Parkinson’s & Coronavirus

Parkinson’s UK we need you more than ever NOW

Please can the charity who represents us please make an announcement to clarify to the Parkinson’s Community whether Parkinson’s is classed as one of the serious health conditions mentioned by Professor Chris Whitty on SKY TV that vulnerable people and those with serious health conditions need to be “shielded” from social contact for 12 weeks from this coming weekend?

Professor Whitty said all these people would be the ones who they recommend for the flu jab each year, so does this include all PwP in the UK?

Your help line is a little overloaded and we have tried several times and cant get through

PD is one of the medical conditions for which a flu jab is offered, so that does put PD sufferers in the ‘shielded’ category. Whether that actually means that PD sufferers are more likely to become seriously ill or die from coronavirus, is another matter. My guess is that at this stage, there isn’t enough data to be sure one way or another.

Personally, I’m not taking any chances and treating myself as vulnerable, but the decision is an easy one for me because I am retired.

I think PUK does need to make a statement on this issue, and also give guidance on the exercise groups and other activities of local PUK groups. If everyone with PD is in the vulnerable category, then logically all those activities should be cancelled for the next 3 months.

Hi @CHARLOTTEA, :wave:

Welcome to the Parkinson’s UK forum.

I understand your concerns, some groups of people do have an increased risk of severe illness if they get coronavirus. These groups include everyone over 70, people who are pregnant, and people with certain conditions. This includes Parkinson’s. So people with the condition should limit face to face interaction and follow strict social distancing - there’s more information on this via our website here:

This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks and we are continuously updating the website as and when we received updates on the virus. I’m really sorry that you haven’t had the best experience with our helpline team; due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, our helpline advisers are dealing with a higher influx of calls. I’d advise you try calling us again or email us on [email protected].

I hope you find this information helpful.

Best wishes,

1 Like

Does this not contradict the message in the blue header article on this forum?.. I’m confused more than ever now :thinking:

I think the message is that although people with Parkinson’s are no more likely to contract Covid-19 they are more likely to suffer complications if they do contract it. For this reason they should take more precautions to avoid catching in in the first place (by social distancing).

1 Like

Hi @Hippy,

@Singing_Gardeneris right; from what we understand, people with Parkinson’s are no more likely to catch the virus, however, they have increased risk of severe illness if they do.

I hope this clears up any confusion.

Best wishes,

1 Like

Hi All
I watched a webcast on Parkinson’s Foundation site yesterday which was very informative. It featured an interview between National Medical Director, Dr. Michael S. Okun, and infectious disease expert, Dr. Frederick S. Southwick, both of the University of Florida.

Hope this helps.
Best wishes

Many thanks for clearing that up SG & Reah.

Would you say this applies to those with YOPD? My husband is in his 40s, and otherwise healthy. If he was to contract Coronavirus could his PD make it all the more serious, or would you say this is more likely for older people living with PD?
Thanks x

Hi KatieP,

Our advice is that people over 70, people who are pregnant, and people with conditions including Parkinson’s should be more rigorous in their distancing. This is because they are at greater risk of severe illness if they get coronavirus. The link that Reah posted above has information on Parkinson’s and coronavirus, you can take a look to find out more. We will be updating the page whenever we receive new information, and there are helpful links for any questions you might have. If you’d like to get in touch, our helpline is available to call, and you can also email them at [email protected].

I hope this is useful for you, and best wishes.
Moderation team.

I listened to it as well. I found it reassuring. The written advice on their site is also worth reading. It is more nuanced than PUK’s.

Hi. I need advise. I am 51 with Parkinson’s. I am also a key worker in a respite service for children with learning disabilities. At present I am been isolated for 2 weeks because of my condition. Will I be expected to go back to work after this period?

Hi Tracy,

We understand your concerns. You should speak with your employers about this and help them understand that as a person with Parkinson’s you need to practice strict social distancing. You can find out more about Parkinson’s and coronavirus here: .

And please remember our Helpline is here for you, and they can help to answer any more specific queries or concerns you may have. You can reach them via email at [email protected], or call free on 0808 800 0303. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm, and on Saturday from 10am-2pm.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Moderation Team

Thank-you for your response.

