What does Covid-19 mean for the chronic illness community?
A guest blog by Catherine Hale with Alison Allam, Victoria Clutton and Leonora Gunn in Disability Wales.
The Covid-19 crisis has us all in shock. But it has also shone a light on our social exclusion as a group of disabled people, as well as our hopes for inclusion.
Like other disabled people, the predominant response of the chronic illness community to the pandemic is fear. Many of us have conditions or treatments that put us at greater risk from this virus. We are walking a tightrope between the need to self-isolate and our dependence on others, whether family or paid assistants for day to day life, who may transmit the disease. Uppermost on our minds is how to get hold of food and medicines, and what will happen to us if our caregivers get sick.
But beneath that there are some deeply conflicted emotions running through our online networks. We are collectively feeling a mixture of hope and hurt as we watch how the world responds to Covid-19. Here’s how Elis Elmo put it to a Facebook group:
As someone who has been at home in bed for just over 6 years, I’m having such a mix of emotions I don’t know how to deal with them to be honest. I mean it’s good – “Wow” – look how much stuff out there for people at home and how people are caring for mental health in those situations. But I’m also sad because it makes me realise how much I was (and still am) forgotten. It really was that easy for people to care, they just…didn’t.
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