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MS and Coronavirus                           June, 2020

Recently life for many of us has been completely transformed, in ways that were unimaginable just a few months ago. It’s bad enough for those with no underlying health conditions, who may now be unemployed, or working from home at the same time as home schooling their children. But for people with MS there are additional challenges.

Many neurologists and MS nurses have been reassigned to help treat patients with Covid 19, making it more more difficult to get help with medication or monitoring. You may have queries about the effect of the coronavirus on MS, or whether you should be self-isolating. And if you are alone and self-isolating, you may need help with obtaining food or medication, or desperate for a chat with someone in the same situation. People who have been recently diagnosed are particularly badly off at the moment, because there may be a delay in being prescribed disease-modifying drugs.

The good news is that there is help, advice and information out there, if you know where to look for it. I have listed below the best places to go online to get your questions answered.

Shift MS  (www.shift.ms) is an online social network with a Youtube channel called MS Reporters. Once you have joined Shift MS, you can register for MS Reporters and watch a series of videos in which reporters interview experts who answer all the most pressing questions about MS and Covid 19 such as ‘If I get the virus, will it cause me to have a relapse?’ and ‘Do people with MS get the virus worse than people who don’t have MS?’ As the situation changes, there will be more of these videos, keeping us updated. Shift MS also have a forum where you can have discussions with other MSers, and Co Vid Companion, which arranges video calls between MSers in isolation.

The following three UK MS charities also provide help lines, and general information, and in some case, telephone counselling. Be aware though that all charities have seen a sudden drop in their funding, and may also have staff off sick, so it may take slightly longer to get a response from them.

www.mstrust.org.uk

www.ms-uk.org

www.mssociety.org.uk


Salad Nicoise  (Serves 2)

One of the questions asked by the MS Reporters is ‘What you can do to help yourself if your normal sources of medical help are not available?’ Unsurprisingly, one answer given was eating a healthy diet. So this month’s recipe is for Salad Nicoise, a great summer dish that includes oily fish for Omega 3, and plenty of vitamin-rich vegetables.

Ingredients

225g (1/2lb) small new potatoes.

1 Little Gem lettuce

2 hard-boiled eggs

1 x 185g can of tuna chunks, drained

1 x 50g can anchovy fillets, drained and sliced

2 medium-sized tomatoes, quartered

¼ cucumber, thinly sliced

½ green pepper, deseeded and sliced

6 green or black pitted olives

For the dressing

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp salt, and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes for 15 minutes and drain well. Place in a large serving bowl. Put the lettuce leaves in a sieve and rinse well. Leave to dry off, then add to the potatoes. Peel and slice eggs, and flake the tuna and add to the bowl with the anchovies. Finally, add the prepared vegetables and mix everything gently together. Beat all the dressing ingredients together, pour over the salad, and mix well.



BLOG - MS and Coronavius