Guest Columnist

Michaela Krum

People Exposed to Asbestos in Age of COVID-19 Asking “What Now?”


Millions of peoples have been exposed to asbestos through brake pads, house tiles or insulation, popcorn ceilings, and more. Unfortunately, asbestos is the direct cause of cancers like mesothelioma, and other deadly diseases. Even though asbestos were removed from the market in 1972, it still remains in many households and commercial products. People who already have limited pulmonary capacity because of asbestos related diseases are reading the COVID-19 news and saying “what now?”

Fortunately, significant material about asbestos and the ensuing health conditions is available through the documentary Dealing with Mesothelioma, which has been released on the RX channel and other news streaming channels. This medical documentary is an easy to understand film featuring well-known actors who have battled diseases from asbestos, including Steve McQueen and Ed Lauter, who tragically succumbed to mesothelioma. It also features leading medical professionals, who deliver critical health information in language that is comprehendible to all viewers.

In addition to Dealing with Mesothelioma, the nation’s top medical facilities like Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins are producing updated material to people exposed to asbestos, a population that have been shown to be at the greatest risk of COVID-19 by early studies. Dr. Erin Bromage has found that infection could occur through the 1000 infectious viral particles you receive through one breath or one eye-rub. Over 100,000 American people have already died already from the coronavirus, and June is expected to bring an escalated spike in cases. People who have been exposed to asbestos are unsurprisingly very concerned and seeking reliable medical information.

Former United States President Barack Obama recently called the government’s handling of the pandemic “an absolute chaotic disaster”. These are sobering times, but we must hold fast to the important truth that there is hope. There is big medicine available for big diseases like mesothelioma. Recent news developments have been favorably compelling about virus developments that will likely be first available to those who struggle with pulmonary conditions, including those who have been exposed to asbestos. It’s been a long two months, but hope is on the way.

Michaela Krum is a recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of California, Irvine.