Lockdown so far hasn’t been an easy ride. We, as disabled people, are unfortunately used to having to fight for things which are vital to us. From struggling to access priority food slots to losing essential carers, I think it’s fair to say we’ve all had a rocky time over these past few months. However, there certainly have been some pros for me such as being able to spend more quality time with my family and appreciating every moment that little bit more.
The thought of a ‘lockdown’ birthday saddened me the most, but after living with a chronic condition for almost half of my life, I’ve become quite an expert at making occasions special wherever I am. I’ve celebrated Christmas in bed, friend’s birthdays in hospital and even FaceTimed my sister after she gave birth to my nephew!
For my 26th birthday, which I celebrated a few days ago, I spent the day with my family who rustled up a homemade afternoon tea and brought me my favourite Starbucks drink. I held a virtual online party and gift swap with some friends (so we all could have something nice!) and asked for donations of new toys for my local children’s ward who have unfortunately lost a lot of their old toys because of the restrictions around the Coronavirus.
My First Adventure
My birthday was also the first time I ventured out the house, though it was just a short ride in the car to take a picture in a quiet field down the road. Even though the shielding restrictions are slowly lifting, it feels too soon for me to be able to take proper footsteps in the open, and I think many other feel like this too. Whilst spending three months inside with little support has been difficult, it’s been safe.
Whilst some of the UK starts to open up, it concerns me that disabled people have been forgotten about. Literal barriers have been made, making it even more difficult for people in wheelchairs to get around shops. Masks have been made essential in many places, making it impossible for those who lip read to communicate. Staying 2 metres apart is something children find hard to understand, never mind children with autism. As the ‘new’ world starts functioning again, I would hope that they would make this one more accessible, instead of creating more obstacles for us to overcome.