I’m a type-one diabetic.
Because of the COVID-19 virus, I’m realizing how many of you didn’t know that.
You all know someone like me who you don’t realize you could be impacting by not taking this pandemic serious, and it has been scaring the crap out of me for weeks.
I’ve been diabetic for 22 years. Actually, this week is the anniversary of my diagnosis. I was 12 years old. For those not in the know, I couldn’t prevent this disease. My pancreas is defective.
It’s not something I talk about on a regular basis anymore. I’m not ashamed of it. It used to make me feel different. I’ve written about it in the LA Times, talked about it on podcasts, and even been studied in other countries because of me talking about it publicly. (Read my LA Times article from 2008 here.) After 22 years, puncturing yourself with a needle several times a day becomes routine, and you forget that’s not other people’s normal. Over the past few years it has become something I don’t talk about unless it comes up naturally in discussion. So, if this is the first you’re hearing of my chronic illness, I promise you that it’s not that I don’t think we are close. There are people I’m not close with who know because it simply came up.
The most recent example I can think of was with my buddy and fellow producer Joey. The subject of diabetes literally came up in conversation and I said, “You know I’m diabetic right?” He didn’t know. We are close, and have known each other for a few years. I blame myself for not knowing which of you don’t know. I shouldn’t have relied on it to come up in conversation.
I bring this up now though, because I am feeling threatened by so many people I know, because of their rhetoric and behavior. The number of ignorant conversations that it only is affecting old people is alarming. I am someone this virus could dramatically impact, because of my pre-existing condition. We are now getting news of people dying in their 30’s with pre-existing conditions. Fortunately, I’ve been tracking this virus for months because of my Father-in-Law who is always on top of global events.
I’ve socially isolated for nearly 2 weeks now. My wife hasn’t been as lucky, because she works in the banking industry, deemed a necessary business even during the CA shelter-in-place order. Fortunately, she too has been taking proper precautions and we are both in good health for now, because we have been ahead of most.
I get that it’s difficult to stay indoors to stop the spread. I get that everyone is losing money and jobs and sanity. I’ve lost thousands of dollars myself. I was filming a stand-up show dependent on live audiences. I’ve not quite lost my sanity. And I especially don’t want to lose my life…I am relying on so many of you who probably won’t die because of this, but could impact me and many others like me.