Lockdown Diary 4: Things Change, Things Stay The Same


As I’m sure you can guess at this point, June has been another month spent indoors. It’s also been a period of readjustment in all manner of ways after Andrew’s thesis corrections were successfully handed in. It’s such a load off both our minds, and now there’s nothing to be done but wait to hear whether the corrections have been accepted. As planned last month, we did try to do a couple of fun things with our new found spare time; we’ve been sitting next to open widows for weekend breakfasts and picnic dinners, and we did another virtual beer festival. I sadly didn’t hear back from the Contact Tracing job, which is a shame as I would have loved to have felt useful, but there was apparently an overwhelming response so I can completely understand it.

As far as pandemic news is concerned the Scottish government sent out a consultation to shielders to ask what we wanted and expected from any easing of our restrictions as the initial June 18th deadline loomed. We’d been uneasy as we kept seeing non-disabled shielders making an awful lot of noise about wanting the current restrictions to be completely scrapped. As much as it stings I’m more than prepared to shield for longer if that would be safer, and in the consultation we simply fed back that we wanted clear and concise messaging, something which has been previously absent.

Eventually, the week before the aforementioned deadline, shielding was extended from June 18th until July 31st with the indication that past that date it would become a person by person approach. I can’t believe that we’re about to embark on our fourth month of shielding! Now, before beginning this post I read back over my last update and the negativity pretty much leapt off the screen and slapped me in the face. I’m trying to combat those negative feelings and taking it day by day. We still don’t have the route map for shielders that we wanted, the not knowing what’s coming next is what I’m finding the hardest to accept and deal with at every step of this process.

And then, out of nowhere, towards the middle of the month came an immediate easing of shielding restrictions. We were able to go outside for one lot of exercise a day, but had to choose a time when no one else was around. From June 19th we could meet up with one other household outside. I’ll be honest, even though we are feeling like caged animals, we haven’t been out yet. Our families live hundreds of miles away and we just don’t feel safe to wander about around our busy block. Nice to know we could though, I guess.

By the end of the month the announcements have started coming thick and fast with a whole host of things opening for the general population in July, and shielders are being told we’ll be given ‘guidance to mitigate risk’. So… like what? No more government backing for staying at home to reduce risk and just head on out with a mask on and you’re all good? Meanwhile everyone seems obsessed with the pub and the hairdressers? Like, they don’t care if they’re putting a low paid worker at risk? It sounds unsafe as hell to me, and the wider chat about all this is honestly some of the most bizarre discourse I’ve ever witnessed in my life. I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand it.

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