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    • #23459
      Susan Howitt

      Morning all


      The whole of France is on *lockdown*  since yesterday, we risk being fined if we stick our noses out doors, luckily living in the wilds I shall take my dogs to the forest daily for their health and mine


      • France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, announced on Monday that the country would enact a 15-day lockdown, prohibiting residents from leaving their homes unless absolutely necessary.
      • Activities like group gatherings outdoors or a walk outside are banned, Macron said. Those who cannot work from home and those seeking medical care will be allowed to leave their homes.
      • The European Union will also restrict travel from non-EU countries for 30 days, he added.


    • #23465
      Wendy Dirks

      These are extraordinary times we are living in. I don’t think any of us could have predicted this back at the beginning of January. I hope that you remain safe and indeed, everyone in our community remains safe. My husband is 74 and both he and I have begun self isolation in advance of an expected directive from the government for us to do so in the next couple of days. I have ordered grocery deliveries but so many other people are doing this that I have to order over a week in advance to get a delivery slot.

      I am using ambulatory oxygen and I’m wondering if I become ill whether I can make the switch to 24/7 oxygen by monitoring my oxygen saturation when at rest. I have heard that the phone lines to the NHS have queues of over 100 people waiting for advice. So far I am not ill and hope to remain that way. As I mentioned earlier, I brought up the coronavirus to my consultant at our last meeting and she didn’t have much to say. I certainly hope that at this point, our health care teams have answers for us.

      If anyone has had specific advice for those of us with PF, please do share it here.

      • #23467
        Mark Koziol

        Hello Wendy, I think you speak for everyone when you say, “I don’t think any of us could have predicted this back at the beginning of January.” I would say if your oxygen needs became higher it would be considered a medical emergency. This would warrant a visit to the doctor if your needs could not be met at home. Hopefully your consultant has more information since you last met. Because of the way this disease attacks the respiratory system, patients with any type of lung disease would not fare well. The state I live in; Ohio has basically shut down everything but the grocery stores. Restaurants are all take-out or delivery. My wife is a teacher and school has been canceled for 3 weeks and will then be re-examined. Please limit your contact with others and take precautions when you do have to go out. Take care, Mark.


    • #23473
      Robert Obrien

      I think anybody with IPF has one choice – hunker down!

    • #23474
      Mark Koziol

      Hello Robert, perfect statement!

    • #23477
      Susan Howitt


      Hi  Wendy

      By ambulatory oxygen do you mean you have a back pack or tank on wheels only?  I have the two sorts, back pack plus static oxygen recouperator. (can’t think how to spell that in English),  ooh brain going already  lol  I just turn the static one up or down as I need, the ambulatory one is on its highest setting.   Knowing the UK their response speed, even to an emergency, is not the swiftest so hopefully you could just plug in to the electricity circuit if needed to keep the charge up in say a back pack.  I actually do not need oxygen when sitting or sleeping, my sats as the same as any healthy person, move and they drop like a stone BUT I was told at the very beginning to be of any benefit I had to wear O2 for 16 hours a day.  I occasionally use oxygen at night if I feel unwell.

      I have just taken my dogs for a walk in the forest, have to drive there but have dispensation as I am way out in the country, if I stop the walks for any reason, for a couple of days I really struggle to even do a km next time, today, sunny and 15° I managed 3 1/2kms, pleased with myself and I need to keep what is left of my lungs as fit as I possibly can, of course didn’t meet a soul, never do.

      I am taking a immunity booster, its foul,  but because I am on steroids that lowers your immunity, so trying to compensate.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Charlene Marshall. Reason: tagging
    • #23489
      Malcolm Mann

      Hi everyone
      While the world has disintegrated we have been house sitting and exploring Australias island state Tasmania in a little red sports car. Tasmania is stunningly beautiful.
      We’re 850 kms and an overnight sea crossing from home, there is little Covid 19 here but its ramping up on the mainland (Australia) and we have to drive through the major city of Melbourne. With the panic buying frenzi face masks, hand sanitiser are unobtainable. So we’re going to get off the ship & make a run for it, I’ll try to get rubber gloves for the ship crossing.
      After I get home it will be self isolation, house, beach, swim,house, repeat until necessary, we live in an isolated place anyway.
      Thinking of you all, stay as safe as possible.

