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To think that advice to walk for shielders is last minute and unhelpful?

(91 Posts)
StayinginSummer Sun 31-May-20 22:53:51

My mother and friends are shielding, and have been really confused by the latest message to go out for a walk and see another person. I’m not a fan of the governments response overall, and I see this is another way too vague and ill thought out message.

Firstly - going out for a short walk on your own at a quiet time is a far lower risk than meeting up with another person not from your household. They have lumped it together as if it is the same thing.

Secondly - the people I know would love to get out, however many of them are elderly and this very last minute advice has put them on the back foot. The ones I have spoken to have been slowly for weeks putting in place strategies to cope with not going outside ever. Now they feel that staying in puts them in the position of being ‘overly cautious’ or now having to justify to others why they may not feel they can.

Shielders are one of our most vulnerable groups, and we again have let them down I think. They should have got a very, very clear set of messages, it could have been a short video, a leaflet - with options to go for a walk or meet another person - but clearly showing which was lower and greater risk, with advice on how to be as safe as possible.

They could also be clear to shielders that we do not have a robust contact and tracing system in place so any hotspots near them will not be clear until this is done.

OP’s posts: |
MahMahMahMahCorona Sun 31-May-20 23:01:27

As the rules and guidelines / guidance change around lockdown we need to remember that it is just that: the rules have changed. The virus hasn't.

If as an individual whether shielding or not, you feel able to embrace more freedom then by all means go for it, but remember that it is social distancing and handwashing that has made the difference. Do what you can to keep yourself and others around you, safe. Keep your social contact low, maintain social distance, wash your hands well, and often.

I don't think it's all that difficult to understand social responsibility.

FrodoTheDodo Mon 01-Jun-20 09:03:27

I don't see what's confusing about it. I think it's heartbreaking some people you know have been preparing to not go out ever but they can still do that if they prefer.

crikeycrumbsblimey Mon 01-Jun-20 09:05:34

It’s ridiculous and irresponsible to publish guidance 10 mins before comes into force.
Complete fucking joke of a government

curtainsforme Mon 01-Jun-20 09:11:16

You can't be serious? A video or a leaflet?

Shielding people are physically vulnerable, not idiots.

onlinelinda Mon 01-Jun-20 09:17:08

I too think they should have given more time to think. I'm in shielding and I have been walking for some weeks, so it is less of a thing for me. But I think if you were elderly then it might come as a shock and certainly all the elderly people I know like plenty of advance notice in life! That said, you can delay and start at your own leisure, and they have emphasised the voluntary aspect all the way through. So I'll give them that, though I think they've been wring in tons of ways.

I think they're wrong not to release more local data, if they have it-and even to local authorities, shockingly. It is absolutely not hard to count at least those tested, and those hospitalised. And surely they could ask GP practices for the numbers they are convinced had it or have it.

ChilliCheese123 Mon 01-Jun-20 09:20:16

Do you mean your mother and her friends who are elderly ? And they’ve been shielding due to their age?

Or do you mean your mother and some of YOUR friends have been shielding because they’re on the government list of conditions ?

Khione Mon 01-Jun-20 09:22:42

Anyone who is shielding has been advised up until now that it would be safer to stay at home and not see anyone. It was only ever advice and many many people did their own risk assessment and carefully went out anyway.

Anyone who is shielding is still welcome to do this BUT there is no need. Going outside isn't remotely risky. Going outside and social distancing isn't remotely risky.

Some people who have been shielding would not be able to go out without the help and support of someone else. If you have been inside for 10 weeks going out is scary, going out alone even more scary.

Those who don't want to go out, don't have to. Because of this they have been condemned to stay inside for ever. That is not a life. For many people it is a living death.

I would rather die now than be condemned to never go out and be imprisoned in my house forever.

Bodies are being found days and even weeks that have died of something other than Covid. Because they weren't going out nobody noticed that they were no longer doing what they used to.

DidoLamenting Mon 01-Jun-20 09:24:22

The ones I have spoken to have been slowly for weeks putting in place strategies to cope with not going outside ever

Seriously? Not going outside ever? What sort of life is that?

Mrsjayy Mon 01-Jun-20 09:24:22

It is guidelines your mum can go out or not she can meet her friend or not but what harm could come to your mum going for a walk and saying hi To a neighbour or friend?

Hugglespuffed Mon 01-Jun-20 09:24:54

I don't think it is that confusing really, they are allowed out now if they choose but need to be vigilant with hand washing a d social distancing, like all of us.. if your friends and family members choose not to then that is up to them. It is reallg sad that they'd planned never to go out again.. my 93YO gran is looking forward to getting out for a meal at some point in tbe future!

