Coronavirus or COVID-19. A word that until a month or 2 ago nobody had heard of, except maybe as Corona-a beer! Now we are in a pandemic; the world is set to be turned upside down. Some countries have closed their borders, schools and universities and are in lock down. Here in the UK some of this has not yet happened. But how will disabled people and the elderly manage if and when it does? Thousands of disabled people depend on care each day to survive. What will happen to them? Some cannot access food or drink, move position or go to the toilet without help. Without help the stark reality is that we could just be left to starve to death, in agony with pressure sores and in our own urine and faeces. It might sound harsh but I am sure it feels a lot harsher. It would be inhumane. Disabled people deserve better. There is a chance of dying from covid 19; there is a guarantee of disabled people dying without help. Furthermore their deaths would have been preventable.
The government needs to make a plan taking into account disabled people and the elderly so this doesn’t happen.
What happens if you employ personal Assistants? I have been told they can still work as they are key workers and they can still work if the user (myself) has the Corona virus, providing the employer (me in this case) provides appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE). However, where am I supposed to access this? The NHS can’t get enough PPE…So how am I? Furthermore, what happens if PAs are off sick themselves?
I am lucky I live with my parents who support me so much now, but I know would be prepared to support me further. However, what about others who don’t have that? Or if they become sick?
I think the social services and continuing health care should be phoning the vulnerable people on their records to check if they are okay.
The anxiety of the ifs and hows are much higher within the disabled community as often they depend so much on others. On top of this many are at an increased risk of getting the virus itself as they have underlying health problems.
The effects of the virus have already hit the disabled community hard with higher prices and lack of availability on products they use daily. One example of these being alcohol wipes for cleaning equipment and infection prevention.
Furthermore, The corona virus bill involves the suspension of section 18 & 20 of the care act 2014. This could be life endangering as disabled people and carers may not get the help they need. This is extremely frightening. The local authority would only be required to provide care and support to prevent a breach of the person’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Although, I appreciate we are in an unprecedented situation of national emergency, but I hope it is not going to be at the expense of disabled people. It has been said that this will be a temporary suspension, however it concerns me further whether it will become permanent.
The disabled community are used to these battles, but it concerns me that the biggest one may yet to have come.
Take care of yourself.
With love and best wishes,