COVID-19 & Autoimmune Disease

Last Updated: September 25, 2020

Randall Rutta - CEO AARDA

From our CEO, Randall Rutta:

As news of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 changes by the hour, one fact remains constant:  each of us needs to be informed about this public health threat and take actions to protect ourselves and our families. The CDC warns that older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19. AARDA strongly encourages people with autoimmune disease to know your risk and take appropriate precautions.

On this page, we are working to share trusted resources that you can turn to for information about the virus and ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from the effects that it will have in the autoimmune community. Below you will find comments and advice from AARDA’s Scientific Advisory Board and our National Board of Directors, as well as links to latest information from trusted sources.

Dr. Betty Diamond

People with Autoimmune Disease and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Betty Diamond, Chair, AARDA Scientific Advisory Board

The worldwide spread of COVID-19 has disrupted all our lives. Unfortunately, the lack of information, and the slow engagement of scientific leadership, has enabled rumors and misinformation to spread. Fortunately, we all still exercise some control over our own health during this crisis. We, at AARDA, take this opportunity to offer some advice for individuals with autoimmune diseases during this pandemic.

[Read more]

Dr. Bob Phillips

Managing Stress in Challenging Times

Robert H. Phillips, Ph.D., Director, The Coping Counselors at the Center for Coping, Hicksville, NY.
Member, AARDA National Board of Directors

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been causing increased stress for most people. Both the known facts about the virus, as well as the unknown concerns, can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for adults and children. It can be helpful to recognize that the way we are affected by anything going on around us is directly related to the way we think about it. Therefore, an important category of coping strategies involves working on your thinking.

[Read more]

Lilly Stairs

COVID-19: A Time to Use Your Autoimmune Superpower to Help Others

Lilly Stairs, Founder & Principal, Patient Authentic LLC ; Vice Chair, AARDA    

COVID-19 has turned all of our lives upside down. But for those of us living with autoimmune diseases, the pandemic may feel like it carries more weight for us than it does for most.

Knowing that the common cold can throw our bodies for a loop, thinking about the potential impact if we were to contract COVID-19 is quite frankly, terrifying.

[Read more]

Important Resources for the Autoimmune Community

AARDA and other groups serving persons in the autoimmune, serious illness, and chronic condition communities are individually and collectively curating information on the COVID-19 coronavirus and steps to take to avoid contagion and, if infected, to manage the illness. For people with one or more autoimmune diseases, simply managing diagnosed conditions is often pretty challenging. COVID-19 adds new layers of difficulty as patients struggle to access  current, accurate information – especially guidance that addresses their unique health care circumstances and needs.  

AARDA recommends the following sources of information on COVID-19 as sources of accurate, frequently updated, and trustworthy information for patients, their families and communities.

Autoimmune Groups Rally to Provide Accurate COVID-19 Information to Our Community 

AARDA recognizes that many of our autoimmunity community partner organizations, including patient groups and other stakeholders, have expertise in addressing the challenge of this novel coronavirus pandemic and are sources of valuable information and advice. Selected resources follow: