Following the announcement of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 23, 2020, face-to-face support from all agencies was indefinitely suspended across Berkshire and social activities and opportunities to meet in person with individuals outside their own households ended overnight.
As most Berkshire Vision members live alone, this left them without anyone they could meet. Key services such as supermarkets and banks changed how they operated almost overnight, which disproportionately affected Berkshire Vision’s members. They included two-meter markers they could not see, signs limiting numbers of purchases they could not read, and staff unable to come close enough to assist.
Many visually impaired people reported being shouted at in public for failing to socially distance from people they could not see. As lockdown measures began to ease, and small remnants of normality come back to our lives, we also need to remember that for some of our at risk members, life is still very much restricted.
This short episode features five of our members discussing the impact of the lockdown and how it has affected them.