COVID-19: Perspective from a teen with auto-immune disease - MetroFamily Magazine
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COVID-19: Perspective from a teen with auto-immune disease

by Lundyn Cox, age 14

Let’s be real: being a high school student can already be hard on the best of days, but it is extremely challenging in a situation like we have been experiencing lately amid the COVID-19 outbreak. High schoolers love to pretend we are big and tough and aren’t scared of anything, but in reality each of us is extremely worried. The coronavirus was a joke to us at first, but now that it is affecting people we know and love, the virus is real and more serious than any of us could have imagined. And we grew up reading The Hunger Games!

Social distancing means we aren’t allowed to go out and we aren’t going to school. Doesn’t sound all that bad at first but after a week of isolation, I’m begging to go back to school … back to normal. I miss human interaction with my friends at lunch in the library. 

Being a teenager with multiple auto-immune diseases is even scarier than the social distancing. I have to be even more careful than normal teens and I am worried about things teenagers shouldn’t be worried about. My diabetes camp counselor gave me some solid advice when I shared with her that I was feeling overwhelmed: “Keep hydrated and keep those blood sugar numbers in range. You got this!”

She’s right. As a type one diabetic, I am always prepared for whatever comes my way. I know my parents have worried and made sure to protect me from contracting the virus and I know that we can handle anything that happens together. 

To distract myself and stay occupied, like most of the world, I’ve turned to Netflix. I am already bored of shows and old movies and ready to be more productive during my confinement. Art is my outlet. I’m busy sketching out a canvas and practicing different mediums. FaceTime also helps a lot. My friends and I have had virtual lunch a few times.

I am also working with my service dog, Archie. He is normally out every day with me at school. Since the outbreak, we have been at home and he needs to work to be happy. A little playtime with his favorite tennis ball and some serious training is great for both of us. 

I’m obviously stressed about the entire coronavirus outbreak but I am trying to remember the positives. I’m getting to spend a lot of time with my family, which we wouldn’t normally get to do since my brother and I have so many other things going on like sports and theater. My family has sat down and had family meals every night. We have gone on hikes and bike rides even though it’s muddy. Our lives have slowed down to point when we are getting the opportunity to do things we never find time to do. That’s been the best part. Sometimes when we are stuck in these situations we need to remember the good that is coming out of it.

I am still concerned for our society. Some people aren’t taking proper precautions, which endangers everyone. Staying in your house is the best thing to do right now. Kick back and relax, maybe watch a movie or do some yoga. Try to make the best of your current situation. Spend some time with your family and try to enjoy the time you are getting to spend with them instead of stressing out about everything else.

Lundyn is a freshman at Bishop McGuinness High School. She loves art and is teaching herself to play the ukelele. She has three autoimmune diseases that put her at higher risk for exposure to things like cold, flu and COVID-19. 

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