The COVID-19 pandemic has given people with immune system problems a platform and they’re using it to explain why plasma donation and social distancing are so important right now.
The International Patient Organisation for Primary Immunodeficiencies (IPOPI) recently launched a social media campaign called #ICountOnYou, which drew responses from 160 patients in 27 countries. Patients of all ages appeared in selfie videos and in photos to thank plasma donors whose donations are used to create medicines that help them stay well. Primary immunodeficiencies are a group of 300+ rare diseases that make people more vulnerable to infections.
Lyona, an 11-year-old PI patient from Belgium, delivered her thank you to plasma donors in French. She said weekly treatments keep her from getting gravement malade (very sick).
Daniela in Romania asked for continued blood and plasma donations for her and her son: “It’s life for us,” she said.
“Per favore dona (please donate),” said Sabrina from Italy.
Patients also emphasized the need for social distancing to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. Around the world, countries are asking people to stay home and, if they must go out, to keep a distance of at least six feet from others. It’s believed that COVID-19 spreads through droplets, such as those expelled when someone coughs.
“By applying social distancing, you protect me from COVID-19,” young Augustin from Argentina said in his video.
Martine Pergent, Chair of IPOPI, recorded her own selfie video to thank patients for making themselves heard. The #ICountOnYou effort ended just before the start of World PI Week. The videos and photos can be seen on Facebook and Instagram.
“With COVID-19, we face a difficult time but we know we can react as a global family, as a strong community,” Pergent said. “Share, share, share and take care and be well.”