This year, the World Allergy Organization is hosting World Allergy Week from June 28th to July 4th in order to emphasize the importance of continued allergy care despite the COVID-19 pandemic. With so much fear and anxiety surrounding the coronavirus it is normal that other hardships – such as living with food allergies – be moved to the backburner. However, the reality remains that for people with food allergies, the everyday struggles surrounding their allergies haven’t gone away. Now more than ever it is important that we remember that allergy care does not stop with COVID-19.
For people undergoing oral immunotherapy, consistency is key. These patients need to be constantly receiving doses of their allergen in order to build up a tolerance. Additionally, the symptoms to their allergen needs to be tracked and doctors need to be able to switch up their doses. Given this, avoiding doctors completely during the COVID-19 pandemic is simply not an option. Many allergists have begun to embrace the new technologies available to them and have started taking appointments over the phone. Telemedicine may not be the same as an in person exam, but it can help you stay on top of your allergy care despite the coronavirus, and even save you some time.
With the coronavirus pandemic keeping people from being able to go into work, many businesses have been forced to change their stock. Additionally, factories have had to change up recipes in order keep up with demand despite less availability to some ingredients. Given this, people with food allergies have had to be extra careful with the food they eat. Finding the allergy free bread they like, may not be as easy as usual and their favorite granola bar may have gone and changed the recipe on them. It is important that we ensure that the people in the food allergy community continue to have access to the foods they need.
Despite food allergies not being the main focus, the hardships surrounding food allergy families haven’t gone away. If anything, they have only intensified. Given this, it is vital that we not forget to continue to raise awareness for those left struggling more than ever. As usual, education is key. Keep spreading the word about the realities surrounding food allergies and make sure people recognize how they can make a difference. Remind people to avoid buying out the allergy safe food if they don’t have to, and try to keep the lines of communication open during this time. Maybe even use social media as a way to keep the conversation going.
So many businesses have been forced to close as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many people out of jobs and the economy taking a dramatic hit, supporting small businesses is as important as ever. If possible, try and make that extra effort with your food allergy community. Buy that box of cookies from your allergy safe bakery or eat out at the allergy free restaurant in your community. These establishments help the food allergy community feel safe when they go out and now more than ever it is time that we show our support.
No matter who you are, the novel coronavirus has affected you in some way. Whether it be financially, emotionally, physically, mentally or all of the above, COVID-19 had undoubtedly taken its toll. This joint experience could be a great tool to use in banding the food allergy community together. The experience of navigating food allergies through the pandemic is a great way to strengthen the community and find new ways to raise awareness. Use social media as a way to share your hardships and connect with others who may have gone through the same things.
It can be easy to forget about the people who are struggling during a difficult time, but now more than ever these people require our help. There isn’t one right way to give back to the food allergy community; just find the way that feels right to you. Try donating allergy safe food to food banks or donating to research that can help find new ways to deal with food allergies. Additionally, you could sign a petition asking for sesame to be added to the list of top allergies or even just share a Facebook post to raise awareness. It’s not a question of how you help, but rather if you do. Even the smallest act can make a difference.
Food allergy families have found themselves facing new hardships since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. However, they have banded together as a community in order to find new, creative solutions to any problems they may be facing. With so much focus being put on COVID-19 these days, it is more important than ever that the food allergy community continue supporting and caring and finding new innovative solutions to their problems.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA
My family ordered a week's worth of food from Food Allergy Concierge during the most recent lockdown. Having the food on hand, and knowing that it was safe for everyone in the family to eat, helped turn the lockdown into a stay-cation! We were still able to take a break from cooking and worrying, and we look forward to using FAC's services again in the future.