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shielding duration

(25 Posts)
dotty202 Fri 24-Apr-20 17:29:37

A close friend of mine is shielding (early 40s, condition listed under official shielding list, just the singular condition) and her whole family are of course having to shield with her.

We have Facetimed a lot and I’ve dropped off shopping and had a chat with her from the end of the driveway, so over 2 metres away. (I dropped off shopping, stood back and then her husband picked up and sanitised.)

She’s done this for five weeks, however has said she is expecting to be doing it for for longer than 12 weeks. Right now she is focussing on the possibility of a vaccine fairly soon and keeping positive. (I am aware this may not happen, however, if it helps her stay positive, it is worthwhile.)

They are struggling as it is (three children under 7) and they have a large garden. I cannot imagine how hellish it must be without a garden.

My question is where did the 12 weeks initially come from? And is there any plans for after 12 weeks?

I feel for those who will have to shield indefinitely- hopefully when the rest of us who are low risk slowly return to some form of normal, provision can be made for those who have to shield long term until there’s a vaccine. Of course it will be a personal choice and no one can be made to shield, but hopefully there will be enough financial support for the families who genuinely need to shield past the 12 weeks if they want.

I don’t mean everyone who has some vulnerability- I myself am considered vulnerable and do not expect to be paid to stay inside until there’s a vaccine- but those who are at the highest risk/have a higher risk family member cannot even go shopping, even without the shielded person. They are all basically on house arrest, or a garden if they are lucky. Long term, I imagine that will be horrendous. So it seems important that whilst the rest of us slowly return to work and socialising- albeit with social distancing limitations- that those stuck indoors at least are free from money worries, etc...

Take a family with a shielded child- neither parents can work, potentially long term.

I understand no one really knows, but I am worried for my friend (and elderly family member) who may be shielding for the foreseeable future and what happens after 12 weeks. The risk won’t magically disappear surely? Yet keeping the whole population on lockdown for longer than the current proposed time won’t help them either

I know the average person will have to adapt to live with the virus and life must go on, etc... social distancing measures included, but a family with someone who is shielded can’t just take that risk as it’s so much higher to them.

Not really sure what the point of this post is, I guess I’m just thinking about the graveness of the situation to some. It makes me think I need to cope a bit better with the current lockdown, as at the end of the day I should be somewhat grateful that I can at least take a walk with my family and visit the shops

OP’s posts: |
dotty202 Fri 24-Apr-20 17:31:02

sorry for the jumbled post, I was just typing out as I thought!

OP’s posts: |
YorkshirePuddingsGreatestFan Fri 24-Apr-20 18:34:24

It worries me. I'm shielding due to health reasons but work will not furlough me as they are still operating and have chosen not to furlough anyone. I'm also a single parent with a mortgage.

I've gone from a full time salary to claiming benefits. The loss of my salary has hit us hard. The benefits cover my essential living costs - utility bills, food etc., and I'm currently on a three month mortgage holiday.

However there is no state support for help with mortgages until you've been off work for 39 weeks, and then it's only help with the interest in the form of a loan that has to be paid back.

I really don't know what I will do if I can't go back to work after 12 weeks as I won't be able to pay my mortgage.

I do think the furlough scheme should have been written so that paying shielding workers was mandatory so we're protected from financial difficulties.

IrisJoy Fri 24-Apr-20 18:46:05

I am also shielding. I can't see a safe way out of this until vaccine. I am assuming that means we will be encouraged to shield until the vaccine.
The 12 weeks comes from the government. That's how long we were told to shield for initially.
I think that I will shield for as long as I am able to but send DDs back to school (teenagers) when they open again. I feel awful that they are having to shoeld with me and don't want them to miss out any more than they absolutely have to.

dotty202 Fri 24-Apr-20 18:58:43


The benefits available are paltry. Benefits do not cover most people's homes. It's not fair that people may lose their homes, etc, or have to rent, when in a years time hopefully these worries will be long gone.

I'm sorry you're in this position. I hope the government come up with something. Paying shielding workers long term is a lot more manageable than furlough for everyone, long term.

OP’s posts: |
dotty202 Fri 24-Apr-20 19:02:33


I'm sorry your daughters have to shield as well, however, it's not your fault and I'm sure they understand why. Especially if it keeps you safe. Hopefully they are managing okay.

My friend who is having to shield has younger kids and although no doubt energetic, they can be occupied in the garden more than a teenager can.

OP’s posts: |
supercatlady Fri 24-Apr-20 19:04:35

Shielding has been extended to end of June. Thegovernment guidance has been updated.

IrisJoy Fri 24-Apr-20 19:53:23

Yes it is endbof June at the moment. I presume it will keep extending.

The benefit of teenagers is they are quute happy on their phones. ;) my two are being kept busy with school stuff too.

They are being very good and understanding but I am going to have to let them out at some point. I think if schools go back they will go back as normal and we will have to keep our distance as much as possible in the house. Another benefit if them not being too young I guess, but we will all still find it hard. I am not sure what to do for the best. Difficult decisions for everyone.

iVampire Fri 24-Apr-20 19:56:14

Oh crap - when was it extended until end June?

