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S2 Episode 19

Episode 19: The COVID-19 Crisis and MS

Whether one has MS or not, the world is going through an unprecedented and difficult time. So, we have created this special episode of Living Well with MS, featuring Dr. Jonathan White, to better understand the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic and how it affects people with MS. Please be aware that knowledge of this virus is changing rapidly, and we are presenting the best information that we have at time of recording, but you should check for updates regularly, with your healthcare professionals and from credible sources on the Web, including the links below in the show notes, to ensure that you have the latest advice. And remember, stay safe, healthy and sane while we work our way through this chapter in history.

Dr. Jonathan White, a practicing medical doctor in Belfast, Northern Ireland, also works with Overcoming MS as a medical consultant and event facilitator. You can learn more about Dr. White’s professional background here.

Questions covered:
• What is Coronavirus/COVID-19?
• What are the early signs that might indicate you’ve contracted it?
• What are the key steps you should take if you think you have COVID-19?
• Is it especially dangerous if you have a condition like MS? Why?
• We have been hearing a lot about social distancing and self-isolation. Is this especially important for people with MS?
• What’s the difference between self-isolation and social distancing and what are your recommendations for implementation?
• Do DMTs affect COVID-19? What happens in these scenarios?
– Likely low-risk DMTs
– Likely medium-risk DMTs
– Likely high-risk DMTs
– HSCT (Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation)
– What if I’ve just had a round of treatment… which extra precautions should I take?
– Possible positive effects of DMTs
• How do you keep a sound mind and maintain a healthy exercise regimen at a time when things seem so
bleak and the world is grinding to a halt?
• Should I attend hospital visits?
• I know that in the OMS book, George says not to take multi vitamins. Does this advice still stand during
the pandemic if people are struggling to get enough nutrients from food as they either can’t get to a shop
or there is very little food in the shops?

Useful resources:
OMS COVID-19 main resource page
Excellent COVID-19 resource page from Dr. Gavin Giovannoni
A video on COVID-19 from neurologist Dr. Brandon Beaber
A video on COVID-19 from neurologist Dr. Aaron Boster

If you post something concerning OMS and COVID-19, especially if it’s a bit of good news during this rough patch, don’t forget to use the hashtag #PositivelyOMS

On the next episode of Living Well with MS, launching April 15, 2020, Geoff Allix explores the power journaling has to help heal the body with Mari L. McCarthy, an award-winning and international bestselling author of books such as Journaling Power: How to Create the Happy, Healthy Life You Want to Live and Heal Yourself with Journaling Power. The power of Mari’s own story and the impact she has had on people all over the world will open your eyes.

Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. You can catch any episode of Living Well with MS here or on your favorite podcast listening app. Don’t be shy – if you like the program, leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you tune into the show.