Hi everyone,

Blankets, cups of tea and biscuits are in order in this uncertain and perhaps stressful month. Discussions about coronavirus (COVID-19) are everywhere on the news and here in the Community, so we wanted to collate some key tips to help you navigate the coming weeks and to stay safe. 

The government has issued this advice for those who are particularly vulnerable due to their health. This includes advice for carers, advice on hospital or GP appointments and mental wellbeing. This is being updated regularly and we would recommend checking this on a daily basis if you are worried about taking the right steps to stay safe. Macmillan have also provided some information and answered some key questions around cancer and coronavirus (COVID-19).

Some of us may be experiencing confusion or concern over doing what’s best for ourselves and our loved ones, and it is important to follow advice given by medical professionals first. Our Macmillan nurse specialists in Ask an Expert are experiencing an increase in demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19) enquiries. If you have a concern or question about coronavirus (COVID-19) in relation to your cancer experience, please consult the current Ask a nurse discussions page first to see whether a similar question has already been posted. This helps our team of specialist nurses support as many people as possible. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has become a source of stress for many of us, especially those who are already struggling either physically or emotionally. Mind, a charity which specialises in supporting mental wellbeing, have issued information and support here on what you can do to take care of your mental health during this time. One of our members, Ginajsy, has started a distraction thread here in the Community to encourage positivity and to help those who are feeling overwhelmed. Another member, Lass, has started a thread on things to do while self-isolating - take a read here to see some ideas. 

The Online Community will be here as a source of comfort and support, 24 hours a day. When the vast majority of us are staying at home, it’s more important than ever to be kind and understanding online and to reach out to others if you are struggling or feeling lonely. If you would like to talk to someone verbally about your worries or any questions, please remember that you can call our advisors on the Macmillan Support Line for free every day between 8am and 8pm, on 0808 808 00 00. 

Take care, and if you have any questions or would like further support, please reach out to us at community@macmillan.org.uk