It's happening again.......
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
This is a difficult blog for me to write. Everyone I have spoke to (other than at work) know people who have had covid-19 but no one has known anyone who passed away. Before editing this book I knew two people, both who had learning disabilities who passed away because of covid-19. I'm the chair of People's Safety Group and I receive reports about the deaths of people who has a learning disability and there have been ten people with learning disabilities passed away due to this horrible virus so far `I know about locally.
With the Prime Ministers broadcast earlier this week I've seen so many people be blamed for the second wave coming. But weren't we talking about a second wave back in April, May, June, July or August? I think the whole country took their eye off the ball and were thinking of a better future with something to look forward to.
But some people obviously broke, ignored or found the English language difficult to understand. You see people walking down the wrong side of shopping centres even when there are large arrows pointing the way you should be walking on. I was in another part of the UK and was about to go into a shop with my mask on. A friend told me that we don't need to wear masks here because the 'R' number is really low. Three weeks later and four counties in this area was on the 6 o'clock news saying there has been an outbreak. One more example.....I was getting the train back from Victoria and started to walk down the high street. I passed two bars which are next to each other. The first is a large bar with somebody on the door checking numbers coming and going, checking no more than 6 people in the same group etc. The other bar is much smaller and has no one on the door. I looked through the window and was absolutely shocked at what I saw. There was no social distancing, people were packed in and the most shocking fact is that nearly everyone there was around my age. Shouldn‘t people like me know better than this?
This is really so sad but it reminds me of the stories that my nan and grandad told me about World War 2. My Nan was sent out to the country side so she could safely give birth to my mother. My great aunt who was younger than my nan was evacuated like many other children of the time. I can’t imagine how frightened she must have felt and when arriving do you think she had a mobile, a tablet, or even an old fashioned phone so she can stay in contact with her family. Do you think that people in the cities refused to turn lights off or blacken the windows when the siren went off? I think there still a lot of wars that happen around the world but we may see them on the news but how often do we think about these wars and just carry on with our privileged lives in the UK.
Well do you think the general public care or consider about people with learning disabilities or older people? I’d like to think that we do but the awful, ignorant, arrogant and dismissive behaviour of a minority I feel sorry for you. Because you are highly unlikely to develop learning disabilities but one thing happens to us all, we get older, get frailer and rely on others. Just think about your behaviour today and then think about what people had to deal with during 5 years of World War 2.
Our new book starts with a dedication to a lovely well thought of a man. I won’t name him here or steal the thunder from the editors and those who wrote it. I will just tell you a short story because I knew him before I knew him from work, you see our gardens backed onto each other’s. One day I caught the 244 bus with this gentleman. I said to him I noticed two men on the roof of your bungalow, they were just sitting down. He just said in a normal voice ‘they are doing something to the roof. They’re probably smoking wakey backy. They might fall off and knock some sense into them’. This was such a typical dry sense of humour we all loved. Unfortunately he went into hospital this spring after having a fall. We don't know if he caught covid-19 on the way to the hospital or when hospital. But it took only a few day for covid-19 to catch up with him and he sadly passed away.
We have received loads of submissions for the book but one particular one caught my eye. Firstly it was hand written which shows the man has passion. He was called Andy from Oxford. I had trouble reading the letter because of hemianopia so I approached a wonderful Speech & Language Therapist called Tanya Woll and it only took a couple of minutes. But these words obviously took him some time to write and brings the true face of covid-19.
'I lost two good friends in lockdown. My support workers did a lot for me and it was not good to see many people die. It was sad to see nurses die as well'
Andy we thank you for writing this letter and wish you all the best for the future.