All eyes on Corona.

Covid-19 puts a shadow on endo awareness month

All eyes on Corona!

What was planned to become a month full of events, press, news, information and people gatherings on endometriosis turned into a month, in which the whole world is focussed on the horrible Covid-19 or Coronavirus. No more endo events, marches, high teas or book readings can take place, since most countries forbid gatherings with more than 5 people currently. This is unseen and we were not prepared for this. The spotlight is not on endometriosis this month: all eyes are on Corona.

Who would have thought, that 2020 would become the year of the virus… which keeps the whole world under its control. I remember the first time in January that I heard the news about the very agressive virus, which has popped up in Wuhan, close to the animal market… we felt for the people in Wuhan, but it seemed so far away! It was not until the news slowly came dripping in, about the speed of people getting infected in Italy as well and doctors in hospitals who had to make heartbreaking decisions on which life to save… that we actually realized this virus is no longer a problem on the other side of the world… it is here! Is is very close! and it will not be going away so fast. The most shocking thing I heard is that Italy can no longer accept people over 60 in the emergency room… because they just don’t have enough hospital beds. Now, a couple of weeks later, Switzerland and the rest of Western Europe is in the exact same situation as Italy was and countries are urgently taking measures to try and deal with the situation as good as possible and avoid spreading the virus too fast or ‘flatten the curve’.

Instead of trying to break the taboo around female monthly period problems and all the problems which endometriosis can bring with it, we are all busy buying toilet paper or tomato sauce for the next couple of weeks, to make sure we can stick to the measure of ‘social distancing’. Instead of meeting other women with endometriosis, we have to stay at home and are limited to virtual contacts with our friends and family. The funny thing is that I hear some of my friends a lot more than I normally do! Whatsapp, Houseparty, Skype, Netflix Party and Zoom are really a gift from heaven in these crazy times. I admit, our first virtual After work Drinks yesterday was actually pretty fun!

Virtual after work!

For me personally, the biggest negative which Corona has caused for me is the fact that we have to postpone our planned embryo transfer. We were supposed to start 2month post surgery, which is next week, with taking the hormones to prepare for the transfer. The IVF clinic has contacted me last week, to tell me they will not start any new cycles in the next 6-8 weeks at least… even if my case is rather urgent, they could unfortunately not make any exception. Which I can understand… but I was a bit disappointed of course, since we really prepared mentally and I had tried to live and eat as healthy as possible the last couple of months to get me body in perfect shape to welcome the embryo. Of course, this is a case of ‘force majeur’, which we can not change. So it’s no use to complain or be sad about it. I cross my fingers now that latest in May, I can get a new appointment and we can go in with the transfer without Corona-stress or fear.

Many endometriosis patients ask themselves, whether we are also at higher risk for Corona, as our immune system is not entirely working as it should. I have asked 2 doctors and this should not be the case, since endo is not an actual auto-immune disease, but rather an inflammatory illness. Nevertheless, since many of us had recent surgeries (myself included) I do think we should be cautious and stay at home as much as we can, as surgeries can have a general effect on your immune system and can make us a bit weaker than we normally are. Also, the virus still has a lot of unanswered questions and there haven’t been a lot of experiences yet with corona and endo patients, so my advice: protect yourselves, eat as healthy as possible, avoid contact with other people and stay safe&healthy!

Although the situation is scary and somehow also comes with many insecurities, I do think Corona will have some positive effects on our lives. Firstly, the immediate effects on the environment are fantastic: fish and dolphins are returning to places where we haven’t seen them in years! The carbon emissions in China have gone done with 25%! Secondly, Parents really have time for their children again… and for each other! (I guess, a lot of babies will be born in December 2020…) thirdly, People have time to start new hobbies and get creative! (The funniest videos are appearing on the web and it’s hilarious how people spend their time if they can not go out). New ideas, business, music and art will be created. I am really curious to see in a few months, how the post-corona-world looks like. Will people have changes their habits? Will we travel less and appreciate our homes more? Or will we have a giant party, giving people hugs again to celebrate that we are corona free? I’m convinced we will all come out of it stronger, more creative with a lot of new ideas and inspiration … and some of us, with some extra kilos and … with cupboards or a house full of toilet paper! 😂

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