That’s it. I’m calling it. Lockdown sucks. Pre-lockdown wasn’t great; trying to find photos for this month’s blog, I realised that everything I have done in the last month has been an online conference, an online awards ceremony, or my clinical work. No travels, no events, no days out, lots of days sat in front of my computer. But now, any remaining potential for those things seems to have been snatched away.
As a doctor, I’m on the whole pretty relieved. I only wish it had happened sooner, as I’ve seen the impact of the second wave on our community in Leeds. But I am also scared. Scared for my disabled friends and those classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ – the information for this group seems to have been scant, and I know many are worried that the support for shielders that we had during the first wave hasn’t been replicated this time. It’s a scary time, and additional uncertainty doesn’t help. Do reach out, and keep talking to each other – whether that’s on social media, or the Scope Community.
I’m also scared about how we care for our mental health; it has been a tough year for all of us, particularly those of us who have been stuck in our homes. Isolation is hard, even when there isn’t a pandemic happening. But the added anxiety of everything else that is going on makes this harder for everyone.
The official guidance says we can ‘exercise or meet in public’. Going for a roll in our chairs counts. Getting fresh air, seeing your support bubble or another person (socially distanced, of course) counts. If you are struggling with your mental health, please, ask for help. Your GP can speak to you on the phone if not in person. Your local health services will have mental health provisions to which you can refer yourself and find a range of online services you can access – a Google of your region and’ mental health’ should bring this up relatively easily. I’ve used them myself; they are fantastic and they will do what they can to help you.
It’s not going to be an easy month. But our disability community is strong. We, as individuals, families, and society, are strong.
(And if you’re struggling to work out the title of this blog, sing ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe to yourself. See, I made you smile. You’re welcome.)