One of the earliest things we’ve understood about the novel coronavirus, since the early days of the pandemic, is that there is a heightened risk for some individuals with preexisting and chronic conditions. This can mean that these individuals have even more an incentive to stay home to stay safe and have strict rules about mask-wearing and outside-the-bubble visits. Halle Berry, who has diabetes, told Variety in an interview that her preexisting condition has definitely influenced how she’s been feeling throughout the pandemic.
“I do feel at risk,” she said, regarding being a diabetic in this particular public health crisis. “I’m very strict about quarantining and who is in my bubble. We have a whole section of the house: When you go out in the world and buy something, it has to sit in this purgatory.”
The 54-year-old star is in killer physical condition (like have you seen John Wick 3 — Parabellum?) but notes that her diabetes does change how her body reacts to illness and injury. Like when she broke three ribs while filming the aforementioned film and had no idea what was going on.
“I thought I had bone cancer. I thought it was early osteoporosis. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me when I was really physically fit,” she said, before adding that realized there was a connection to her diabetes. “I have a propensity to fracture bones faster than other people.”
Slow healing and heightened risk of complication to infections for cuts and injuries is common among diabetic patients, as the Mayo Clinic notes.
“People with diabetes do face a higher chance of experiencing serious complications from COVID-19. In general, people with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with a virus,” the American Diabetes Association writes on their website. “Your risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 is likely to be lower if your diabetes is well-managed. When people with diabetes do not manage their diabetes well and experience fluctuating blood sugars, they are generally at risk for a number of diabetes-related complications. Having heart disease or other complications in addition to diabetes could worsen the chance of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, like other viral infections, because your body’s ability to fight off an infection is compromised.”
Viral infections, in particular, can be a dangerous experience for diabetic patients as they “can also increase inflammation, or internal swelling, in people with diabetes. This is also caused by above-target blood sugars, and both could contribute to more severe complications.”
So even badass action stars, like Berry, are taking precautions and being thoughtful about their individual health experiences and individual risks.
Before you go, check out our round-up of self-care essentials for pregnant people on bed rest:
Launch Gallery: The Things You Need in Your Coronavirus First Aid Kit
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