On Thursday we received a letter from the Department of Health & Social Care advising us that we would be required to shield until 31st July. What started off as 12 weeks in lockdown will in the end turn out be almost 19 weeks. I’d like to know why the general public can go and get their hair done then do a bit of shopping and then go for swift half down the pub afterwards whilst young boys with life-limiting conditions can’t attend overdue hospital appointments for their heart, lungs and bones.
Are these simple everyday things more important than a young child’s health?
It again raises the question in regards to Disability Rights. During this pandemic, the extremely vulnerable have been left at the bottom of the pile. Any information we have found out has been secondary information. Where is the voice for the vulnerable? We have seen many protests over the last few weeks but none supporting Disability Rights. Everyone in the vulnerable category have stuck by the rules by staying within the confinement of their home. Staring at the same 4 walls every single day. Their mental health suffering daily. It’s a humdrum existence. Only recently have we personally started to go out for walks but we are a long way off from feeling comfortable integrating back into society. Even during our walks people don’t social distance, common sense should prevail when you see a young boy in a wheelchair coming towards you but on most occasions it has been us frantically trying to get out of their way!
Back in 2015, the government responded to Disability Rights UK ‘No Voice Unheard, No Rights Ignored’ campaign. Here is the statement from Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP. Minister of State for Community and Social Care.
“We want everyone to be treated with dignity and respect. People should be involved in decisions about their care and not have to take what is given to them. We must stop thinking only about the things people cannot do and help them with things they can. People need better care and support in the place they choose to live. They should only go into hospital if it is the only way to get the treatment they need. They have rights and everyone must respect these rights. This needs a big change. Services must work together to find out what people need and help them to be as independent as possible. We want to see real changes between now and 2020. I hope you will check whether national and local organisations do the things we talk about in this paper”.
Unfortunately 5 years on the need for change is still there.
I’m not really sure what our way out of this situation is at the moment and what we’re expected to do once 1st August comes around. Are we just expected to go back into society as if nothing has happened? Do we take a baby step approach? Will there be continued support from the Government? The general public will have had almost a month of ‘being back to some kind of normal’ yet come August we will have to make anxious decisions that usually were just an average everyday task. So when you’re sat in the hairdressers/barbers chair or downing that long awaited cold first pint in the pub spare a thought for the families in our position who are in need of some respite due to 19 weeks of mental and physical exhaustion. I think we’ll just have to plan our own Great Escape but it will be a while until we cross the wire to get our baseball back!
Enjoy your week and stay safe!