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There will be no miracle at the end of 12 weeks

(98 Posts)
AustBron Sun 12-Apr-20 22:59:58

I don't understand what the powers that be think will happen to those of us in the extremely vulnerable category when we reach the end of the current 12 week shielding.

Are they going to tell us to lock ourselves away for another 12 weeks or more? Are we just being shielded solely to protect the NHS and eventually when enough of the unshielded population have had Covid-19 will we be allowed out to catch it and die in droves in the freed up intensive care beds?

Or is it envisioned that we will all have to be completely shielded until a vaccine is found?

I may not be thinking very clearly here, I am extremely frightened because I'm in that group, frightened that my cancer will kill me because my checkups have been canceled, frightened about a new and potentially very serious health issue that was discovered just before Covid-19 appeared and my appointments for that have been canceled too.

Really I'm just bloody frightened and would welcome any points of view that would clarify how people who aren't quite as scared as I am, see things progressing

OP’s posts: |
DrierThanANunsNasty Sun 12-Apr-20 23:02:15

I don’t have any answers for you, but didn’t want to read and run. I hope you’re okay and someone better informed has an answer for you flowers

TotesGodsWill Sun 12-Apr-20 23:04:19


I have no answers, none of us do but YANBU to be worried. I’m scared enough and I’m not even in the shielding group.

Fatted Sun 12-Apr-20 23:05:21

The policy has never been about stopping people from getting coronavirus. It has been about slowing the spread. So not everyone gets it at the same time and people don't all need to go to hospital at the same time. 12 weeks has been introduced soley to allow time for make shift hospitals to be built, PPE to be bought and some more medical staff to be brought in. Then the general public all go back to normal, all catch coronavirus, but hopefully there are then enough hospital beds for everyone who needs them.

OkPedro Sun 12-Apr-20 23:08:48

Isn’t that just what the op said fatted confused

I wish I had the answers for you flowers

CarlottaValdez Sun 12-Apr-20 23:10:54

I think the hope is you are successfully treated in freed up beds.

justanotherneighinparadise Sun 12-Apr-20 23:11:52

I said exactly that to DP tonight. What the hell I going to happen to my MIL after 12 weeks. She’s desperate to see us. Her neighbours are still popping in she told us today. One being a blinking GP who knows her health status so I’ve no idea what’s going on there. Anyway she thinks once the lockdown is eased my partner and the kids will be straight down to see her. She can’t seem to understand she has to shield for longer and then I’ve no idea what happens. If she gets it she won’t recover. I honestly don’t know what to say.

SusieOwl4 Sun 12-Apr-20 23:15:07

I still think those in the highly vulnerable group will have to be protected for a longer period of time . Perhaps until there is a vaccine ? It’s not really all about money but we will have to face the fact that if the economy is bust there will be no money to support the NHS to help the ones that need it.

If there are 1.5 million highly vunerable then money will be diverted to them ? Perhaps more testing may help for antibodies etc but only if it is proved to be accurate otherwise it’s pointless .

We have to remember most of the world is trying hard to come up with answers so hopefully something will happen soon .

TrainspottingWelsh Sun 12-Apr-20 23:15:20

I have no idea either. Unless the idea is that by then enough of the rest of the population will have had it the chances of transmission will be lower, and we'll be in a position to test everyone. So although you would still be at risk from third hand infection, there would be far less chance of an infected person having direct contact.

HelloJohnGotANewMotor Sun 12-Apr-20 23:16:44

As I understand it, the 12 week strategy was decided upon in the early days, when it would have been impossible to know how things would play out. I imagine there will be updated advice for you nearer the end of the 12 weeks when the situation is clearer.
The powers that be can't cure the virus. Their strategies are to reduce the spread as much as possible and ensure adequate healthcare.
Why have your cancer appointments been stopped? I find this most alarming.

SouthsideOwl Sun 12-Apr-20 23:18:01

There may not be a vaccine available for a while, but every day all over the world scientists are coming together and learning more about the disease and how to treat it.

YANBU to be worried, I feel for you, but have hope.

PersonaNonGarter Sun 12-Apr-20 23:25:30

OP, this is a really stressful time for you and I completely get why you are stressed and worried.

With a virus this contagious, there is only one way out: enough people become immune (either through vaccine or through catching it and developing antibodies) that the virus can’t find anyone to pass to.

That doesn’t mean that everyone will get it, only that enough people need to have the antibodies to stop the spread.

It may be that most of us have already had it by week 12. Or the people you need to see (healthcare professionals) either have or get regularly tested.

Oysterbabe Sun 12-Apr-20 23:30:14

I think it's as you say, the point is to ease the pressure on the NHS so that there is a bed free for you if you catch it.

AustBron Sun 12-Apr-20 23:32:11

Thank you all for your comments. It's such a horrible time.

@HelloJohnGotANewMotor I have lymphoma and it is considered to be more dangerous for me to attend a hospital right now than to delay monitoring appointments and blood tests. I also know one lady who has had breast cancer surgery postponed for 3 months and another who has had bowel cancer surgery cancelled with no time frame for a new operation date. Both were told the same as me - being in, or attending hospital with our health conditions is more dangerous than the risk we take in delaying treatment.