    • #23493

      Really extraordinary times, I agree @wendy-dirks ! Very similar lockdown procedures happening all over the world Susan, sure makes it tough for folks. However, one thing important to remember (though it took my mind some time to shift to this perspective) is the collective impact we could have, as opposed the individual one. I’ve not heard of anywhere restricting outdoor walking (ie. around the neighbourhoods) just keeping off public trails and parks/playgrounds. I know that is a reprieve for a lot of people who have dogs, and if done alone, with just dog and owner, I struggle with this being banned. First I’ve heard of it, but do trust the decisions of our leaders to keep us safe. Thanks for the update Susan – stay well!

    • #23495

      Hi Mal,


      So nice to hear from you, thanks for writing! Glad you’re enjoy “tassie” – I remember almost going there on my visit to Australia a couple years back. I liked watching the ship docked in that goes back and forth between Aus and Tasmania. Yes, please do be careful upon your return – lots of hand washing and PPE if you can find it, though a friend of mine says panic buying is also occurring in Australia quite rapidly now. Enjoy the beach and swim, those sound like good things to hang on to and good for our mental health. I walked along the beach in California a few weeks ago (before this craze happened) and it was so soothing. Take a walk for me 🙂 Stay healthy!

    • #23508
      Susan Howitt

      Hi Charlene,

      Macrons lockdown is draconian and the French do tend to obey rules however idiotic they seem to be. Lucky to be right out in the country where I can defy the ruling, still had my obligatory document with me when defying though, we have to have signed a statement as to why we are breaking the ban on being outside of the house. There is a square to tick that the reason for being out is for health, so that is what I tick, I know full well they mean Dr’s or dentist etc but my walks for me are vital to my and my dogs health. Enjoyed my stroll in the woods in the sunshine.  Didn’t meet any police so that was good, I intend to do this every non rainy day we have.  Tiny little *princess* dog wont deign to put her delicate little paws out in the rain, not good for me either.

      My brother lives in Australia and he says (Melbourne) that panic buying is totally out of control with people buying up whole slabs of tinned foods and half a dozen packs of toilet rolls at a time.  Shops should be more proactive and stamp down on any one obviously buying more than is necessary. but then all they see is profit.  Like Irelands idea of allowing pensioners in first into the supermarkets for a couple of hours to do their shopping in peace and to actually be able to get their needs as most can’t afford to hoard nor do they have that inclination I don’t think, little *extra* here and there but not hoarding My friend in the UK was horrified that she couldn’t get formula nor wet wipes for her grandson aged 1 just before he stayed with her..Crazy.

    • #23525

      My son told me that is China they were not allowed out without permission. They were allowed to go to grocery store every 3 days but only one at a time and the stores were monitored to not have crowds. They are lifted now, they can come and go as they like. He is still teaching online as schools not open yet. Here in Ontario Canada many many things are closed but no lockdown just suggestion to not go out. The panic buying is insane, first of all people are going in crowds and stripping self the selfish butts!!! I have been ordering online and doing pickup as delivery takes 3-5 days. Many items don’t come as sold out meanwhile there is no need for this. In China they never ran out or had empty shelves for food. In Italy I saw on people talking on the news that they can get groceries no problem> I have heard of some rationing but that was just one person so who knows.  I am working from home and walk my dogs 3 x a day and I have to do that for health but also I live in an apartment and they need to do their business :).  Me and my lungs are doing fine and praying my HRCT next week does not get cancelled!

      Susan, be safe and stay in the country, Mal enjoy the sunshine and swimming, Charlene so glad you go to go to California, everyone take care of those lungs!

      Love this community 🙂

    • #23526
      Susan Howitt

      This severe lockdown is actually in my favour, even though I have to have a legal paper each day to go out I am to out every day and into the forest with my dogs or the supermarket, at 1.30 it is deserted so I can do my shopping in peace, I am not hoarding just topping up my reserves so that when the ban is lifted I don’t need to go out except for fresh food.

