I am the vulnerable. I am worthy.

The world is going through a rather scary and uncertain time right now. I haven't felt like blogging because I have been rather overwhelmed by it all. I've wanted to help, but being high risk I'm now confined to my home. I've been getting angry at how little guidelines there have been for disabled people & carers so have been campaigning behind the scenes hard. But, I've decided I want to document my thoughts through this pandemic, so hold on for this one...

Disabled People Are Still Seen As Second Class Citizens

The first lot of news headlines hits UK newspapers about COVID-19. The country was told not to worry as COVID-19 would "only affect over 70 and the vulnerable". What about us? I am one of the "vulnerable" and I can hand on heart say that my life is just as precious as anyone else. I want to live. Then, the government set out their first lot of guidelines which completely ignored disabled/vulnerable people. I spent multiple (almost) all-nighters trying to answer questions from worried followers and source information on what we should be doing. A 25 year old, with no medical qualification whatsoever, was busy trying to help people who were worried, scared and potentially at risk. The first person to die in the UK from COVID-19 was 5th March 2020. The first proper advice I could find for vulnerable people was the 15th March 2020, far beyond general advice for 'normal' people and after 71 vulnerable people died in the UK. Could they have been saved if better guidelines for vulnerable people were implemented, and accessed, earlier?

Changes Could Have Been Made

Almost overnight, education to workplaces quickly changed and allowed remote working. Why am I mad at that? Because those changes haven't been allowed for thousands of disabled people who want to work out there. I, personally, had to teach my own GCSE's because I couldn't attend school (bar 2 weeks of private tuition) and battled for years to get a job where I can work from home. The fact that most organisations have just shown now they can make adjustments shows they aren't willing to take someone with a disability on. I really hope that after this pandemic, many companies will see the benefits of home working and take on someone with a chronic illness, but I am worried everything will just return to old practise.

Carers Are Heroes

We've all seen that hospital staff are struggling. Long hours, people stealing hand sanitiser and working round-the-clock to manage. The NHS is fantastic. Who I really want to talk about though, are carers. Agency carers, often on minimum wage, don't have the option to stay off work in this time of crisis (and many wouldn't choose to anyways) and go above & beyond to care for clients. My carer bought me an isolation present today. They've been promised protective gear by the government, but have received non of it. Even getting hand sanitiser is difficult. Now, carers who are family/friends also are having a particularly hard time. Currently earning £65 per week to provide what is often 24h care for their loved ones, they aren't given supplies. We have probably spent more than a weeks allowance on cleaning products alone to keep me safe. It's time that the wages for carers, both agency and home, gets reassessed.

I'm asking for a change. I'm so passionate about the health & welfare of others and this situation has really open my eyes even more to the disabled community. If you feel the same, please, leave a comment. Contact your MP. Share the blog. We can make a difference.

I am the vulnerable. I am worthy.

Hope everyone is staying safe and keeping as well as possible,
Kate x

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