As we move into another year, it is startling to realise that it was 3 years ago that we first started hearing of a highly infectious coronavirus. In some ways it seems a lifetime ago, in other ways just moments.
So many people speak of “time warping” as we struggle to remember what happened when - which month, which year and which restrictions were in place. Our lives have changed, our perspective has changed and for some of us, things do not return to “normal.”
Many of us continue to carry a sense of loss and sometimes grief, as well as disorientation and underlying anxiety. However, alongside the loss, we may have come to value different things in life, discovering what really matters and how to prioritise those things and people in our lives.
As a Disabled People’s Organisation, we are mindful of the continued impact of Covid and a while ago we asked our members to contribute to our review of Equal Lives’ policy and practice, in light of the ongoing risks.
Our covid survey ran through the autumn and we gathered experiences and thoughts from some of our members about what covid has been like and how it continues to impact their lives. Thank you to all our members who took part. In this blog we want to share those results with you and see if they echo your own experience and thoughts.
Do you identify as disabled or “clinically vulnerable”?
Most of the members who responded to the survey did identify as disabled or “clinically vulnerable”.
Have you had any variant of Covid19?
Just under half said they had suffered from Covid at some time, just under half said they hadn’t had it and a small proportion were not sure.
How much does Covid19 impact your decision to attend face-to-face meetings or social gatherings?
In response to this question, the percentage scores covered a wide range from 0% (not at all) to 100% (most important factor in decision making). The average score across all respondents was 46%, indicating that covid continues to have some significant impact on people’s decisions to socialise and meet with others but it is not always the overriding factor.
What precautions, if any, would make you feel safe when coming into contact with others, particularly professionals?
Taking precautions was important to nearly all the respondents. Masks and social distancing continue to play a vital role and were the two preferred precautions, with around two-thirds wanting to see the use of both. Two-fifths would like more testing to occur before contact and a fifth would like to know the last time someone tested positive. The issue of ill-fitting masks was mentioned as was the need to trust people to isolate and not interact if they have symptoms and/or have tested positive.
How do you feel about Covid19 now and how is it impacting you?
There were diverse responses to this question and one respondent summed it up well with “It is a really difficult area. I feel conflicted in my own views…” While some respondents felt they should just live with covid and not allow it to impact life too much, others clearly felt unsafe and remain concerned about the lack of precautions and the effect that catching Covid could have on them. The impact of long covid was also mentioned with concerns about the long-term disability it can bring and the lack of good services and support.
Although this survey is now closed, we know that Covid continues to be a big issue in most people’s lives so do pass on your views and experiences of Covid at any time. If you have something you want to share, email email@example.com.
As an organisation, we remain mindful of protecting our staff, volunteers, clients and members on a day-to-day basis as we interact. If you feel there is more that we could do, let us know.