Coronavirus Diary – Page 11 (Accessible Social Distancing)

I think it is very fair to say that the world we left before lockdown is not the same as the world that we are coming out to. Tragically so many people have been effected by Coronavirus. It is devastating to think what has happened to so many people and their loved ones.

I think we are starting to realise now that we have to try and carry on. This is going on to long for us to stay on pause for much longer. It is very damaging for mental health, physical health and the economy. Many people do not feel ready to carry on, but for those of us who do, we have to start trying to find a way to move forward.

Social distancing measures have been put in place just about everywhere. Supermarkets for example have introduced one way systems and two metre floor markings. What I want to know is, what do you do if you are visually impaired? Are any of these social distancing measures accessible? A few days ago I saw a lady on the National News, who is visually impaired. She was sharing her bad experiences of going to the new social distancing style supermarkets. She spoke about how she was tutted at by other customers for picking up items, so that she could see them more clearly. She had to do this because the shop assistant was not allowed to get close enough to help her. She also spoke about how she really struggled to see the floor markings and notices that they had put in place.

This is something that made me feel really frustrated. I have felt for a while that visually impaired people have been completely forgotten about throughout this difficult time. It’s not fair. Then again, I bet that many other people with different health issues feel the same. My feeling is that maybe some people have been thinking that all visually impaired people will be shielding, because they obviously have a long term health condition. So maybe they thought that visually impaired people as a whole didn’t need to be considered, because we will all be shielding. This is not the case. Only extremely vulnerable people have been told that they have to shield. Having a sensory of physical disability alone, does not put you on the extremely vulnerable list in England.

Going to a supermarket is a huge challenge for most, if not all visually impaired people under normal circumstances. In normal circumstances there are so many people to navigate around, there are lots of shelving units, displays and counters to navigate safely, there is just a blur of colour which is supposed to be the things that are for sale, there is so much noise from people talking and machinery, all of this can be so overwhelming and difficult. Now that these social distancing measures have been put in place we have all that to contend with, plus floor markings that we can’t see well if at all, notices that we can’t read and possibly not even see, and shop assistants that may not be able to help in the way that we need.

I really would like to see more accessible measures being put in place for the visually impaired community. Also please let me know if you have already done this, I will be happy to share your brilliant work with my followers. Or if you can recommend places that have done this well, i would love to spread the word. Feel free to leave a comment below, visit my contact page or my social media pages.

xx ❤ xx

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