Covid-19

What Do the Oscars and Our COVID-19 Response Have in Common?

What could the Academy Awards and COVID-19 possibly have in common for people with disabilities? Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you. First, the Academy Awards. The documentary “Crip Camp,” about a summer camp for young adults with disabilities, was up for an Oscar. Its co-director and co-star, Jim LeBrecht,…

The Value of Looking Ahead

Next week, I will be celebrating my second “quarantine birthday,” which is both amazing and sad. I honestly had no idea we’d still be dealing with COVID-19 for more than a year, and what a strange and perplexing time it has been. I think the thing that has hit me…

My ‘Great Escape’ During a Long Pandemic

Unfortunately, mine didn’t involve a cool motorbike — it was the wrong kind, as somehow Steve McQueen had managed to steal a British one — and an impossible jump at barbed wire to get into Switzerland! I’ll now never be able to get onto a motorbike anyway. Instead, it…

Can I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine If I Have MS?

Do you plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine? I do.  One is now available to some residents of the U.K., and approval in the U.S. of one or more likely will happen soon. Though the U.S.-based National Multiple Sclerosis Society has said only that people with MS should consider…

Travel During COVID-19: Should We Stay or Should We Go?

The temperature’s dropping. The wind is whipping. It’s time for my wife, Laura, and me to head south, leaving cold, uncomfortable Maryland for the welcoming warmth of southwest Florida. Or is it? Though I once swore I’d never become a snowbird, a few years ago, we spent a week on…

MSIF Issues New Recommendations to Protect Against COVID-19

The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) has issued new recommendations about how people with MS should adjust their daily lives because of the coronavirus pandemic. The MSIF, a network of national MS societies from around the world, first issued COVID-19 recommendations last spring. But much has been learned…

Diagnosing MS During a Pandemic: UK vs. US

Editor’s note: Previously, this piece stated that Dr. Ide Smets theorized a transition to telemedicine as the standard of care could cause decreased life expectancy in the U.K. of up to 30 years. The piece has been corrected to state that such a change could result in a decreased life…

Restarting Rituxan: One Down, and a Lifetime to Go

Last week, I again started my twice-annual infusion of Rituxan (rituximab). After 384 days without my disease-modifying therapy, my team decided I could no longer wait. In its absence, my symptomology had worsened. Halting progression trumped a pandemic, and with personal protective equipment in place, I begin…

Why a Flu Shot Is More Important Than Ever This Year

Labor Day has come and gone here in the U.S. Now, flu season has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere. This isn’t the novel coronavirus we’ve been fighting all year. It’s the regular seasonal flu virus that’s knocking on our door again. Each year, some people with multiple sclerosis (MS)…

Lemtrada and COVID-19: To Treat or Not to Treat?

Like others these days, I’m worried about COVID-19. In fact, I’m probably more worried than some. I’m old, I have MS, and I’ve been treated with the disease-modifying therapy Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) — a trifecta of potential trouble. Lemtrada suppresses part of the immune system. It’s one of the…

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