Do you know someone who's at risk for COVID-19 because of their age? Well, an immunocompromised 24-year-old Canadian wants you to know that fears and concerns about the pandemic aren't just for the elderly.
The novel coronavirus in Canada can impact young people too, especially if they have underlying health issues that put them at risk.
There's been lots of talk around the risk the virus poses to older people, but one Canadian is speaking out about how young people are being affected.
Allie MacIsaac, a 24-year-old from Ottawa, has two chronic illnesses and says she's immunocompromised.
She's staying at home for two weeks to try and avoid getting COVID-19 because she's at risk due to cystic fibrosis and diabetes related to that genetic disorder.
Since a lot of the focus has been on older people who are susceptible to the virus, Narcity spoke with MacIsaac about what she wants others to know about the concerns facing young immunocompromised individuals.
She believes that since people might not think they're connected to someone from a vulnerable population, they aren't fully aware of how far-reaching the issue truly is.
"I think people have this idea that 'oh, well, it's not me, it's not going to affect me or anyone around me. Everyone around me is healthy, I'm good to go,'" MacIsaac said.
"But I think the reality is that everybody knows someone who is at risk. Everyone knows someone who is part of that vulnerable population."
Even if a person looks healthy, they might have issues that put them at a higher risk of getting COVID-19.
"I always preach about general awareness about chronic illness, especially invisible illnesses. Looking at me you would never know that I have these disabilities."
So she says keeping your distance is key.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, told Canadians on March 13 that social distancing is an important contribution that everyone can make.
"I want people to think outside themselves," MacIsaac said.
For her and many others with chronic illness or underlying health issues, an abundance of caution when it comes to germs and safety is something they deal with every single day.
MacIsaac's two-week isolation period won't be particularly easy for her and could go even longer.
"I'm a very social person," she said. "Not seeing my colleagues, my family, friends at the gym, not interacting with those people is probably going to be the hardest for me."
To get through her days, she's going to take her dog for walks while keeping her distance from others, do at-home workouts, clean and call friends and family.
"As long as I'm communicating with them, I'm happy to have that substitute," she said.
MacIsaac also has her sewing machine, guitar and camera at the ready for some creative time.