COVID-19 FAQ #23: As the pandemic continues, what does the future hold for myeloma patients?

In this episode, Dr. Brian G.M. Durie continues his coronavirus updates and gives his take on what myeloma patients can expect in the next few months. 

The BOTTOM LINE: 

Continue practicing coronavirus safety measures. Continue physical distancing, but make sure to stay socially connected.  

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Videos in the COVID-19 Series

Transcript:

This week’s “Ask Dr. Durie” is the big ongoing question for the majority of myeloma patients, which is: “With the COVID-19 pandemic, what does the future hold?”   

Well, I think unfortunately, through these upcoming winter months, the COVID-19 pandemic is going to continue to be with us. And, also unfortunately for myeloma patients, it will be a little bit of time until we know if any of the vaccines in development will work well for myeloma patients who are mostly a little bit more elderly and obviously, do have a compromised immune system.  

The good news, however, is that if a COVID-19 infection does occur, we are learning a lot more about how to better manage the disease. And, for example, the myeloma treatment dexamethasone does in fact work to improve the lung problems in patients with COVID-19 infection. And so, if God forbid, someone is hospitalized with COVID-19, we are better able to get them better, and to avoid the use of a ventilator, and to get these people out of the hospital. So, this is really, really, the good news.  

However, there is no doubt that in the short term the use of masks, physical distancing, and avoiding crowds and indoor spaces is really, very, very important. And that will continue to be the case through the winter months and into the new year, I’m pretty sure.  

And so, BOTTOM LINE: It is still essential to try to stay safe. And with these measures, with the masks, and distancing, and the like, it is possible to stay safe. That is the good news. The only additional thing that I strongly emphasize is that, since you’re mostly staying home and no getting together with many family and friends. Social networking, in some fashion, is really, really, important to try to stay sane, and to maintain some connection, and really get by in the best possible way day to day. So, please physically distance, but socially network. 


 

 

Image of Dr. Brian G.M. DurieDr. Brian G.M. Durie serves as Chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation and serves on its Scientific Advisory Board. Additionally, he is Chairman of the IMF's International Myeloma Working Group, a consortium of nearly 200 myeloma experts from around the world. Dr. Durie also leads the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative®.

 

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