Disabled people
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.
Receiving too many notifications? Adjust your notification settings.

'I had an active life': How are shielders surviving lockdown?

Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,764 Scope community team
edited August 2020 in Disabled people

Shielding is lonely, hard work and stressful,” says Vicki Milner, 26, in Bristol. Her asthma means Milner’s lung capacity is that of someone in their 50s. She is one of millions of people with underlying health conditions in the UK who are shielding during the coronavirus pandemic, meaning they are not leaving their home at all, even for exercise or food shopping. Milner, who works as a solicitor, is not on the limited government shielding list but like many others at risk, has chosen to stay indoors to protect herself. Unable to go out herself and living alone, Milner is finding relying on other people to deliver food and medicine hard. “I was really independent before this,” she says. “I had a very active life and I miss my friends, family and boyfriend. I don’t think people realise how hard it is.” While lockdown conditions have been eased for the general population, those at particular high risk from coronavirus have been told to stay indoors until at least the end of June. 

When the Guardian asked readers last week how they were coping, we received a huge number of responses: more than 1,000 people got in touch to discuss anything from missing loved ones, worries over finances and careers, to frustration at the government’s handling of the issue.

Source: The Guardian

How are you coping with lockdown? If you're shielding, do you feel confident about what to when the initial 12-week period ends, or are you confused? Do you feel included in the guidance being laid out by the government, do you have enough information?
Senior Community Partner
Scope

If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
Tagged:

Replies

  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,882 Member - under moderation
    By not watching the news or thinking about lockdown. Today I took the kids to buy some new plants after lunch. This morning I was teaching them maths and history lessons. Yesterday morning we did some art. Tuesday afternoon they had a cookery lesson then I wrapped up the afternoon by doing a first aid lesson. 
    On Monday afternoon they had a reading evaluation and spelling test in their English lesson just like normal. That morning we did word puzzles and I focused on handwriting. Tomorrow morning after breakfast, I will plant the seeds with them and then they will have a short Bible study lesson in the afternoon along with their weekly geography and music lessons. On Friday, apart from one or two twenty minute lessons we will relax. I have made use of distraction techniques. I text, call or WhatsApp my family and write some emails to friends too each week. 
  • laura222laura222 Member Posts: 84 Pioneering
    I was asked the other day by my friend (who I was talking to while on opposite sides of a window after she'd dropped off some shopping - Ha! So weird!) what I thought about the latest Government briefing and said "I've no idea. I don't watch them any more. They're not for me."

    It seems a little bit like people who are shielded have been put on hold while the Government try to work out what to do with everyone else. It's understandable, but as someone who is shielding, would describe it as feeling 'difficult' ;p

    I can only imagine leaving the house if/when there's a vaccine.

    This sounds a bit like a moan, but I realise I'm in a very privileged position to be able to make the choice to stay at home. And also to listen to podcasts to make myself feel better! :D
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,764 Scope community team
    laura222 said:
    It seems a little bit like people who are shielded have been put on hold while the Government try to work out what to do with everyone else. It's understandable, but as someone who is shielding, would describe it as feeling 'difficult' ;p
    I do seem to be hearing that. There's a lot of unknowns and a lot of what ifs, but not a whole lot of official answers at this point. Thanks for this @laura222
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • Angie1702Angie1702 Member Posts: 5 Connected
    In the briefing today, the P.M. said that more information is 'coming soon' for the shielded and the self-employed, and as I fall in both categories, I will be keen to see what it is.  Both my husband and I are on the shielded list and feel that there will need to be a vaccine before we feel safe to leave the home.
  • androgynousandrogynous Member Posts: 46 Courageous
    I've gone beyond depression now. Or maybe i'm so depressed i don't realise it anymore? I don't care about anything. I'm sick of people asking when we can come out of shielding. It's all well and good but depending on the conditions you are shielding for, you can't rejoin the world. I realise i've now rejected my family as my way of coping. If they don't exist then i don't have to think about them as i'm not part of the family, anymore. They don't realise how difficult it is managing on your own when you are disabled, at the best of times.

    I think it's sad that we are supposed to have had this community spirit throughout this. My neighbours were in the garden today. They didn't speak to me as ever, (and it's intimidating saying hello when they blank you). No one in my neighbourhood has called to see if i'm ok, but then, they haven't spoken to me since i moved in. Should i expect my neighbours to say hello? I've given up saying hello to them. They can see i'm disabled. I feel very isolated where i live and i no longer have a family. Or friends, or a social life. What's the point of it all?
  • androgynousandrogynous Member Posts: 46 Courageous
    By not watching the news or thinking about lockdown. Today I took the kids to buy some new plants after lunch. 
    You are still going out even though you are shielding?

    Did you receive a shielding letter from the Government? I'm just curious as shielding is up to the 30th June at the earliest in England. I've not been out of the house now for 11 weeks. Do not leave your house, do not have face to face contact with anyone. It's tough.

  • AilsAils Community champion Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @androgynous, I'm sorry to hear you are finding the current situation very tough and can only imagine how difficult and isolating shielding must be.  I'm also sorry to hear that you have nobody to talk to and feel that nobody is bothering with you in your neighbourhood as this must be really upsetting for you.  I'm not shielding myself as not on the vulnerable list and so can get out on my mobility scooter to the local shop, park, etc for some fresh air which is a god-send to me!  However, I realise not everyone can do that and it must be terrible for them.  I myself think that the government has been a bit hasty with the easing up of lock-down measures and has left the shielding people behind somewhat.  I find the daily information quite confusing at times and sometimes wonder what to follow.  Even although I'm not shielding I'm not yet seeing family or friends yet as I live more than 5 miles away from them so can't risk travelling to see anyone quite yet.  

