For people with immune deficiencies, staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic has required shutting themselves off from the outside world.
In Wylie, Brittany Mease and her kids, 11-year-old Grayson and 7-year-old Ily, haven’t gone farther than their front yard since school let out more than a week ago.
“I didn’t want to chance it, so we went camping in our backyard for spring break,” Mease said.
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With Ily, a quadruple brain surgery survivor who battles chiari malformation and common variable immunodeficiency, Mease said avoiding germs is nothing new.
“Her immune system is just not up to par. It can’t fight off everyday infections," Mease said. "We’ve spent countless nights admitted to the hospital for pneumonia, bronchitis, RSV as a baby, just upper respiratory… her body just can’t do it."
Mease said she began to watch and worry about a possible COVID-19 outbreak long before the virus made it to U.S. soil.
“I was watching like a hawk. I was the crazy person for a little while. Everyone thought I was overreacting,” she said.
Now, as her family quarantines themselves from the outside world, Mease worries about those who have ignored the government’s plea to social distance to flatten the curve.
Though the symptoms of COVID-19 may not pose a serious threat to everyone, she knows too well how deadly viruses can be for her little girl.
“I’ve sat in ORs and hospital rooms, and I hear beeping in my head all the time,” Mease said.
She said she believed everyone not at risk knows someone else for whom transmission could prove deadly.
“We have a chance to not spread it. We can do our part and just sit at home a couple of weeks and protect them, protect the other people that we love,” Mease said.