ChilliCheese123 Mon 01-Jun-20 09:25:38

A lot of people who’ve been shielding have been popping out early doors or late on for walks. It’s terrible advice IMO to tell someone with heart or lung disease to basically sit in a chair for the next however many months

The loss of cardiac fitness and muscle tone and everything involved in that must be so bad for you

Mrsjayy Mon 01-Jun-20 09:26:27

And preparing to never to go outside again is horrifying.

Is2020OverYet Mon 01-Jun-20 09:27:09

I'm shielding. For the first few weeks after getting the letter I didn't go out at all, but then I started cautiously going out for walks at quiet times of the day (I live in a rural area with very few cases).

Yes, it does feel rushed. Mentally I have adjusted to this being for the long haul, starting to relax things is making me feel uncertain again. I imagine this is much worse for older people shielding on their own, or for parents shielding as they have children who are highly vulnerable (I imagine it is scarier when its someone else's health you are making decisions about). It would have been better to have a few days to get used to the idea and adjust mentally, as it goes so far against the previous advice.

Mrsjayy Mon 01-Jun-20 09:28:54

We went onto phase 1 of easing lockdown on Friday a few elderly neighbours were out and about enjoying the sunshine and waving to people.

ClientQ Mon 01-Jun-20 09:29:45

Elderly doesn't equal shielding
My parents are elderly and have had to social distance like everyone whereas I had to shield

Bagelsandbrie Mon 01-Jun-20 09:30:27

I’m supposed to be shielding. I don’t think the advice is confusing. The main thing is to keep 2m or a reasonable distance away from others at all times. There is no way I will stay inside my house forever, even if there is a risk of me getting the virus and dying from it. Life is for living. Being stuck indoors for the rest of your life is no life at all.

crikeycrumbsblimey Mon 01-Jun-20 09:32:19

Those Shielding also includes people who have jobs - it isn’t just elderly.

What about people whose employers can now say come back to work or you are sacked? Possibly retail environments where they would be exposed to lots of people. They have been screwed by this

Michelleoftheresistance Mon 01-Jun-20 09:32:42

There is nothing about the behaviour of this government in the past ten days that inspires the faintest confidence or belief that they have any idea what they're doing. Their 'advice' now seems to be based on someone rolling a magic 8 ball or chucking darts at post its on a wall to see what they announce.

Releasing last minute random things, abandoning all the plans they took time to explain to the public (the Nando chart, 5 tests etc), basically undoing the lockdown in one go with no explanation, does nothing to inspire trust and is far from helpful.

What this means practically is that those who are shielding - and have throughout made their own decisions about what that means based on their own individual situations - need like the rest of us to stop taking any guidance from Westminster and do our own thinking, planning and decision making, as likely to be far more helpful.

For my part, I'm watching and waiting for several weeks more before I take any further risks, since the hospital in the county is seeing a spike in cases, the county has not yet reached peak according to local papers, and I want to see for myself what happens with cases in the government's experiment.

PastMyBestBeforeDate Mon 01-Jun-20 09:32:52

The changes to shielding are pretty simple I think. Go for a walk with your household or, if you live alone, with one person from another household.
None of this is law. It's guidance. If they want to stay in, they can. If they want to have a cup of tea together in the garden they can.

Michelleoftheresistance Mon 01-Jun-20 09:33:33

And yes, they have majorly screwed over the shielded by giving the impression to employers that with a little social distancing they're fine to go back to work.

curtainsforme Mon 01-Jun-20 09:36:00

I too think they should have given more time to think.

They haven't been told they HAVE to go out today. They are allowed to think.

Chicchicchicchiclana Mon 01-Jun-20 09:37:50

My Mum is 88 years old and has severe copd. She has been out for a 10 minute walk with her stroller every single day of the lockdown. Unless you think the virus can travel more than 2 metres in the air and are worried about the chances of someone coughing directly over you when you are out in a quiet area then why wouldn't you?

ClassicCola Mon 01-Jun-20 09:39:11

I don't think anyone should be preparing to never go outside ever. The shielded have to make their own minds up. It's not compulsory for them to go out for a short walk, but I'm sure many will want to.

PastMyBestBeforeDate Mon 01-Jun-20 09:41:54

crikeycrumbsblimey this is where it will be interesting. Will the government remember that a substantial number of shielders work and lead ostensibly normal lives? Those people may need additional protection at work, school and anywhere where there is a meeting point between the shielded and the not shielded. So the right to wfh if possible, protection where that isn't possible, the education of children who are shielding and what rights those who live with shielders should have. If they think the NHS can cope with a spike of poorly shielders then they should say so.

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