      Took the dogs to the daffodil fields today, let tiddler off, the ground slopes so hard for me, she loves running amogst the flowers sniffing at them and she doesn’t damage one, can’t let t’other dog off as she is an avid hunter of anything that moves.  Tried to add the photo I took of little one sniffing wild daffodilss but all it did was cause me to have to start all over again as everything went blank, shame the photo is so cute as she is no taller than the daffs at 19cms..

      Glad to hear that you are doing OK Nan, hope things don’t get cancelled where you are here you cannot get a hospital appointment for love nor money  An ex neighbour who has had half his lung removed is worried about a lump that has started to grow in his neck no one one will see him !! shocking.

    • #23549

      Just unbelievable times we’re living in these days Nan! Hope you’re keeping safe — I remember where you told me you work, and saw today that there was an employee who tested positive. Glad you aren’t there right now! It sounds like the isolation China faced, albeit very strict, worked if the limitations have been listed a bit. Here’s hoping the work Canada is doing follows suit. Stay safe and thanks for writing during this tough time, and for your kind words. I look forward to sharing more about California soon. So glad I got to go when I did!

    • #23550

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for writing to us, and I hope you’ve been able to continue walking your little dogs! I know how therapeutic that is for many of us to do. Sounds like your area and the restrictions are a little ahead of us. We don’t need to sign anything to be out in public, but it sure is discouraged by both federal authorities and others. The looks you get are deadly. It’s a tough time for all!

      I’m sad to report that it sounds like the shopping habits in Australia are matching that of Canadians. It’s pretty sad when we’re knowing for sharing and community supports. Everyone here is panic buying as well, and so little is left for those who are most vulnerable and need it. I am happy that some stores have now implemented a “senior’s only” shopping hour, for 1 hour before the stores open to try and allow this vulnerable group to get what they need and reduce exposure. Hopefully that is going well, it just started here. Such a scary time for everyone – be safe, and glad you’re still finding things to bring you joy amidst all of this.


    • #23553
      Susan Howitt

      Yes thanks Charlene still walking in the forest.  Was at the supermarket Wednesday 1.30pm and I was the only one in the shop !!!!! shelves are full and fresh food freely available. There are lines marked out on the floor at check out to keep every one at least a metre apart and only one person at a time through the actual check out so as the girl can be kept at a safe distance from the customers.  No hand sanitizer any where here, that is the only thing in short supply.

      Seems city folk are trying to defy the ban on being out, the fines have gone up  from 35€ to  135€ and  375€ if not paid within three weeks,  in an attempt to stop infractions.

      Looks like the *house arrest* is going to be extended here, for another how long is not yet clear.  Having to support my daughter and son in law as they are self employed and now haven’t a penny to their name, don’t know how long I can do this.  Need my holiday cottage to earn them some money but of course having to cancel clients.

    • #23587

      Hi Susan,

      Nice to hear from you – thanks for writing back! Hope you’re still able to be out and walk in the forests as of today. I know many areas have implemented a formal lockdown, and I think we’re not too far from it here in North America – both the US and Canada. Glad you still have an abundance of food on the grocer shelves, that is great. Sounds very different from here, but I think people are finally understanding that hoard/panic buying is not necessary. That is what I am hearing anyways!


      So sorry to hear about your daughter and SIL and the layoffs, that is what is breaking my heart most. I really hope some financial aid is given to those in need. Once I am able to travel again, I’m looking forward to local activities or within Canada to support our economy back up. I hope others look to travel adventures within their own communities to help build up some of the losses this virus has so drastically caused. Stay safe and I hope you have an enjoyable weekend despite the isolation.

    • #23592
      Susan Howitt

      Hi Charlene

      I am so very glad to be out in the country where I can actually take the dogs 6kms from here to walk in a flat area and am allowed to because there is no one there and it is for MY health as well as the dogs. In the cities people in flats are only allowed to relieve their dogs within 100 metres of the block and for no more than 30 minutes, that would drive me insane.  According to my daughter and son living in the UK there is a three week long wait for home deliveries IF you can get the products you want, even out of baby formula and nappies in London !!!!. people are also getting aggressive and shop keepers threatened if the shops try and enforce the one example of the product per person. So glad I don’t live there any more.  The supermarket in the nearest BIG town is limiting entry to no more than 20 people at a time, queues outside people have to stand a metre apart, security there as well, and they have to keep an aisle apart inside the shop, no bulk buying,  pay by card, not cash changing hands Security guards on watch to make sure every thing is kept in line, so yes things are very strict here


      I am now being treated with enormous respect and care in my local supermarket,  after one woman trying to get me banned for being a danger to HER !!  I still go late lunch time when few people are about.  I go in present my self at the desk and they make sure that no one comes near me and that I can get out quickly by keeping an eye out and opening a till just for me, makes me really quite teary.

    • #23599

      Hi Susan,


      Yikes, sounds like things are really escalating there (in the city) and around the world. Many of the things you mentioned from there are occurring here in Canada or are imminent. Our prime minister is talking again this morning, and I anticipate stricter protocols to be implemented, similar to what you describe. We’ll see! I am also glad you’re in the country where you can get out and walk the dogs. This is so important for our physical health (and theirs!) but our mental health as well. Really happy the supermarket is treating you with such compassion as well, it’s nice to hear these ‘good’ things happening amidst the chaos. Stay safe and thanks for writing.


    • #23601

      Australia went into major lockdown today. I think all states have now closed their borders, all but essential services told to close, etc.

      On a personal note: Decisions, decisions. It’s that time of year again when our flu vaccines start and I’m seriously considering not getting it this year. A couple of facts swaying me against relate to the exacerbation that caused me to end up on oxygen after having both the flu vaccine and a pertussis/diptheria vaccine within 1 month of each other this time last year. Prior to that, I’d been getting regular flu vaccinations without issue for 9 years.

      Also there seems to be a lot of speculation about it possibly making Covid-19 more dangerous, which I really don’t need. All in all, my current thinking is that I won’t have it. Following link from the British Medical Journal is what convinced me the flu vaccination might not be such a good idea this year:

      Also have a cardiology review scheduled next week, so will be talking to the doc about whether to stop my ARB hypertensive medication after the figures that are coming out of Italy about ACE/ARB medications.

    • #23614
      Wendy Dirks

      Hi, Susan – I have tanks delivered to me that fit into a backpack or a little trolley. I’m barely using oxygen at the moment, however, as my husband and I have been self isolating for over a week and I don’t need it a lot at home. We are now in total lockdown in England. I am spending my days organising food and medicine deliveries. Good luck!

    • #23615
      Susan Howitt

      Hi Wendy


      Just been announced that our lockdown (very strict) has been extended for another two months .  Luckily my oxygen 24/7 now,  is a concentrator run by electricity,  or a battery back pack. Only thing I will have to do is save my pipes, sterilize them more I suppose they wont go too stiff as the weather is warming up


      Keep safe.

    • #23634
      Terry Moriarty

      I live in a fairly small North-eastern California county of 385,000. About half of that population resides in the city where I live. The first person to die in the US of COVID-19 was in a hospital here. So the virus is really, real here. However, the county has only 26 cases (up from 19 last week) and the 1 death.

      With these numbers, I can understand why some people are wondering if the “stay in place” order is really needed.  We’re not experiencing surging increase in cases, but there are still testing issues. Even if more cases were found, the death rate would be even lower and the order would be even harder to take seriously.

      This virus is hitting heavily populated cities where distancing yourself from other people is almost impossible. Without this order, there is nothing preventing an infected person from travelling into my city, wandering through a crowded store and, wham, infecting  maybe 10 more people, who will infect their friends and family, who will infect some of their friends and family and so forth until my city and county reflects the hot zone cities.

