Having anxiety as a parent of a medically complex child

Editor’s Note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft. The world is currently grappling with COVID-19, a new-to humans virus that causes respiratory infection and can lead to serious or fatal health complications, and its impact on almost every part of our daily life. Things areparticularly challenging for parents of kids with disabilities, who are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with the new “normal” we will likely face in the aftermath of the virus. If COVID-19 has changed anything in our not-so normallife, it is this: we as parents now find ourselves welcoming two uninvited guests in the form of more anxiety and increased responsibility. This new worry impels parents like us to pause for a moment and think about all the family and school gatherings, birthday parties, and times we had dinning out or going to the movie theaters or local beach. ____________________________________________________ More on coronavirus: ____________________________________________________ Even something as seemingly normal as doctor’s appointments and routine hospital admissions will no longer be the same and entail the risk of a bigger concern. To all the hospitals, doctor’s offices, therapy centers and clinics — please do not get offended if we ask “harmless” questions about your COVID-19 protocols for keeping your patients and staff safe and facility sterilized. Will the friends visiting us pose a risk to our son, or will the family anniversary party cause a problem, a couple of days later? That one innocent sneeze could trigger a deadly chain of events in someone like my son who is constantly battling mitochondrial disease. Gallery: Frontline healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus outbreak (Photos) While people in many countries around the world practice self-isolation and social distancing to help alleviate pressure on local hospitals and national healthcare systems, frontline medical professionals have been working tirelessly to treat patients and manage the pandemic in many of the hardest-hit places. As the crisis continues to cause significant global disruption at anincreasing social, economic and human cost, we take a look at the daily working lives of healthcare professionals around the world in pictures. Let me take this opportunity to say this to all those who get offended when we are unable to attend a large function, or when we say a reluctant “no” to joining you at a family gathering: I’m sorry, but we hope you understand.