not have many sick people earlier in the year are now seeing more cases.
How Are Cancer Patients Affected?
Cancer treatment compromises the immune system, particularly in patients receiving chemotherapy. So pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones need to continue to be extremely careful to avoid exposure to the coronavirus, as well as any other virus, because they are especially vulnerable.
The nicer summer weather has more people going outside. Even though you may see people gathering in larger groups, it is very important for pancreatic cancer patients to continue to be very careful.
Wear a Mask, Wash your Hands
Even in states that are in the later stages of reopening, the advice remains the same—follow social distancing rules if you are out, which means staying at least six feet from other people, wear a mask in public, and wash your hands frequently, using soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after you take off your mask, or touch high-use objects like doorknobs.
Doctors still recommend telehealth visits when possible for cancer patients.
The American Cancer Society’s COVID-19 news page is updated daily. You can also follow the CDC or your local healthcare organizations.
We will continue to provide updates on the COVID-19 pandemic as major developments occur. If you have any questions, look at our collection of articles for helpful information or links that can provide answers.