OP’s posts: |
IDefinitelyHaveFriends Sun 12-Apr-20 23:33:18

At the end of 12 weeks we’ll know more about immunity conferred after recovery and antibody testing so that might enable us to plan a way forward. Best guess is that the number of people who’ve had it and recovered will only be a single figure percentage of the population, but that might at least be enough to more safely staff the cancer treatment clinics and drive the immunocompromised patient transport. And maybe it will include some of t

sleepingdragon Sun 12-Apr-20 23:34:49

I am in the shielding group too, and also scared. For me if I get covid, and I'm also having my cancer barely treated and not monitored for months. I am also scared for my son, and the impact on him of being shut away with me if/when schools go back before I can leave the house again.

But there are a number of things that I repeat to reassure myself. Many countries are putting huge resources into working out the best treatment protocols, in a couple of months it is very likely that covid will be more treatable and more survivable, for everyone including us. Equally as they learn more about its transmission hopefully there will be an increasing list of things us in the shielding group are allowed to do. E.g. socialise with people who have been confirmed to have had it, or maybe (after lockdown obviously ) I could drive to my friends house who are also shielding to socialise with them? (this might be a pipe dream but the thought of it cheers me up!)

Who knows if we will be a priority for a vaccine once one is produced. But I try to reassure myself that we will be! 5 weeks ago noone really imagined this is how we would all be spending Easter. In another 10 weeks or sooner the situation will have changed again, and the exit plan will be clearer, even if it cant happen quite at that time.

I hope you find some reassurance in this thread

StinkyWizzleteets Sun 12-Apr-20 23:34:50

I’ve been thinking about this recently. There’s only 8-9 weeks of the original 12 week quarantine left. I don’t see much changing in that time. Our schools don’t expect to be back until august/September at the earliest so I don’t think life will have returned to ‘normal’ in 8 weeks. The problem is, as you say, appointments being cancelled and illnesses getting worse.

It seems such a postcode lottery with cancer treatment. I know two people currently starting chemo as inpatients This week but I’ve also heard of many more having treatments suspended. There must be clinical reasoning behind some getting it and others not.

I’m sorry OP I can’t answer your questions but I do understand your anxiety. It’s bad enough being well and having life out on hold but when ill and having treatment out on hold it must be terrifying for you. Is there anyone offering counselling at your treatment centre? Our local centre have (24hr?) on call support for patients and their families dealing with the anxiety of being ill.

LastTrainEast Sun 12-Apr-20 23:37:27

They are playing it by ear as we can't be sure how this is going to go. As time passes more people will have had it and they should be immune. You will then be able to interact with those people.

If we get enough tests you might find that your family and neighbours are safe so you'd still have to avoid the wider population but could go nearly back to normal.

Coyoacan Sun 12-Apr-20 23:39:00

OP, I understand your worries, but one day at a time. Look at the small and beautiful things. quality of life is particularly important now.

Meanwhile all the best brains in medical research are working flat out to find a solution. It looks like a good antibody test will be available very soon.

ALemonyPea Sun 12-Apr-20 23:44:55

I'm in the shielding group as well op, I'm very nervous about it all, my family think I'm being over dramatic when I tell them they can't come visit once lockdown is lifted.

I reckon the 12 weeks will be extended by how ever many weeks lockdown is.

According to my consultant, my appointment hasn't been cancelled for my next blood tests, I'll get called the week before to discuss protocol for getting them done. It's not until the end of May though as just had them done end of February.

bridgetreilly Sun 12-Apr-20 23:48:57

The hope is that eventually there will be (a) substantial herd immunity and (b) a vaccine.

(a) might happen within 12 weeks, but more likely a bit longer. Not orders of magnitude longer, though.
(b) is unlikely to happen within 12 weeks, but within 6 months to a year, possibly.

BOTH of those things will reduce the virus's ability to spread through the population, which protects those who are most vulnerable to it. Not perfectly and completely, but with a much lower risk than now.

PlanDeRaccordement Sun 12-Apr-20 23:49:57

It’s to shield you while they contain the epidemic in your country. The lockdown is to break the human to human transmission chain. The virus depends on always having a new host to infect to survive because each host either kills it with their immune system, or dies and the virus with them. So you break the chain of transmission through lockdown/quarantine type measures. This reduces the spread of the disease and eventually it should largely die out in the community and then you need only worry about imported cases from travellers abroad.

The virus can only live for a few days on surfaces so by the time you emerge, it won’t be covering everything. Everyone that has it should be recovered and no longer contagious.

Also, they’ve started vaccine trials on humans. It is very possible one will be available the end of this year. So you’d be protected against future outbreaks.

bridgetreilly Sun 12-Apr-20 23:52:22

Best guess is that the number of people who’ve had it and recovered will only be a single figure percentage of the population

No, the best guess is that will be MUCH higher than that. Most people, remember, are asymptomatic or only mildly affected. They tested the population of one German town last week and found they'd already reached 15% with antibodies. After 12 weeks, I think we'd be expecting 20-30% immunity across the whole population. Maybe even more. And we need about 60% to have the desired herd immunity effect.

Babyroobs Sun 12-Apr-20 23:53:45

Very worried here for my dh is the shielding group ( severe asthma). We have four teenagers living at home so as soon as schools/ college/ Uni resume they will be at risk of bringing it into the household. I just can't envisage how we can keep dh safe unless he rents a flat on his own somewhere?? Also can't see his employers agreeing for him to work from home longer term.

shinyredbus Sun 12-Apr-20 23:54:46

Sorry OP no one has any answer.

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