Life after lockdown for young people with cancer
As of July 2021, coronavirus restrictions are currently in the process of easing in the UK. For young people with cancer, that may bring up a mix of emotions. Here, we talk about common feelings young people might have, and share some tips and info on how to face this change from some of our Youth Support Coordinators.
How should I keep myself safe from coronavirus now restrictions are lifting?
Legal coronavirus restrictions are due to be lifted at different stages across the UK this summer.
Each UK country is reviewing their guidelines separately, meaning the restrictions and timings will be different depending on where you live or are visiting.
Lifting of restrictions will apply to clinically extremely vulnerable people too.
But it’s still recommended you take extra precautions to reduce the risks of catching coronavirus and other infections. You can help do this by:
- Following all the advice from your clinical care team, which may include continuing to stay away from others. Cancer treatment sometimes involves periods of isolation anyway, if it’s important for your immune system to be protected from different infections (not just coronavirus). We know this can be really hard, so check out our isolation hacks for some ideas of how to keep a routine.
- Keeping up to date with and following the government coronavirus guidelines for where you live or where you are visiting. This is important because the rules will be different depending on which country you’re in. And it is possible that things could change again.
- Washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap, and using hand sanitiser when you’re out and about. It’s also a good idea to avoid touching your face.
- Choosing to meet outside if you’re able to see other people, or make sure the space you’re in is well ventilated.
- Wearing a mask if you’re indoors with lots of people, or if it would make you feel more comfortable. Masks will still be mandatory or required in some countries and places, like in clinical settings (the hospital or doctors) and on some public transport. But even if they’re not, governments and advisers are still recommending people wear masks in busy indoor spaces.
- Choosing to limit your contact with other people – you might want to only see a few select people and not meet in big groups, or you might decide you don’t want to start hugging people just yet. It’s OK to ask people if they’ve been vaccinated too, as that might reassure you if you’re meeting up with them.
- Choosing to limit how much you use public transport. You can talk to your school, college or place of work about how you can avoid peak times, if it’s not possible for you to drive or cycle yourself.
- Using free coronavirus lateral flow tests regularly and asking those you’re meeting up with to test themselves before you see them, too. You can order these from gov.uk, or check your government’s website.
- Keeping an eye on how you’re feeling – if you’re feeling unwell, always look after yourself and check in with your clinical team. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, they can advise if you need to get tested. The legal rules around self-isolating because of coronavirus are due to change at different times across the UK, so always make sure you know what you need to do by checking online.
- Considering getting the coronavirus vaccine. If you haven’t had it already, and you’re eligible, talk to your care team about any questions you might have. The vaccine provides the best protection for you and those around you, especially after your second dose.
You can also read our information on how coronavirus might affect your treatment.