I've Been Shielding For The Past 4 Months – And I'm Not Stopping Now

Pippa Kent
·2-min read

One hundred and twenty seven days ago, over two million people in the UK were classed as highly vulnerable to Coronavirus and instructed to shield; not going out at all and limiting contact to only those who were shielding with them.

Having been born with Cystic Fibrosis, and lucky enough to have received a lifesaving double lung transplant in 2017, I was one of these people.

For the past four months, myself, my husband and our dog have largely been leaving the house only for dog walks at anti-social times to avoid people, relying on online shopping orders for all our needs and existing within our one-bedroom flat.

Following a slight step down in guidance at the end of June we have recently seen a few people at a distance in quiet areas, following strict precautions, wearing masks and keeping socially distanced, but it’s a far cry from the first six months of marriage we might have expected!

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While we are obviously grateful to stay healthy, and are aware of the huge sacrifices made by others, it has become increasingly frustrating in recent weeks to see that some people have almost forgotten that the last four months occurred; ignoring social distancing, flouting rules or arguing that wearing masks makes breathing impossible or in some way compromises their human rights.

This weekend, the guidance that vulnerable group should shield, ended in England and Scotland.

But what does this mean practically? And how many people within this group are still inclined to follow and trust this government advice?

Personally, we intend to change very little. The risk is not going to have disappeared overnight and the sudden switch from extreme caution to very little guidance at all seems like a high-risk strategy for a group of people whose health is highly vulnerable.

From an outsider’s...

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