Coronavirus lockdown: 'I have never felt so blind before' - BBC

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Tori_Scope
Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Championing

Coronavirus lockdown: 'I have never felt so blind before'

Lockdown confined everyone to their homes but for some disabled people it has continued even as the country opens up.
Vicky Haylott lives near Edinburgh with her husband and three children. She says her life was pretty normal before lockdown with the "slight complication" that she is blind, as is her husband and eldest son.
However, Vicky says the new public health rules and physical distancing, where the layout of familiar places has fundamentally changed, have caused her problems she has never faced before. "Coming out of lockdown has been much harder than being in full lockdown," she says. "For those of us with no vision, we can't social distance, so the measures put in place now are impossible for us to adhere to.
"It traps us because the constant nerves and worrying about whether you're going to accidentally walk into someone or get run over by a bicycle, or not be able to find the queue for a shop.
She says people with disabilities have learned their own methods to navigate their way through the world.
"If those strategies are taken away very suddenly, that person can then be faced with an unmanageable situation," she says.
Sally Witcher, chief executive of Inclusion Scotland, says not enough consideration was given to disabled people and their complex needs when lockdown came into effect, and this is having a continued impact now we are coming out of it.
"Disabled people have been abandoned. They feel forgotten and the responses that have sometimes been developed to support people haven't helped, or haven't been adequate, and haven't recognised the needs that disabled people have."

So, what do you think? How have you found the easing of lockdown? Have you found it difficult to abide by social distancing rules? Do you think that disabled people have been abandoned and ignored by policy makers? Let us know what you think down below in the comments. 

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Championing
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    Good points made here and thanks for sharing

    It hasnt affected me so much but can imagine the impact it has had on others and agree I dont think disabled have been given any consideration apart from as a blanket title not taking into account all the complexities

    Care has been taken away from the very people who need it and left them very vulnerable

    I was on the list of being shielding and I am a single parent and not once other than an initial letter about it have I been contacted by anybody neither my GP, my council or any community group

    I havent needed them but what if I had and didnt have the capacity to contact them
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Championing
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    I'm sorry to hear no one got in touch @janer1967. I did some volunteering once lockdown had started and we visited every single house in the area to drop-off a list of phone numbers and community organisations people could contact for various services, but I'm sure that wasn't the case everywhere, and I'm also sure that some people will still have fallen through the cracks :( I'm glad you managed to get by on your own, but you still should have had the option for support for if you'd needed it.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Championing
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    I agree @Tori_Scope I seem to live in very un caring community not even any neighbour asked if we needed anything 

    Oh well I dont moan have my son to help but he is only a child but my brother who lives 30 miles away helps if I need it and my boyfriend when he isnt working away 

    I just feel for those completely alone 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Championing
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    That's terrible @janer1967 :( It's good that you have a little support network. 

    Indeed. I read some dreadful stories of those who were totally alone and living in poverty without food or any supplies because they couldn't get out and weren't getting any external support. Totally heartbreaking. 
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,649 Championing
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    I've found social distancing difficult all the way through the pandemic due to my sight loss, but even more so now there's so many people out. 

    It's not always just a case of me being a bit anxious about it either, it's the people around me as well. Bless my partner but she becomes a nervous wreck whenever we're out together and people are speeding around, often without a face mask, and I don't always see them quickly enough or get far enough away in time.