coronavirus in connecticut

‘Help Us:' Cancer Patient Weighs in on Indoor Masking Guidance

Barb Roderick is immune-compromised and fighting cancer. She asks that others wear a mask to help people like her stay safe during the pandemic.

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Barb Roderick is a fighter. A nearly 17-year cancer survivor, she’s fighting again. This time it’s stage 4 cancer.

“As someone who’s immune-compromised, to me, it was no question. I was getting vaccinated,” said Roderick.

Even though she is fully vaccinated, Roderick still wears her mask indoors. With many people unmasked inside, she has to weigh the risks everywhere she goes.

“When I go into places, I am scared for my life,” said Roderick. “I cannot fight this virus. And if I get it, I’m likely going to die, and I don’t want to.”

With COVID-19 cases rising across the country and now two counties in Connecticut meeting the CDC’s threshold for recommended universal masking indoors, Roderick hopes everyone will consider her and other immunocompromised individuals.

“I hope that everyone who is vaccinated still chooses to wear a mask, and I hope that everyone who isn’t vaccinated absolutely wears a mask,” said Roderick.

“We know that vaccinated individuals, although still rare, can develop breakthrough infections, and, importantly, they can also transmit the virus to others. Hence the importance of wearing masks,” said Trinity Health of New England Regional Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Syed Hussain.

Experts say it’s a simple step that helps not just yourself but others.

While Roderick continues her fight against cancer, she hopes everyone will aid her battle by putting on a mask.

“Give me the common courtesy. Give the person with diabetes next to me the common courtesy. Give the person...anyone immune-compromised for any reason, just give them the courtesy. Wear the mask because we’re doing all we can to protect ourselves. Help us,” said Roderick.

Doctors say if you’ve been on the fence about getting vaccinated, that now is the time to roll up your sleeve.

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