Mended Hearts Open Forum

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Mended Hearts and COVID-19

  • 1.  Mended Hearts and COVID-19

    Posted 03-12-2020 15:35
    Hi everyone,

    I wanted to pass along this information that has been sent to all members and posted on our Facebook. Also, we might see some new faces here in the community and I look forward to sharing with them. You all are amazing and I know they will find a great home here.

    Dear members, family, friends, and supporters

    Mended Hearts has been following the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) information released from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). On Tuesday, March 10, the CDC released a recommendation that all individuals who are over the age of 60, or have an underlying health condition, such as cardiovascular disease, should take extra precautions to protect themselves from the virus.

    The CDC recommends if you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:

    • Stock up on supplies and medications
    • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
    • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often
    • Avoid crowds as much as possible
    • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel
    • During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed

    The Mended Hearts' main priority is to protect our members, visitors, and those patients and families we serve. Therefore, after careful consideration, The Board of Directors for The Mended Hearts, Inc has issued the following temporary policies:

    Effectively immediately, all patient and family in-person visits will be temporarily suspended in all chapters and groups across the nation

    Effective immediately, all monthly support, educational meetings, and events will be temporarily suspended in all chapters and groups across the nation

    The Mended Hearts, Inc Board of Directors will reassess the situation weekly and communicate updates to our membership. Our hope is that this is a short-term situation that will resolve itself.

    Until we lift the suspension on in-person visits and gatherings, Mended Hearts will continue to provide support in other ways. Please know that Mended Hearts is still here, and still working to inspire hope and improve the quality of life of heart patients and their families.

    Ways that we can provide support currently:

    Join us on our online discussion board, where you can talk to others just like you:

    Call us to be connected to a supporter in your area: 1-888-HEART-99

    Email us at to be connected via email to someone

    Follow us here Facebook

    During this temporary hold on in-person connection, Mended Hearts and Mended Little Hearts will still be here, still providing comfort and support. We look forward to gathering again.


    The Mended Hearts, Inc Board of Directors

    Andrea Baer
    Grapeville PA
    (724) 396-7820

  • 2.  RE: Mended Hearts and COVID-19

    Posted 03-13-2020 10:25

                  I saw my cardiologist this week for a six-month check-up. She advised me to stop my MH visits to patients in the hospital and to cancel all unnecessary doctors' appointments. Instead of hugging and cheese-kissing, we bumped elbows, and she says to do this with anyone with whom you aren't already living. No more sitting around in cafes (my main social activity), and I am to try to go to the gym during off-hours.

                  People may wish to consult with their own docs, but there I am.

                  We will re-assess in two weeks.

    Bob Levin

    Berkeley, CA

    Co-author, with Adele Levin, of "I Will Keep You Alive"


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  • 3.  RE: Mended Hearts and COVID-19

    Posted 03-13-2020 11:45
    While I understand the monthly meetings I do not understand the visits being canceled.  During Flu season all staff is normally required to wear masks if they do not have the flu shot. Sanitizer is available in all the halls and at doorways.
    By simply requiring masks and avoiding personal contact visits could still be maintained. Simple procedural changes can reduce the risk.
    There comes a point where caution gives way to fear and fear gives way to panic.
    We have seen the HIV scare, Zika virus, Legionnaires, Lime, etc, etc. Yes, this is serious, but we are not talking about the "Walking Dead" Zombie Apocalypse. 
    Taking simple precautions and using common sense practices we can reduce the risk of exposure. Those of us with heart issues are at risk, but in some ways, we are also better prepared. We have the medications to keep our system in tune, we are eating healthier, some of us are improved from what we were and in many ways healthier than before our heart issues.  

    All I am trying to say folks is don't start getting into the fear mode. We will get through this like any issue.
    And remember mother nature will have another bug coming our way in a year or two. She doesn't want us to get bored with her. 

    Richard Short

  • 4.  RE: Mended Hearts and COVID-19

    Posted 03-14-2020 10:59
    I agree with just about everything Richard and Bob said.  I have a few additional points.

    Many of us are of an age to remember the polio epidemics that occurred every summer.  I remember spending summers at Rockaway Beach from the time I was 2 until I was 12 because the thinking at the time was that being at the seashore was safer than staying in the city.  I remember March of Dimes donation containers with pictures of a paralyzed kid at just about every store and asking my parents what it meant.  And I remember the people, including people my own age and parents of friends who suffered from lifetime paralysis as a result of polio and how lucky we felt when my classmates and I started getting required polio vaccines from the school nurse in the mid to late fifties.  We were survivors of a disease far scarier than covid-19 and I still think about the unluckiest souls who had to spend the rest of their lives in iron lungs. A few still live today.

    And then there was the smallpox epidemics that my parents and grandparents remembered.  The mortality rate was 33%, not the supposed 3% from coronavirus.  And let's not even discuss all the people in the 19th century and earlier dying of the "milk sick", diphtheria and tuberculosis, while people nevertheless lived fulfilling lives without fear.

    Let's talk about coronavirus survival rates, particularly in the US, where covid-19 testing has been very limited and where many people believe the actual number of cases is far higher than the 1400 or so that have tested positive.  I suspect that we probably are severely undercounting how many people in the country have contracted this virus, considering that we reportedly have tested only 8500 people, while South Korea has been testing 10,000 per day.  The good news, though, is if we assume, reasonably, than at least ten times as many people have the virus as has tested positively, then it is likely that the fatality rate is more like .3%, similar to the flu rate of .1%, rather than 3%.  This is because, although you can undercount infected people, it is impossible to undercount the dead.  Thus the larger the numerator while the denominator remains constant reduces the size of the fraction.

    I read somewhere that a survey reported millennials as being far more anxious than seniors about coronavirus.  Maybe this is because of our greater range of experience with these things.  Maybe it's just because, other than young combat veterans, we've seen more sickness and death than most young people.

    Finally, I personally question the notion that older people have weaker immune systems than young people.  Maybe that's true among sedentary folks, but I'm fitter than most people half my age, heart attack and OHS notwithstanding, and I see all these twenty and thirtysomething people sneezing, sniffling and coughing on the bus to work, every single day, while I try like hell to stay away from them, but I've only had 3 colds in the last 15 years and I'm turning 70 in four months.

    Be careful. wash tour hands and live your lives without wasting them living in fear.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 5.  RE: Mended Hearts and COVID-19

    Posted 03-14-2020 14:08
    Just reread my post and I need to correct an error.  I meant to say that when the denominator grows and the numerator remains constant, the fraction gets smaller...and I'm supposedly good in math!

    Have a great day, and don't hoard toilet paper! coronavirus is not norovirus.

    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