      I think that the smaller, inland US states that haven’t taken the warnings seriously are now experiencing this phenomenon. Like Wyoming, our smallest state, population-wise. The county where I live is 2/3 the size of Wyoming. My city is 1/3 the size of Wyoming. My city is about 2.5 times larger than the largest city in Wyoming. Today, Wyoming has 30 cases. Last week, they were at 11 cases. Yet, during the same time period, my county’s growth has remained flat. As I expected, most of the Wyoming cases are located in its largest.

      I’ve been on self-imposed isolation (actually sons-imposed) for 2 weeks. I went out once to a drive-thru pharmacy, so I don’t think that counts as breaking isolation. Tomorrow, I’m going to a bi-weekly doctor appointment. I’m going to risk going to the grocery store for just a couple of items. The isolation isn’t hard on me because I’m a self-proclaimed hermit and introvert. But, I’m going crazy not because I need to go out, but because someone took control of me and said I can’t go out. In California, it’s ok to walk around the neighborhood. I can drive around. I thought of driving down to Yosemite. What a chance to see it with almost no crowds. But, my son said I couldn’t because I’d have to touch things like the gas pump handle. Still deciding whether it’s worth the risk.  In the meantime, I’m reading/listening to a lot of books, bingeing BritBox mysteries, doing needlepoint, learning how to use my knitting machine and trying to make DIY facemasks to be donated to local hospitals. Other than the last task, pretty much life as usual.

      The toughest has been my son cancelling his family’s planned visit from Washington state. He lives about 40 miles from their virus hotspot. It took about 2 weeks of discussions between my two sons and myself from complete denial (like our federal government) to we could go to restaurants where we could distance ourselves from the staff and other patrons to no way. Finally decided when Disneyland and sports events closed down. My sons decided if these corporations were willing to lose this much income, the virus pandemic had to be real. My Washington-based said he couldn’t live with himself if he got the virus while travelling through an airport, passed it on to me and I got it and died. I cried over my little sacrifice. I’ve been cleared to fly using 2lpm oxygen, so when this is over, I’ll go see him.


      • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Charlene Marshall.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Charlene Marshall. Reason: formatting to remove code , tagging
    • #23637



      Hi Terry — so nice to hear from you! During these difficult times, I’ve been thinking of many of our forums members and hoping everyone is doing as well as possible. So much news about the virus, and the rapid spread…just awful. I was in southern California nearly a month ago now, and so glad to have made it back to Canada when I did. Your beautiful state is being hit hard! There have been many visuals online showing just how rapid the virus can spread via community transmission, especially (as you say, in those heavily populated areas). I sure hope this order works soon, and this practice of physical distancing slows the spread as fast as it came in. That is what I am hoping for anyways!


      Be safe if you do run errands, and take all proper precautions. I keep hearing from my transplant team how imperative it is for those of us with compromised lungs not to get the virus. Going for a walk or drive is always beneficial, I enjoy doing that when I can. Take some pictures if you venture out to Yosemite…  can someone gas up your vehicle before you go so you don’t have to touch anything? As for your doctor’s appointment, maybe call ahead and ensure they are still running. I know many aren’t, and be safe when doing your errands.

      Hopefully the sacrifice of not seeing the ones we love will only be short term. Hang in there, and utilize technology as much as you can for your visits. Thanks for writing and know I am thinking of you.


    • #23671
      Susan Howitt

      Hi Terry

      Re putting fuel in your tank, I have to do it myself,  hand sanitizer is like hens teeth, not to be found so  I carry around in a zip lock bag, and fresh every time I go out, two or three pieces of kitchen paper towel which I have dampened with a disinfectant product, 1 sheet as I pick up the pump, clean hands when finished, one sheets when I tap in my card details, world and hi wife have touched those card key pads folks, and the last one just to sanitize my hands before I touch my steering wheel.  The virus (4 cases) is in the little town of 2,000 people 12 kms from me, this is the town where I have to shop so I am very careful, nothing is too over the top really. I just can’t breathe with a mask on so have to go without, not 100% sure they are of use any way as most are one way, protect the wearer from spreading germs.


