Read aloud

Managing worry about COVID-19 and diabetes fact sheet

PDF coverThis fact sheet is available in two formats.

You can download and print out the PDF version.

Or you can read it as a website page below.

This fact sheet is also available in other languages.

We know things might be a little scary and uncertain at the moment. Your experience of living with diabetes, and the stresses and uncertainties it brings, means you are likely to be better prepared to cope with this situation than most people. If you find yourself worrying, it might help to focus on the things that you can control in your life.

Things you CAN control

Focussing on these can help your body and mind.

  • Keep up-to-date
    The Department of Health provides updates and advice on the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Learn the symptoms of COVID-19
    and what you should do if you start experiencing these. Check out the latest NDSS Coronavirus advice or call the Coronavirus Line on 1800 020 080. To seek medical help from a doctor or hospital, call ahead of time to discuss your symptoms and book an appointment.
  • What to do if you get sick
    If unsure, check out the NDSS advice for when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently
    Use soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Practice Social Distancing
    Reduce your chance of catching the viruses through social distancing.
  • Manage your diabetes as best you can
    Keep your blood glucose in range.
    Keep hypo treatments available, if needed.
  • Maintain healthy eating
    Continue to eat a balanced diet and make sure you are getting enough daily vitamins and nutrients.
  • Your physical activity
    Keeping your distance from others does not mean you need to stop being active.
  • Your mental health
    Remember to take care of your emotional well-being:

    • talk online with friends and family
    • join an online diabetes peer support group or try out a meditation app!
  • The support you need
    Feel confident in saying “no” and ask for help if you feel you need it.
  • Talk to your employer/manager
    You might need sick leave or time off.
  • Know who to contact
    Make sure you have up-to-date contact details for your doctor, CDE, and other health professionals.
  • Order diabetes supplies as usual
    Order your NDSS products and medicines as usual. If you are concerned call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700.

Things you CAN’T control

Focussing on these won’t help you.

  • If you catch COVID-19
    It is not your fault if you catch COVID-19. Be kind and compassionate to yourself.
  • If your friends catch COVID-19
    This can be scary and may make you feel anxious. Just do the best you can to keep yourself and those around you safe.
  • Being more vulnerable
    Having diabetes may make you more vulnerable to becoming unwell if you should catch the virus.
  • Needing to self-isolate or stay home
    You will miss work, school or appointments: this is okay and the best action we can all take to slow/stop the virus.
  • Other people’s feelings, opinions or actions
    Do what you are able to do and try not to let other people’s ideas affect you.
  • What’s at the supermarket
    You cannot control the availability of supplies. Try to be patient and try not to panic buy.
  • Availability of healthcare staff
    It may be more difficult to contact your healthcare team or attend appointments. Other options, such as phone or video appointments are available.
  • Scary stories and the media
    Get your news from reliable sources. It’s okay to take a break from the news or social media if it feels too much.
  • Things getting cancelled
    This can be disappointing and a hard decision to make, especially if you are the one doing the cancelling. BUT do what is safe and what is needed to protect yourself and others.

Need support?

Call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 to speak to a health professional.

The NDSS and you

A wide range of services and support is available through the NDSS to help you manage your diabetes. This includes information on diabetes management through the NDSS Helpline and website. The products, services and education programs available can help you stay on top of your diabetes.

This fact sheet is intended as a guide only. It should not replace individual medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health, or further questions, you should contact your health professional.

First published March 2020.