Hi folks! I thought I’d have a quick pop in on Mobility Monday to see how you all are. How are you coping with lockdown life? Are you able to work from home? Are you part of the nation’s amazing key workers who are protecting, feeding, transporting and saving us? Are you home educating children? Very importantly, are you looking after yourself?
As mentioned in my previous post, staying at home and being in a kind of isolated state isn’t that out of the norm for me but 4 weeks in (even being more used to it than the average person) I’m feeling the strain too. I’m missing family and friends. I’m missing being able to do an online shop – I don’t qualify as an extremely vulnerable person and with London’s overcrowding there is no hope of getting a delivery of any sort. I’m missing being able to spend an afternoon in the local park with my boys. I’m missing the freedom of a less anxious mind, worrying about loved ones and those risking their lives for us.
In mobility related news, I received a letter telling me I need to be re-assessed for my NHS wheelchair, which involves going to see my GP, getting my eyes tested and sending off the results, sending off measurements and a whole heap of other stuff before the actual assessment and fitting for a new wheelchair even takes place. This is because I’ve had my NHS ‘chair for almost 5 years (in December) and that’s the longest length of lease they’re allowed to provide currently. On the same day, I received a letter explaining all wheelchair services had been cancelled until further notice due to the covid-19 pandemic, which is obviously completely understandable and the right thing to do. There was a small paragraph apologising and explaining that there would be no one to contact about this. All they could suggest was to look after our condition as best we can at home and then once this is all over, they’ll re-open their referral list and start the processes all over again (the usual wait is about 9 months).
I have been lucky enough to be able to have my amazing Lith-Tech wheelchair to fall back on in times of emergency and travel thanks to the completely overwhelming generosity of family, friends and strangers but if I didn’t have this, I can’t imagine what life and getting around would be like for me now. I feel a terrible guilt and sorrow for all those waiting on the list for their first wheelchair or for those who aren’t lucky enough to have a spare ‘chair to depend on, especially in such turbulent and restricting times.
Every day, thousands of people are without the care and help they need, in so many different ways.
So what can we do?
We can look after ourselves and those we live with as best we can. We can donate, if possible, to legitimate places helping to raise funds for PPE for key workers. We can understand the importance of the NHS and it’s workers. We can acknowledge that those ‘unskilled workers’ deemed not worthy of support just a few months ago are the very people saving our lives and keeping our economy afloat. We can try not to judge, name call or assume that anyone making a journey is specifically breaking lockdown (key workers will likely be out of uniform due to contamination risk).
We can (if possible) stay the heck home.
Let me know how you’re doing in the comments. As I am not out and about right now, I am still holding back on my weekly Mobility Monday posts due to lack of content. I’m so looking forward to the day we can all start to learn, heal, grow and start exploring out and about again.
Stay safe, everyone.