Hi, I wrote this once and then think that I somehow deleted it so apologies if it appears twice :-S I have been trying to keep calm about the virus outbreak but I’m now beginning to panic. I am unsure what the advice is going to be moving forwards in terms of more extreme social distancing for people with Parkinson’s and I am unsure as to whether this is to be blanket advice regardless of age and stage of the condition or not and I cannot find any concrete information on this or evidence for decisions being made. I understand that the social distancing measures are being put in place to protect NHS services as well as individuals and I really do want to do what I can but I cannot follow the advice on social distancing in any case because I need to eat and have supplies of basic essentials and they are in very short supply. The only way I can get them is to queue with a load of other people because I live on my own and those who might support me are struggling to get supplies for themselves and their own families and are desperately trying to protect elderly parents.
With the threat of more draconian measures to come, I have absolutely no idea what I’m supposed to do. I really would like to follow advice because I’m also worried that as this pandemic spreads and the NHS comes under increasing pressure, my newfound status as a ‘vulnerable person’ may affect my treatment options should I contract the virus and become ill. I have followed up all the links that I can find but there is no actual, practical advice as to what to do if you are alone with Parkinson’s or are struggling to get support and are supposed to be socially distancing yourself. I can keep trying to contact the Helpline but I suspect they are only going to signpost me to the signposts that already don’t tell me what to do. I really do have no idea what to do for the best but I can honestly say that I have never felt so vulnerable, directionless and unable to control a situation in my entire life.

The problem is that there are no supermarket deliveries at the moment. Hopefully the food supply situation will be sorted out in a couple of weeks and then you’ll be able to order food to be delivered. In the meantime, I suggest you do some internet searching and see if there are any voluntary organisations near you which can help. In my area a coronavirus volunteer group has been set up whose members will shop and deliver food.

Your fear about treatment options in the future, is just that – a fear. The vast majority of people, of all ages, are going to recover from this virus, with or without treatment.

Thank you for your thoughts. I guess we all have different experiences and different opinions. There are no volunteer groups that I can access in my area - it is a densely populated inner-city area with way too many people in need as testified to by the vast numbers of people who should have been socially isolating waiting outside Sainsburys at stupid O’clock this morning in the freezing cold. Some of them reported that they were living with a spouse who also needs to socially isolate themselves and had picked the relatively healthiest of the two of them to go out in a vague attempt to do the best they could to follow advice.
I’m hopeful that my fear about treatment options is just a fear but I have no evidence either way at the moment and references in some documents to ‘difficult decisions’ ahead in terms of treatment options don’t fill me with confidence. The fact that the majority of people who contract this virus will recover is a different point to worrying about treatment options for those who get seriously ill. Contradictorily I suppose, I also don’t understand the blanket inclusion of all people with Parkinson’s in the category of vulnerable irrespective of age and stage of the condition and I can’t find any evidence to support this stance, though I may just be looking in the wrong place. I’m still concerned that if I am to socially isolate myself while the supply of food is getting sorted out, I have no idea how to get food, but maybe there will be measures implemented.
My friend is living in a three generation household with a seriously ill mother and two teenage daughters. The house is tiny, they are living on very limited funds and nobody in it has anywhere else that they can go. It is just an opinion but it seems to me that the guidelines don’t meet the needs of all of the people they apply to.
It is good to know that systems are working more efficiently elsewhere; it’s not the experience I am having at the moment but maybe that will change over the coming week. I will see what announcements Monday brings. Thanks again for replying. Take care. Jx

Hi all

I’ve now received a text from the NHS telling me to stay indoors for 12 weeks so I guess many of you have also had some communication?

Im still waiting im PWP and also have severe asthma . Told by physio that will be in high risk group … lets hope GP agrees

Well it appears im not in high risk group afterall . Although had to speak to a doctor as unwell with chest infection at moment and he agreed it wasnt safe for me to work and should isolate but no certificate to say this as didnt fit the tight guidelines . . Work is asking for one . Im staying off work as not prepared to put myself at risk , but i either get no pay or 37.70 stat sick pay as my hours are part time or i get furloughed and can get upto 2500 if i had cert to say i am vunerable. It seems a bit a mess