My sister has a learning disability and I can’t visit her because of coronavirus – The Guardian

Saba Salman, right, and her sister, Raana. ‘Raana thrives on consistency and routine, including dance classes, baking workshops and weekly shopping.’ Photograph: Saba Salman


Coronavirus has made enforced separation a universal experience, but there are additional and far-reaching challenges for learning disabled people and their families. I cannot visit my youngest sister, Raana, who has fragile X syndrome and lives in supported housing in Hampshire. My family has no idea when we will next see her.

Social distancing, self-isolation and a lockdown for the over-70s will have a seismic impact on Raana (our parents are in their 70s, our father has a lung condition). My sister’s social contact is now limited to support workers paid to care for her and her learning disabled housemates. She uses text messaging but dislikes phone calls and writing letters.

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