Susan Bradfield walks away from the camera in a field of long grass. She is wearing a white linen dress and holds a black and white umbrella in her right hand and is dragging it behind her.

An honest note from someone who is Extremely Vunerable. Covid19

In Home & Garden, Lifestyle, Wellbeing by Susan

**EDIT** Since writing this blog post, on 31st July The Government Website updated and changed its rules on shielding. Everything that I have written in the post was correct at the time of writing.

This blog post really is me venting a lot of emotional and jumbled up thoughts that I have stored in my mind. It is an honest note from me, someone who is Extremely Vulnerable during Covid19.

I do appreciate that everyone has their own stories and their own experiences of how Coronavirus is affecting them, this is just my story and how I am feeling right now. My husband and children know all of this so there are no surprises coming to them.

I AM FINE, I am not sick, I am just mentally drained and exhausted, plus I am not sleeping properly now, which is not helping at all. Currently, my anxiety is high and if I can get through 1 day without crying, then it will have been a good day. This in itself frustrates me, because my anxiety which I had got on top of previously is a constant daily battle for me at the moment. Usually I can get on top of it with some meditation, and actually writing on here really helps.

Coronavirus Life & Shielding for me means I feel like I am constantly reliving through Groundhog Day, I feel as though I am trying to swim against a very fast current at the moment and I am exhausted, mentally, emotionally and physically.

I have been sick and tired of seeing people breaking rules/guidelines to do with Coronavirus and bending the rules and making excuses to suit their own personal need. This I have witnessed from the beginning of Lockdown, so today with the lifting of lots, such as pubs, hairdressers, restaurants, hotels, holidays etc, my anxiety is higher. My thought process is that if people haven’t listened before, what will they be like now.

It doesn’t bode well when my husband returned from a dog walk this morning and saw the queue for one of the local hairdressers. The customers were socially distanced outside which is great, but the actual hairdresser inside was wearing her PPE Mask on top of her head instead of over her face, whilst cutting her customers hair. NO WORDS!

However if people still safely follow social distance guidelines and use PPE and clean their hands then we can all hope that it will all be ok and numbers will continue to drop.

This pandemic is not over, and I beg people to follow safety guidelines and stay safe.

So when you visit those pubs, restaurants, houses, parties, gardens and beaches, PLEASE stop and think about what you are doing. Please don’t break the social distance guidelines, because it is people like me who you are putting at risk.

For my family, today they get a little more freedom and that makes me happy.

That said, because I am one of the Extremely Vulnerable Group, the rules for our home are very different, which they have to adapt to and I am so grateful for their support because I know it is hard for them.

I have been desperately sad that because of me (My health), their life at home can’t be as others now have it. Yes, I feel like it is my fault, which I know is silly and can’t be helped. It is breaking my heart though.

I will be forever grateful and indebted to them for sticking with this shit situation by my side, for agreeing to wear gloves and masks outside, when no other person seems to be. Because they know, as do I that with the lifting of some of the lockdown and a glimpse of new freedom, brings more pressure and more risk coming into our home.

As a family, we are doing the best we can, but it has not been easy for any of us.

We have actually got a sign in the hall reading “WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE ENTERING THE MAIN HOUSE”, any member of our household who has been out of the house, has to not only wash their hands upon their return, they have to Dettol spray their shoes and then they have to shower and change their clothes. I think our water bill might be a lot higher this quarter. I am thinking I might frame the sign as a permanent fixture in the home, for future, we may even laugh about this time (Not yet though).

We are DETTOL spraying and anti-bacterial wiping every surface.

The whole family have had to put up with my insane screaming about hygiene constantly. I have apologised for this.

The thing is I can only see and control what happens in my own house, after that, I have to trust that they are doing the right things and following the Government Guidance.

New guidance for those that have been shielding

This information was sent to me in my letter from the Government and you can read it on the Government Website here. I have worded it in my own words because it is easier to explain. But I wanted to share this because I have read and heard people commenting about it “Being over because shielding is being cancelled” (Which is incorrect).

6th July

  1. I no longer have to socially distance with my own household. I will hold my hands up, that I haven’t been able to socially distance from my family in the home, we live in an open plan house, and we don’t have a spare room for either myself of my husband to sleep in.
  2. I can also meet up to 6 people outside (park or walk) provided I socially distance (2 m).

1st August

According to my letter from the government…

I AM STILL HIGHLY AT RISK of serious complications if I contract the virus.

Therefore when they say “PAUSED” All it means is that I will get some of the freedom you have all had since March, and I can be asked to fully shield again at any time.

  1. I can visit a food shop (if I need to), visit a place of Worship and go outside to excersise; provided I can safely social distance.
  2. I can also collect my own prescriptions if I can safely social distance at 2m.
  3. Return to work if COVID safe. (I work from home…)

BUT, We STILL have to socially distance. We can’t have people in our home or garden and I am not going into anyone else homes or gardens anytime soon.

The advise still says to stay at home where possible.

So I get no pubs, no restaurants, no hairdressers, none of the freedom of anyone else.

“And Mum, if you are reading this (which I know you are because you are my biggest blog fan, NO you cannot go to the hairdressers in August”

This has been a part of my experience and personal feelings, which I may come across as negative, but it is real, and I promised that this blog would always be real and honest warts and all.

As usual, I have waffled, more than intended, but I needed to explain all of this and I have. Next time I will post about all the activities I have been doing during my shielding process

Loads of Love

Susan x

P.S Photo credit to my 14 year old son Archie, who has started doing GCSE Photography in Lockdown.