The Coronavirus crisis has been a difficult time for many of us, but it’s especially tough for those who have a compromised immune system or chronic respiratory issues.
Many of us have had to change our daily routine because of COVID-19. But imagine if you were already suffering from a chronic illness, then the Coronavirus hits. That's exactly what one veteran in Robstown is going through."
"With this COVID-19, it's been an even greater challenge and it definitely puts a big stressor on our lives,” said Leroy Torres.
Torres co-founded BurnPits360, a Robstown based organization that helps veterans and monitors this who have been exposed to open air burn pits. Torres was diagnosed with a chronic lung condition that doctors say is related to his service in Iraq.
"My health has already been compromised, and my lungs have already been compromised,” said Torres. “So it has been an additional challenge for me."
When the Coronavirus crisis began, he and his family took extra precautions right away, like wearing masks and gloves in public at all times, and even posting a sign outside of his home stating he has a chronic respiratory illness.
"If somebody approaches (they can) leave packages there in the front. We also have a cleaning station in the garage."
The cleaning station is used by his wife to disinfect packages sent to his home or clean items that his family buys from stores.
The family says they’re taking all these extra precautions because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
"God forbid, if it happened to me, to one of us that are dealing with exposure already with a lung condition, that it would be a higher risk, and it's one thing that's daily in the back of my mind,” said Torres.
Torres says COVID-19 has also been especially tough for veterans dealing with additional stress and anxiety, but it’s important to take care of your mental health. There are plenty of resources out there, including BurnPits360, 1-800-685-3983 . Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also offers tips and recommendations here: https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/coronavirus/index.asp