    Do you have anything to keep you busy while shielding?  I've found phoning family/friends has been keeping me going and doing some hobbies while at home to take my mind off things.  Please know that we are all here for you on the forum if you need to chat to us as we all understand how difficult life is just now for a lot of us.  Hopefully it won't be too long before people who are shielding can get out and about too.  Please stay safe and well.  All the best.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • androgynousandrogynous Member Posts: 46 Courageous
    edited May 2020
    Thanks @ Ails. Following the Government daily update, there has been some relaxation of restrictions for the clinically extremely vulnerable, ( Shielders). The Government website hasn't yet been updated. This is the advice for England and Wales.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52862440

    https://www.itv.com/news/2020-05-30/lockdown-easing-for-coronavirus-shielders-prime-minister-announces/

    We are now allowed out for a walk with other members of the household or one person from another household if you live alone. Very little change as some people have been doing this already as mental health deteriorates for people who haven't left their homes, some for 11 weeks or more. There are many elderly or disabled people who live their lives like this, in any case?

    I feel it's a political move as the Governments popularity has nose dived after the DC affair. Now is not a good time to be going out and anyone should exercise extreme caution as people are acting as though the pandemic is over. The R rate is starting to rise, (infection rate,) and is now over 1 and close to 2 in some areas as people invade areas which previously had low infection rates such as National Parks, Beauty Spots, Coastal areas. I believe it's part of the original plan for 'herd immunity,'  knowing that the masses will travel to these areas, and it's likely we'll have another peak in the not too distant future. They've just said on the news, Coronavirus hates the sun. Lets hope so, no one really knows?

    I live too far away to see my family any time soon, but i will be considering going out, but it will have to be very early morning or late evening to avoid the risks, i.e. people. I think this is high risk time especially realxing the rules for everyone at the same time. I'm lucky i've had my weekly priority slot with a supermarket which continues at least until October, so i won't be going into a shop or town or anywhere which is likely to busy.

    The government will be reviewing this again around the 15th June and shielding will continue until the 30th June. Shielding looks likely to be extended but the list may be amended according to what they now know about the virus and how it is attacking various organs etc and which conditions are more at risk.

    There are 2.2 million people and for the most part, people don't understand the effects of living with the threat of this virus and the potential effect it will have on both mental and physical health, for these people. Whilst most people will have milder or no symptoms at all, it's almost like being a ticking time bomb for others? I'm sure no one wants to die from this virus.

    We are far from being back to normal and i'd advise anyone to be careful and stay as safe as you can with all the people who aren't taking this seriously. I worry for myself what will happen this winter when viruses are rife anyway. Got to get through summer first?

  • AilsAils Community champion Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for the update, @androgynous.  That is really informative and wise words for all of us also.  I hope that if you decide to go out on a morning that you enjoy it as it is nice to get out in the fresh air.  Glad to hear things have been eased up somewhat for people who are shielding and just hope things get better for everyone.  Yes, we all need to be very careful during this time.  Please stay safe and well.  All the best.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • Angie1702Angie1702 Member Posts: 5 Connected
    Both my husband and I fall in the shielded group.  We most certainly will NOT be going out or relaxing our isolation for some time yet.  We both realise that if we were to get the virus, we would likely not survive it as we both have conditions that would be worsened by the virus.  I think that whatever the guidance, shielded people should make their own decision on relaxing their safeguarding measures while the virus is still out there.  Following this weekend's madness on beaches, I for one want to see if we spike again before making any decisions!
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,764 Scope community team
    I completely understand how you feel @Angie1702. My other half and I have debated this at length as we're not sure as a shielding household when and under what circumstances we'd feel safe enough to go out.
    If there isn't a huge spike in the next couple of weeks/month do you think you'll start venturing out again slowly?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • CressidaCressida Member Posts: 601 Pioneering
    I have been shielding since 2 weeks before the official lockdown as I work in a hospital environment. I have been lucky to be able to work from home and my employer has been very supportive. I feel like I have been doing this forever. I am lucky that I have a large garden to sit in and get some fresh air and there is good support from our local community. Even though the Government has hurriedly said we can go out and meet one person I have no intention of doing that. My vulnerability has not changed from a week ago. All that has changed is more and more people are completely ignoring the lockdown and I think I would be much more likely to catch covid at the moment. I work with clinicians and I know their advice to me is to stay isolating and that it would be foolish of me to ignore them. We have to use our common sense. Right the way through this there has been conflicting information from all areas so I have listened to the people working on the front line and have been very careful all along. In my opinion the only way people realise the seriousness of this is when they or their loved ones are affected in some way. Good luck to all my fellow shielders!
  • androgynousandrogynous Member Posts: 46 Courageous
    edited June 2020
    I can't say i'm rushing out, myself. With all the covidiots around right now, you couldn't pick a worse time to go out? I too live in an area which is being swamped by people visiting and doing quite feral things. In fact, very feral things. You just wouldn't believe it? I've been reading about Durdle Door. Why would you be so stupid? I believe one person has died and others have life changing injuries? Just why would you do that?

    People are still saying it's only the flu? I think i might go out at some point because apparently the virus doesn't like sun and the heat? Once we get to autumn and winter, I'm stuffed. It does worry me that by not going out i'm going to be more susceptible to picking up any virus when i do go out, and there'll be plenty around in the winter. I feel i should go out now while the weather is like it is.

    But nothing has changed in real terms. We still have the same health conditions. We are still likely to be hospitalised if we catch it? And i still can't see my family as they live too far away. It's the baby's birthday soon and i have missed half of their life already and it's going to be some time before i can see them. It said in the media today that it's now illegal to go in, let alone stay, in another household?  I can't see me being able to see my family again this year, and they now say i sound so sad. It doesn't help seeing grandparents seeing their grandchildren on tv today, even if they can't touch them.
Sign in or join us to comment.