As we enter a new month of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us living with arthritis or any other underlying condition already know the importance of staying home during this uncertain time in history.

The world and our communities have experienced fear, stress and an array of emotions as we all navigate new territory. Those in the arthritis community are no different, but we are also considered high risk for developing COVID-19. More than 54 million Americans have arthritis, and that includes 300,000 children. So needless to say, it’s important that the arthritis community take every precaution to stay safe and in-the-know, especially as areas of our country begin to open back up.

I am one of those patients to be considered high risk, as I have been living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis for over a decade now. My experience in advocating for those in my community has allowed me to meet and connect with people both in-person and virtually.

The Arthritis Foundation was the first organization that I contacted after being diagnosed for resources, support, advice and to connect with others. I even worked for the Arthritis Foundation Chicago Chapter and this gave me the confidence to continue attending events and volunteering, long after my role at the foundation had ended.

As we are all learning to connect virtually with everyone in our lives, The Live Yes! Arthritis Network has an online community that allows adults with all types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases to chat 24/7 about what matters most. At this time, the COVID-19 takes precedence, as does the safety for ourselves and others. Medical issues, frustrations, tips and life hacks, are among a few of the things the online program offers and it’s free to join.

They also have in-person connect groups and ways to give your insights on living with the disease through the Live Yes! Insights Assessment.  However, my favorite thing about the Live Yes! Arthritis Network is how inclusive it is for everyone with the online community. Not all of us living with arthritis can attend events in person and right now this holds true more than ever. But because of the network, we can still remain connected.

The Arthritis Foundation is also aiming to support the community by offering services and resources specifically about COVID-19 through their Live Yes! Arthritis Network during this time.

There is a lot of information circulating the internet, proving overwhelmingly difficult on who to trust when it comes to our health. So, the foundation is aiming to debunk many myths and concerns with the article, “Coronavirus and Arthritis: What You Need to Know,” and an in depth podcast episode through their Live Yes! Network, “Coronavirus & Arthritis.”

As we continue this journey together, it’s important we all remind ourselves, loved ones and society how important it is to stay at home. In-person events may be cancelled for now, but there are accommodations set in place for people to enjoy things from the comfort of their homes.

Movie theaters have allowed access to new releases, musicians and bands are hosting live concerts online, communities are coming together across social media to do fun challenges, creatives are hosting meditations and virtual chats, and organizations like the Arthritis Foundation are catering to the needs of the people they serve.

Personally, I’ve been able to connect with my fellow arthritis committee members through the Live Yes! Network, and have found real value in being able to being able to talk to my community, family and friends through video chats, phone calls, and online. Although we can’t be together right now, that doesn’t mean we’re alone. There are many ways to connect and the Arthritis Foundation is making that possible for everyone with arthritis.

In addition to trying to stay connected to family and friends, one thing people are having to do more is shop for food, cook and bake. Below is a recipe you and the whole family can share together.

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

And for those who don’t have a mask, the CDC recommends using a scarf or making your own. DIY face masks are a good method, if anything else fails.

Please continue to stay safe, healthy, and informed by following the latest news and updates regarding those living with arthritis by visiting the Arthritis Foundation and their Live Yes! Arthritis Network.



*This is a paid promotional post, but all opinions are mine.