      Stay safe peeps.

    • #23677
      Terry Moriarty

      I was too late. They closed Yosemite completely this morning. Most of our other national parks have closed all the facilities but left the roads and trails open. But completely shutdown Yosemite. Oh well. I can also drive to the beach. Being Northern California, there are a lot of more secluded beaches where there won’t be a lot, if any people. Unlike Southern California where the beaches are more part of the suburban sprawl. Easier to get to, so more people.

      Thanks for the ideas about how to gas up the car safely.

    • #23678
      Susan Howitt

      Oh Terry, what a shame that eh one park you wanted to go to has completely closed.

      I am very lucky I live in a national park here, no where near as magnificent as yours but still beautiful, at the moment there are fields and fields of wild daffodils and with this lockdown the Parisians cannot come down and trample everything down in their greed to picks as many flowers a possible to sell in the markets up there.

      Hopefully they wont get the wild asparagus either, nearly killed it all off they have.

    • #23679
      Terry Moriarty

      Last year, the people went after the California poppies that grow wild on the side of some of the freeways. They actually shut down some of the freeways trying to take pictures. I’ve lived in California all my life and don’t remeber anything like that before. We humans have such a herd mentality.

      I have a small clump of daffodils that come up every year. Some showed up unexpectedly in my front yard this year, after living here for 5 years. I was like “why have you been hiding for so long?” Your property sounds wonderful.

      I live in the suburbs but still have some fairly large plots of open land. Every year, a herd of goats show up to do weed control. Their owners move them from one plot to another on a predetermine schedule. There is a website where you can follow their progression through the city. The kids love it.

    • #23680
      Susan Howitt

      Thanks Terry

      Yes it is lovely, I live in mini mountains, wonderful clean air, when folk aren’t having bonfires!! but these same mini mountains really stop me from getting out on foot, so I have to drive, can’t even go down into my basement, well can go down but can hardly get up again even on oxygen.

      The goat patrol sounds wonderful what a splendid idea an absolutely natural weed control, I used to own Anglo Nubian goats when I lived in Wales. In fact I had a mini farm there.

    • #23685
      Zach Adman

      Does anyone know about anyone who has  IPF, getting COVID 19?  I would like to know how they are doing, if there is any special medical care they are receiving and if there is anything someone with IPF can do to make sure they get the best treatment if they do get the virus.  Be safe! Good luck.

    • #23692
      Mark Koziol

      Hello Zach, I have not heard of any pf patients getting COVID-19. I have heard of Post-transplant patients testing positive and even 3 patients whose lungs were damaged severely they needed a lung transplant. This transplants occurred in China. I believe all patients would be treated with the protocols set forth by the CDC. Pf patients would just require more oxygen. I will put forth an effort today to research what you are asking. Take care, mark.

    • #23721

      Ah bummer, sorry to hear this Terry! All national parks and local playgrounds as well have been closed here. Please do drive to the beach if you can, for those of us who love the ocean more than anything else and can’t be there. Northern California is on my list some day – I want to do some wineries in Napa! Enjoy the time outside when you can and be safe from crowds. The weather is starting to warm up in Canada, but likely nothing compared to there. Enjoy and be well.

    • #23722

      Hi Jill,

      Nice to hear from you! I’ve been thinking of many of my Australia friends and hope you’re keeping safe. I think (by the sounds of it) Australia is a bit behind in the spread of the pandemic compared to North America and Europe, am I correct? I hope the lockdown helps prevent the spread of the disease! I would imagine Canada is going to implement a Federal Lockdown soon, one of our top doctors recently called for it but we’ll see. Your provincial boarders are closed as well? Wow.


      I did end up getting the flu vaccine this year, but it was in the fall so a different time than now I suppose. I can understand your hesitation though, have you asked your pulmonologist about any relationship between the flu vaccine and COVID-19 being made worse? Thanks for sharing the link – I’ll take a peak at it. I’d never even thought of a possible correlation!


      Stay well and keep us posted on what you decide and how your cardiology appointment goes.
      Kind regards,

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