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In Some Ways, for Someone with Chronic Health Issues, Lockdown Has Made Life a Bit Easier

Basking in the sunshine in my yard, during lockdown.

In some ways, I have barely noticed that the world is under lockdown. In other ways, my life has gotten easier. That’s because I have been living with and healing from chronic health issues for the past two decades.

Among other considerations, I have physical and auditory hypersensitivity that make gatherings dicey and crowds a no-no. In addition, after being in numerous car crashes, none of which were my fault, but most of which sent me down the rabbit hole of pain and disability, I don’t exactly trust other drivers – making it anxiety-producing to get to events outside my area. Then there’s the fact that I need to take a ferry to get most places, and that drivers routinely ignore the signs to refrain from idling their engines while waiting for the ferry – meaning car exhaust is in overload on the ferry dock, making it downright toxic to get from “here” to “there,” in particular, because I am healing naturally from cancer and need to be mindful about my environment.

All told, I have not participated in a whole lot of community-type […]

How I Practiced Self-Care When I Experienced Respiratory Symptoms During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Ujjayi breathing in my back yard.

About a month ago, I woke up with a dry couching spasm and felt an inexplicable heaviness, as if there were a steel weight inside me, dragging me down. I subsequently had some difficulty breathing, in what felt like an asthma attack from days of yore, when I had severe and chronic respiratory health issues. Given the Coronavirus pandemic, the hysteria surrounding it, and the fact that I’d had a terrifying experience with pneumonia just last year, almost to the day of when this coughing spasm started, I was frightened.

Fortunately, given a lifetime of living with and healing from various chronic health issues – not the least of which has been cancer – I had an arsenal of self-care strategies at my fingertips, as well as a stash of immune-boosting supplements that could carry me through a few weeks, while I back ordered the ones that had flown off the shelves along with toilet paper. In addition, I had a cadre of trusted integrative and holistic medical practitioners in place, to call for guidance – one of whom told me it sounded as if I had a […]

What Cancer Taught Me about How We Should be Responding to Coronavirus

@2020 by Loolwa Khazzoom. All rights reserved.

My boyfriend and I recently went for a hike in a local park, only to be confronted by a barricaded parking lot, with the words, “Park Closed.” Dismayed yet not daunted, we continued driving down the perimeter of the park, until we came across an opening in the chain link fence – not a deviant-sized hole, mind you, but a legitimate trail entrance. The last we’d heard, our state continued to permit hiking with social distancing. We were confused by the sign, though, and nervous about the possibility of getting arrested.

We decided to take a chance – finding an off-road parking spot half a mile away, and walking back to the entrance. I was anxious for the first 15 minutes or so on the trail, talking to my boyfriend in hushed […]