The Pandemic Isn't Over for Immunocompromised San Diegans

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When the Coronavirus began, Shila Salemian thought about her own risk only in rare moments. As a new nurse, she was eager to get to work.

“Even my doctor was like, why are you a nurse?” said Salemian. “But you just go back to it and remember why you went into this field.”

Shila faces higher risks than most in her position. She suffers from arthritis, a disease in which a person’s immune system attacks their own joints. Because of her disease, Shila is on immunosuppressants. 

While her profession put her on the front lines, outside of work, Shila has kept herself as far away from risk as possible.

Shila’s fiance Ben Street is also high risk. He received a kidney transplant and has been on immunosuppressants since 2010. The two continue to mask up everywhere they go and avoid indoor public places

“There are certain days where it does get a bit old when I get over it,” said Street. “My patience has definitely been tested over the past few years.”

San Diego's COVID-19 numbers have improved sharply over the past few weeks, leading the city to get rid of masking requirements and many residents to resume activities they put off during the pandemic. 

While both Ben and Shila also hope to slowly expand their life again they say right now it's just too soon.

“It got to the point whereas long we were able to have our open air and we weren't around people we didn't know we became more comfortable with it,” said Salemian. “But in terms of indoor, I don't know when we’ll be comfortable with it.”

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