This is what happened when Janice met Matthew and Steve on a windy day in Cardiff or as Janice says 'Caerdydd'! A full version of Janice's story will appear in the forthcoming book 'Peter and friends experience of covid-19 - for people with intellectual or learning disabilities and/or autism'.
We met Janice in the car park of the gym she goes too. Firstly she was so friendly to us, asking how our day has been and are we well. From the first question we asked her positive attitude shone through. We had a number of questions that we asked her 'were you anxious during the lockdown', 'were you lonely' or 'was you bored'. She answered 'no' to every one of these questions and always gave a positive answer. For example 'I've got loads of soaps and dramas to catch up on' and 'I do the shopping for my brother and some of my neighbours'.
The only thing Janice didn't like about lockdown was that the gym was closed for a couple of months. She also spoke about a rather rude GP receptionist when she recently went for her annual health check. But don't worry about Janice, as she reported this to the surgery nurse. She recently had a home covid-19 test and posted it. She got the results the next day and it was negative. Janice has the annual flu jab because she has difficulties with her immune system. Janice was having a discussion about the development of a vaccine with her friends and they tried persuade not to have it when it arrives. She said 'of course I will, it will keep me safe and alive'.
We asked Janice about the Welsh government response to the pandemic. She told us they took it slow but this was the right thing'. She asked us if the English have sign language translators on the main news - we were ashamed to say 'no'. In Wales they always have someone signing as well as the news reader. Janice is well read and always watches the news.
We asked Janice what she is looking forward once the pandemic is over. She is really looking forward to going to meetings at Advocacy Matters Wales, going to the bingo, seeing friends and not having to wear a mask on the bus.
This a succinct version of the interview but what truly came across is that Janice's glass is alway half full! We would like to thank Janice for sharing her thoughts with us and putting a big smile on our faces!
Janice gave us consent for her photo to be used, her story in the book and this blog. We hope that our paths will cross again one day.
Steve Hardy and Matthew Roberts