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How I feel about Covid-19 shielding coming to an end as someone with a disability.

On the 23rd of March 2020, Borris Johnson announced that the country was going into lockdown and that people who are classed as vulnerable will be required to follow a stricter lockdown for longer. 91 days later on the 22nd of June 2020, it was announced that on July 6th 2020, restaurants, hairdressers, and pubs could open and also that shielding will come to an end.

As someone with a high-level spinal injury I was one of the 2 million people to receive a letter from the government advising that I start shielding, albeit 2 months later than I had already started shielding in mid-May. As I actually went into shielding on 13th March 2020, this has meant as of today I've spent 103 days at home only escaping for a drive once in this time. Luckily, apart from being unable to see friends and family like everyone else coronavirus hasn't affected me directly much. None of my loved ones have caught it, I'm able to work from home so haven't been furloughed or been made redundant. Oh and also football has returned so one of my key passions has returned.

However, hearing about shielding coming to an end has me feeling out of control of the situation? I think the best way to explain this is by talking about how I felt going into shielding on the 13th March. On that day which feels like years ago I spoke to my manager at work and we both agreed it'd be best for me to work from home. Yes, I knew this meant only seeing my parents for the foreseeable future and not being able to go out and enjoy myself at weekends like I typically would do but I had no second thoughts about this or any worries. Why? Because I knew it'd drastically reduce my risk of catching COVID-19 and the only real way I'd get it was if my Dad unluckily brought it in whilst doing the weekly food shopping. So in short throughout shielding, I've felt in 100% complete control of my situation.

But I know this will be the complete opposite of how I'll feel on 1st August 2020. Just the complete lack of control of not knowing who's been where or with who and also the potential of people feeling more relaxed and forgetting to adhere to regulations that might be in place. Despite these concerns, I am looking forward to shielding ending and getting out and about. Just please don't completely forget about any potential rules as time goes on, as very soon the most vulnerable in our society will be allowed to resume everyday life once more! Personally, I'd like to carry on minimizing my risk of contracting COVID-19 but I won't be able to without people following regulations that'll be set out. I'll do my bit but please also do yours as restrictions get relaxed and we can all start having fun again safely.

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