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Life in lockdown diary: Anne & Neil, May 2020

author icon author icon 22/05/2020 author icon Member StoriesNews

30th April

Anne’s in the other room today. She’s not feeling too good.

Time is passing really slowly and it’s only Midday on a Thursday. Sundays are usually the worst for that kind of feeling.

It’s really difficult finding things to occupy and satisfy my mind. I’m so used to being out and about with my paid job and being involved with People First stuff. This situation is having a huge impact on my routine.

Some days I’ve even ended up having a sleep in the afternoon because I’m so bored. That sort of thing is just not me at all.

I found out last week that I will have to start paying if I want to continue to have a support worker. I don’t quite understand why or how that will work. My support worker is pretty good at helping me to understand that sort of stuff, but we can’t have face to face meetings at the moment so that’s not great.

I’m also not sure if I’m going to be paid for my normal job. That’s a worry if I will have less money coming in to buy the stuff which Anne and I need.

I was so looking forward to going to the local car show over the Bank Holiday but that’s obviously been cancelled. The weather’s turned bad too, so I just feel like there’s nothing to look forward to at the moment.

I’ll be glad when it’s all over and I can go back to work.

4th May

I’ve just met with my support worker. He said everyone seems down.

Anne is stressed because she’s almost run out of tobacco and we don’t have any money left to buy any more. We don’t have any money until next week. We have enough food at the moment though.

Since our money has changed for the worse, we don’t know where we are and it’s stressful enough being in lockdown and worried about the virus, without worrying about money.

I had to get on a bus to get some food shopping a few days ago. There was tape on the bust to remind people about social distancing.

I’m not feeling too bad today even though we don’t have anything planned. I’ve taken he dogs out. I’ll probably play some computer games and watch Netflix for the rest of the day.

There’s a beautiful wooded area close to where we live, but Anne’s health means that she’s worried about walking there and back. She would need a long rest during the walk.

I was thinking about going to the chip shop for a treat, but the queue is always so long.

Anne wants to go and visit her Mum and Dad’s grave, and I really want to visit my Mum and get back to work

I want so bad for this lockdown to end, but I’m not sure everyone realises we will still need to socially distance and be careful. Even if lockdown does ease a bit, we don’t feel safe to get back to the way we were before.

7th May

Not too bad today. Wouldn’t say I’m full of beans, but I’m ok.

Anne managed to borrow some tobacco which has helped our anxiety a bit.

We’re a bit confused about the Government announcement though as we thought it was happening later today.

There was no tape on the bus earlier, which was a bit confusing, and there were 10 people on board. I thought only 8 were allowed on at any time, so that worried me and Anne. We stayed well away from everyone else on the bus though.

Our internet was down yesterday, so I missed out on a Zoom meeting with All Wales People Fist and West Glamorgan People First. I was looking forward to having a catch up with work stuff, so that was a big disappointment.

This feels like a bad dream. Like I’m going to wake up any minute and things will be back to normal… or like we’re in a film. It just doesn’t seem real.

11th May

We’re feeling muddled up today since listening to Boris’ speech last night. I missed Mark Drakeford’s announcement on Friday.

Anne and I don’t watch all the news announcements. We want to stay in until we feel safe.

What really worries us is that the social distancing tape has been removed from buses. That’s our only way of getting where we need to go for essential supplies. It’s a huge worry as we don’t feel safe using public transport since they took the tape away.

It’s even worrying when we get to the supermarket to buy food. Customers in the stores are not sticking to social distancing rules and they get too close.

Anne can’t see the arrows on the floor telling us which way to go, and she’s worried that someone will shout at her for going the wrong way.

We think it would help if staff explained the arrows and set us on track to go the right way around the aisles. On the plus side, they didn’t make a fuss about us shopping together the last time we went.

Shopping online sounds safer, but even if we knew how to get a delivery slot for vulnerable people, Anne can’t see well enough to do an online shop, and I need Anne’s support to understand how to do it.

We’ve just heard that we won a singing competition through West Glamorgan People First, so that’s some good news. I also won the fancy dress singing competition, dressed as Elvis.

I’ve just spoken to my support worker about the issue of paying for my support. It’s reassuring that he’s helping me to deal with that as it’s a big worry.

Anne was due to have an appointment to have eye surgery, but we’ve not heard anything since the Covid situation.

Anne also has gallstones and is expecting to have an operation for that at some point. We thought we’d have to call an ambulance a few days ago as Anne felt really unwell and almost passed out with a temperature. That happens sometimes with the gallstones. She felt a bit better after a couple of hours thankfully.

We’d usually call 111 straight away when that happens, but Anne was too scared she might be taken into hospital with Covid there.

We feel like we’re in a house prison right now. Our freedom’s gone.  

20th May

I think this will go on well in to next year before things are back to normal. That’s the way things are looking.

With the way things are, I think it’ll get much worse because people are getting very anxious and depressed. One person I know has taken their own like because of this Covid situation.

I think people seem to be drinking alcohol much more than usual too and that isn’t good for mental wellbeing.

We’ve been told there have been less 999 ambulance calls since lockdown and Neil and I were asked why we think that’s happening.

We think people are too scared to risk having to go to hospital because of Covid. People are thinking very seriously before calling for emergency help from the ambulance services and that is quite a scary thought if people are risking their health because they are scared to go to hospital.

I can’t imagine how difficult it would be If I had to go to hospital and not being able to understand what medical staff are saying because masks cover their mouths. With that and the worry of catching Covid, I’m so glad I haven’t had to go in to hospital.

Neil doesn’t have any support this week or next week because of annual leave and the Bank Holiday. We’re really worried if we get an important letter about money or paying bills, then we won’t be able to understand it.

If we get our telephone or broadband cut off, those are a lifeline and I don’t know how we’d cope, especially in an emergency.

We still haven’t heard when our new bed will arrive. At least four payments have been taken out of our account and we still have no idea what’s happening with delivery. Hopefully it’s not a scam. We ordered it through a company on Facebook. They do have a website too, so we are hoping it’s a genuine company.

We will have to go on the bus to get some food shopping this week. There’s no social distancing tape and nobody gives any instructions about where we can sit. Neil was told off for sitting in a seat last week, and he was really embarrassed. He though he was keeping a safe distance, so it was a bit of a shock being told off.

I’ve been doing some colouring to try and help with mindfulness this week. Sandi from West Glamorgan People First sent me some colouring kits. Neil’s not keen on colouring but I’ve spent hours doing it and feel quite proud about how they’ve turned out.

28th May 2020

Not such a good few days for me. I think I’ve got sciatica and I’ve been in a lot of pain. I won’t know for sure what it is until I can get an appointment with the Doctor.

Anne had to move the mattress in to the living room so I could lie down to watch television.

I hope they lift the lockdown a bit on Friday. Maybe open some shops with social distancing restrictions in place. I hope also we will be able to see family at social distance. I guess that would be hard as not everyone wants to meet outside.

I really want to get back to work.

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