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Salmon Arm woman discusses COVID-19’s effects on people with diabetes

Virus prevention and the cost of medicine for those out of work are at the front of Nel Peach’s mind.
The COVID-19 pandemic has a number of unique impacts on those with diabetes. (Pixabay)

Nel Peach, a Salmon Arm resident, sees some of the silver linings of self isolation while also dealing with the awareness that her diabetes makes her at particular risk from the COVID-19

Peach, who has been living with diabetes since 1983, told the Observer she finds the information provided by Diabetes Canada in regards to the virus very useful and also participates in the coast-to-coast community of diabetics which the national organization facilitates.

Diabetes Canada states that COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms and complications for some people living with diabetes just as it can for those with other chronic conditions and the elderly. The organization recommends those with diabetes get proactive about protecting themselves from the virus.

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Peach said information centering on the COVID-19 virus’ impact on diabetes has helped inform her choices. She said based on the information available she believes it is especially important to keep blood sugars in the normal range at all times. She said it is also important to have an adequate supply of insulin, test strips and daily medications, and to have healthy food on hand.

Peach said Diabetes Canada has been assured that there is a sufficient supply of insulin in Canada. She said help available in Salmon Arm with shopping, including pharmacies which are offering pick up and delivery, have been very beneficial as she tries to remain isolated as much as possible. Peach added that as there is an out of pocket cost associated with some diabetes supplies, this time when many people are off work can create a serious financial burden with some having to choose between their insulin pump supplies and medication or groceries.

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Under normal circumstances, Peach volunteers with the SPCA but she said they asked her to stop coming in as a precaution because of her age and diabetes. She said, volunteering is a win-win situation for the volunteer and the organization.

In a discussion with Diabetes Canada which they posted on their website, Peach said she was impressed with how well people in Salmon Arm are heeding physical distancing measures. She said that isolation has slowed the pace of life, freeing up time to keep in regular contact with family and friends by phone or email as well as organizing her home and providing regular outings for her 15-year-old toothless dog.

-with files from Lachlan Labere

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