For monkeypox patients, 21 days of 'infinite' isolation
Health

For monkeypox patients, 21 days of ‘infinite’ isolation

MONKEYPOX – Besides the seven days of people testing positive for Covid-19, the 21 days of isolation imposed by monkeypox seem even more “endless”. In any case, this is how Sebastian, 32, who confirmed: “Three weeks of solitude is nothing.”

In France, 1,453 people have officially contracted monkeypox (figures from Public Health France as of July 20), and 10,000 cases have been crossed worldwide. The World Health Organization’s Monkeypox Emergency Committee meets on Thursday, July 21, to determine measures to be taken against the outbreak, and to designate a “public health emergency of international concern,” the organization’s highest level of preparedness.

“The impact of isolation on mental health is something that is sometimes overlooked,” Sebastian says wistfully. Like Yohann and Romain*, he tells HuffPost difficult period. Because even if they hold out and see this moment as necessary, they stress the consequences for their mental health and their money.

More afraid of pimples

“The thing I feared most was isolation. The blisters, I’ve read they are painful, but they will go away. Aches and fever, the doctors told me it wouldn’t last long, that wasn’t what worried me the most,” said Sebastian, who lives in the Paris area.

“But the fact that we are in the middle of summer, that after the Covid periods … we want to enjoy life a little bit, and tell ourselves that we will have to isolate ourselves for three weeks, seemed to me endless,” he continues. Also for Johan, originally from Lyon, this isolation was “worse”. My second reaction, after wondering what monkeypox was, was ‘Hare we’ll be isolated for three weeks’. As for Roman, the announcement had the effect of a “mass strike”.

Sebastian and Johan already have in common that they knew of a possible form of the disease. “Compared to symptoms, cIt was very soft. The first week was particularly complicated, “recalls Johan, whose isolation ended on July 14. The fever, body aches and fatigue lasted a week. Since the second week, I still had blisters that were healing, but they are no longer painful, “confirms Sebastian.

Being locked up in a tiny apartment in Paris in this hot weather is a kind of hell.

– Sebastian

For Johan, the most difficult thing with this isolation was “no physical contact”. “After two, three weeks, it starts to stretch. I’m obviously tired. Staying home, it’s fine for a week, if we can still see people that’s fine, but we don’t see anyone there. Roman agrees, saying:” It’s very heavy.”

This isolation was also imposed on the hyperthermic episodes of monkeypox patients. “Being confined to a small apartment in Paris in such extreme heat is a kind of hell,” testifies Sebastien, who recalls at the same time that “there are many cases in Ile-de-France.” Ile-de-France is living its last days of isolation (ending on July 22nd), while France faces scorching temperatures.

“For Covid, it was fine because I was with my family and I had a garden, while I have 43 square metres, in the city center, without a garden, without a balcony, it’s not the same atmosphere,” adds John.

“My LGBT Community Helped Me”

To deal with that, Leon appreciated his ability to work remotely. “The first two weeks were good for me. I was working remotely, so it also helped me to connect with my colleagues, not just watch TV or sleep, even if I was really tired in the first week,” he explains. “With my friends, I also did Facetime, or a video aperitif,” he adds.

But in the third week, it started to get complicated. I admit I didn’t stay locked up non-stop for three weeks. I went out two nights, in the middle of the night, to land on the docks but I wasn’t with anyone,” then Johann says.

For his part, Sebastian also had difficulty staying alone, and he first turned to social networks. “What has benefited me is using social networks to chat with patients. Many people have heard from me, I am lucky to be well surrounded,” he develops.

“I am so fortunate that I belong to the LGBT community that organizes itself to do prevention, on a lot of media. Thanks to that, connections and connections were made and it was possible to break this isolation,” he would like to emphasize.

“But the third week, it was starting to get really complicated. I went out two nights, in the middle of the night, to land on the sidewalks but I wasn’t with anyone.

– John

But this solitude he finally preferred to adapt in his own way. “I had the idea to ask a friend who had monkeypox on the same date I do to share a roommate, and according to the doctors we contacted, there was no risk of overcontamination if precautions were taken. For a few days now, we are sharing accommodation and it has become more Fun,” he says.

“Mental health is just as important as the other symptoms. Three weeks of isolation is nothing, it’s done, but you can also try to get out of it in the best of circumstances, explains the Parisi. Adding depression, depression on top of that could have delayed my recovery, and my well-being on any case.

Now he is “no longer afraid” of the last week of solitude. “Being in pairs is much easier. We play board games, try to do a little sport while maintaining barrier gestures,” he explains. Health insurance states that patients who live under one roof should not share household linens or dishes.

When isolation ends in instability

In addition to this mental health problem, Roman highlights the danger this isolation can cause. “I came out of isolation last Friday and received my first daily allowance, and now I am anxiously awaiting my next month’s salary,” he said.

“Indeed, it is necessary to count the three days of waiting. Then I work in the hotel industry, often at night. I get paid a lot of extra work I lose, the same goes for the night bonuses. I get 120 euros a night on average, and at the moment CPAM reimbursed me 39 euros per night, which does not correspond to 60% of my sickness allowance,” explains Roman, who calculates that he lost nearly 700 euros in salary.

“I set aside regularly so I have a small mattress, but not everyone […]. I have already been told the case of a student who goes to work in spite of everything because, financially, he can’t manage it. Others, such as sex workers, are not covered.” For Roman, 100% funding of the work stoppage, as for Covid-19, is a necessity “even if to encourage isolation” and “avoiding exposure.”

While waiting for this question to be raised nationally, Roman’s solitude ended, like that of John. For his part, Sebastian still has a few nights to wait for her, but the more days go by, the closer he gets to Lady Gaga’s party. “I am so happy to be able to get out of my isolation for this, it would be great,” he smiles on the phone. Sunday roll.

*Name changed

See also on The HuffPost: ‘With Charcot’s Illness, William films himself ‘to leave a trail’

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