NEWS & UPDATES

Our Focus Solely On Members

24 Mar 2020

The COVID-19 situation is one that is changing on an hourly and daily basis. Scientists, national and international institutions are working hard to understand and contain the current virus.

These measures are reflected in the Prime Minister’s address yesterday where she introduced a ‘Four Tier System’. https://covid19.govt.nz/

At the time of writing we are at ‘Stage Two’ Several members have asked me ‘What does ‘vulnerable’ mean and why is Cerebral Palsy on the list for ‘vulnerable conditions’.

The term ‘vulnerable population’ is hard to hear and to be part of but such language is fairly standard when discussing larger virus events. Every Influenza (flu) season for example the same terminology comes into play when discussing particular age groups and disability. However, it is important to note that being a ‘vulnerable population’ and having CP does not automatically increase an individual’s likelihood of infection or transmission.

There are reasons to be careful and without panicking because of CP Broad restrictions are being made on towns, travel and communities. We aren’t been singled out in that regard.

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus meaning it affects the lungs and breathing.

COVID-19 is a spectrum virus – individuals can experience mild, moderate or severe symptoms. The majority of people recover from the virus.

CP is a continuum with significant differences between individuals. Not everybody will experience the COVID-19 in the same way.

Because due to tightened muscles and overall conditioning (weakness) individuals living with CP can find it more difficult to contend with respiratory problems eg fatiguing after coughing.

Adults and children can also have changes in their bodies that make the lungs were harder when it comes to infections eg scoliosis and the diaphragm.

When you live with CP it is also common to experience other conditions like asthma.

Individuals living with CP have to work harder to recover from respiratory infections and viruses and the need for isolation. That does not mean vulnerability is all we are. Remember you know your body or your child’s experience build a new routine.

Keep up regular hand washing and hygiene.

Where appropriate have discussions with caregivers about working with individuals or families eg wearing gloves or washing between care routines.

Where possible plan for home-based therapy or exercise work. It is likely community spaces will be closed for a while.

Talk to your GP about medication or prescription planning.

The Government is talking about going hard and going early. The CP Society wants to frame our thinking around our members and families. Please take precautions to be, cautious, concerned but be a calm and caring Community. We will continue to update you on our work, CP and COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

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Cerebral Palsy Society