On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. Our life and lifestyle have been changed dramatically by the pandemic. You may ask yourself, what exactly is a pandemic? The word pandemic comes from the Greek words πᾶν, pan, "all" and δῆμος, demos, "people" therefore “all” “people” and means an epidemic of disease that has spread across multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of people.
Globally, more than 4 million cases have been reported resulting in about 290,000 deaths. Many countries have aggressively implemented measures to combat the spread of the virus. Words and phrases such as “shelter in place,” “contact tracing” and “social distancing” are now commonplace. I know many of you have been personally affected by COVID-19, either directly or through the illness of a loved one or friend who has been infected. I know that many questions and concerns exist in our community and many more are yet to be asked but I want you to know that the NHF is here to help you navigate the complexities of the pandemic. The Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MASAC) are constantly evaluating the medical situation and will provide recommendations as necessary.
Now over two months into the pandemic, the focus in many areas of the country is on reopening and keeping America open in the future. In order to safely accomplish this goal, it is important that communities quickly identify new cases and break the chains of transmission. Protecting first responders, health care and all essential workers remains a priority. The recommendations and information you may hear can be confusing and sometimes contradictory. It is important to remember that you always have a choice and it may be helpful for you to discuss your options with your healthcare team. Your doctor and HTC are knowledgeable about the local circumstances in your community and can guide you in your decision making to maintain your health and wellness.
The health and safety of the bleeding disorder community is my highest priority. Every Thursday, I will be sending you vetted, trusted updates about the pandemic and information to keep you and your family safe.
Dr. Leonard Valentino
President and CEO
National Hemophilia Foundation