covid disability concerns

Digital lifestyle magazine and online retailer Disability Horizons has found that a significant proportion of disabled and chronically ill people are highly concerned about the easing of lockdown measures and changes to shielding guidelines.

The online blog for disabled people surveyed 267 disabled people and those with health conditions, as well as people living with someone who is disabled or chronically unwell, and found over half were very anxious about the changes.

Entering into lockdown at the end of March, the government first outlined its intentions to begin easing measures in May with its shift in messaging from ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ to ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives.’

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For the mobility retail sector, the most significant easement in England was the reopening of non-essential retail on the 15th of June, whilst the first changes to shielding in England and Wales took effect on the 1st of June.

According to the findings, 58 per cent of respondents highlighted that they feel ‘really anxious’ about the easing of lockdown restrictions, whilst 49 per cent feel ‘really anxious’ regarding the rolling back of shielding policies.

The majority – 83 per cent – of respondents live in England, which has seen the quickest easing of lockdown and shielding measures.

Specific concerns identified by survey participants include changes being “too much too soon”, people who had been shielding being required to return to work, and the end of government support for distributing food and medicine.

Discussing their concerns in more detail, one participant commented: “Having spent nearly four months shielding and then being expected to go back to work and carry on as if all is okay is unrealistic. As a result, I am having to consider voluntary redundancy.”

In addition, respondents highlighted other people not adhering to social distancing rules as another key worry.

Another respondent said: “I start my cancer treatment soon and will be even more at risk. I am concerned about all the idiots coming to my county for holidays and bringing their infections with them, making my safe space no longer safe.”

Taking a more positive view of the changes, 37 per cent of those surveyed indicated feeling ‘fairly happy but a little apprehensive’ about the easing of lockdown restrictions whilst 44 per cent felt the same about changes to shielding.

Only three per cent and six per cent said they felt ‘happy’ with the changes to lockdown and shielding respectively.

Expressing the need to return to a degree of normality, one survey respondent said: “I need to be able to go out more for my own mental health and I feel that I have been cooped up long enough.

“Shielding is good but it can’t go on forever, so a cautious re-entering the real world again, is a good thing.”

Having launched its online independent living aids shop at the start of 2020, Disability Horizons has now introduced two new products to its range in response to the pandemic.

The company has launched its own range of face mask exception cards aimed at those with health conditions or disabilities preventing them from wearing masks. The badges come on either a lanyard or badge clip and are designed to stop people being wrongly confronted or fined following the change to face mask rules in shops.

Additionally, it has released a social distancing sash, informing others to maintain a two-metre distance from those with a disability or health condition who are at particular risk if they contract the virus.

https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/covid-disability-concerns.jpg?fit=900%2C640&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/covid-disability-concerns.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettCoronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Sector NewsNewsroomReports & ResearchSector NewsDisability Horizons,face mask exemption cards,independent living aid shop,lockdown easements,shielding changes,social distancing sash,surveyDigital lifestyle magazine and online retailer Disability Horizons has found that a significant proportion of disabled and chronically ill people are highly concerned about the easing of lockdown measures and changes to shielding guidelines.The online blog for disabled people surveyed 267 disabled people and those with health conditions, as...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals