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How does someone with three hats experience COVID-19?

14. April

Markku Saraheimo is a healthcare professional, a patient and the father of a patient.

The first news regarding COVID-19 and diabetes carrying a big risk regarding the severity of the disease were really shocking. Having had over 120 years of type 1 diabetes in my family and a daughter at the age of 22 and nearly all her life with type 1 diabetes and copying well, we were certainly worried. Without diabetes she would not to carry any higher risk than her friends without diabetes.

After finding out the news about COVID-19 and how to avoid the infection, she has been home as much as possible. She had virtual meetings according to her studies and with her friends and study mates; no gatherings and exercising sports at home according to the program made by the teacher of the dance group and shown trough one of the virtual channels. This behavior, avoiding contacts and frequent washing of hands with soap, are the most important daily tasks for all of us right now. There has been a really heavy traffic in our diabetes community channel during the last 5 weeks and of course the worry of the future, the fear, has been in front line all the time and still is. "How big is my risk to get it and especially to get a severe form of the disease?"

During the last weeks, we´ve got some preliminary information, which has perhaps helped many of us to cope better with this mental burden. According to this information, the clearly higher risk seems to be more associated with complications of diabetes, like severe heart disease or kidney insufficiency, not so much with diabetes without any complications. I saw a message from ISPAD stating that children and young adults with diabetes do not seem to carry a different disease pattern compared to healthy young people.
This piece of information really helps us and our daughter to cope better with the worrying and at the same time it really elucidates the importance and the message of INNODIA. It is now even more important than ever before to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and in here it is good to keep in mind the slogan of our IDF "Together We Are Stronger".

Markku Saraheimo
Debuty Chief Physician at Helsinki City Hospital/Laakso
Member of the Patiet Advisory Board