I haven’t heard anything about this, and I had been getting all the cheery texts about keeping a hospital bag packed at all times etc

FourTeaFallOut Fri 24-Apr-20 20:02:15

I'm 40, shielding with my family, three children, looking forward to a vaccine before the end of the year (I can hope) ... I think it's going to be a rolling 12 weeks.

When everyone goes back to work and school I will either have to decide to throw caution to the wind and hope for the best of move out. I don't think I can realistically be in the same house as my children and maintain social distancing within my home or expect my children and husband to hold up in the house with me beyond September.

But honestly, I just don't know what we'll do for the best yet.

FourTeaFallOut Fri 24-Apr-20 20:02:53

Or move out.

Skybluepink123 Fri 24-Apr-20 20:55:13

I can’t see on where it says that shielding has been extended. I still can’t get any clarification on my DCs who have a very rare condition which means they are at high risk of complications from CV. So I’m just trying my best at home to keep them safe via hand washing, social distancing etc but DH goes to work as a key worker and that does worry me for any infection risk not just to him but our DCs.

JackJackIncredible Fri 24-Apr-20 21:00:55

It’s not been extended? I imagine it will be.
I don’t expect the rest of my family to shield, it’s not practical.

ofwarren Fri 24-Apr-20 21:01:27

I think it will just keep being extended.
My son's consultant agrees with me too.
We will be told to shield until there is a vaccine.

whatnametopick Fri 24-Apr-20 21:02:42

I got the text today and it said until end of June unless told otherwise by a health care professional

FourTeaFallOut Fri 24-Apr-20 21:04:01

I don't know if it has shifted initially. I was told in round one to shield for at least 12 weeks. Then a second batch of shielding letters came out just over a week ago which still said to shield for at least 12 weeks.

Wingedharpy Fri 24-Apr-20 21:06:27

Guidance document on shielding was updated on 17th April and the original advice of shield for 12 weeks has been removed and document now says shield until end of June and the Government is " regularly monitoring this position".

iVampire Fri 24-Apr-20 21:13:30

I looked on the gov shielding advice site.

When it was first issued it said for ‘at least 12 weeks’ (so to mid June). It now says “ The Government is currently advising people to shield until the end of June and is regularly monitoring this position“

So yes I always knew it was extendable, but an distinctly miffed that the first extension was snuck through without my even noticing it!

BestOption Fri 24-Apr-20 21:48:25

Has it really changed though?

The 'shielding' stuff didn't happen u TIL the last week in March did it? So wouldn't 12 weeks be pretty much the end of June?

Clusterfuck is what springs to mind - unfortunately.

Maybe GP's will have to reconfirm each individual person as 'required to shield' & at that point you'll be able to go straight onto a form of SSP if you can't WFH

WHICH, of course, will cover 5/8ths of fuck all 🤦🏻‍♀️

MANY many people are going to be utterly screwed in the next category down too. I'm in my 50's, diabetic, obese (years of trying not to be 🙄) high blood pressure and cannot WFT. I work with students. I live alone - on one hand I need to work to pay the bills, but on the other hand if I need to stay alive...

I really don't know what can or should be done,for either group.

BestOption Fri 24-Apr-20 21:50:28

X posted with you ivampire

79Fleur Fri 24-Apr-20 23:00:28

We as a family are shielding - me, my partner (who has a life limiting condition) and our four year old.
I literally don’t currently see a way out of the situation unless a vaccine / cure is found.
We are lucky (although it is ridiculously hard juggling it all) we both work in industries / positions that are still viable so still have our jobs and salaries ( I don’t really see that changing) and actually we are saving as we no longer have nursery costs to factor in.
I long for the day we can go for a walk in the woods/ ride our bikes and take our child to the beach or swimming or soft play.
I worry about how starting primary school will work come September... I hope all three of our mental health comes out of this unscathed (unlikely) .. but I get through each day by being thankful we still have our house and finances in tact - we have each other and the technology so we can still see our loved ones etc.. although I worry about my brother and other family members and friends who are key workers.
so many will be lost either directly or indirectly in this pandemic it is literally heartbreaking.

freddiethegreat Sat 25-Apr-20 00:56:52

My 17 year old should be shielding & is flatly refusing. He says we are all going to die anyway, so he’d rather go out & have fun than sit in the house & wait for it. He is just about respecting lockdown (well, ahem), but shielding, no chance. Keeping myself sane/managing anxiety under the circumstances is really tough

ElizabethMainwaring Sat 25-Apr-20 02:26:08

That sounds so worrying for you. How is your son 'going out and having fun' though? I thought that there was no fun to be had anywhere!
My husband is shielding. I'm a teacher. I've no idea how that's going to work when the school's go back. Mind you, I don't think anyone has much of a clue about how any of it is going to work out. I honestly can't see me going back though. The anxiety of it all would be unbearable. I suffer from GAD anyway. Sorry, I'm rambling!

freddiethegreat Sat 25-Apr-20 09:46:43


His interpretation of lockdown is more liberal than mine. He has been sent home by the police once which helped encourage him to curtail his activities, but he is certainly putting in his exercise and going shopping/in the garden etc, which is still more ‘fun‘ than rigorous shielding.

ElizabethMainwaring Sat 25-Apr-20 10:11:55

Thank you Freddie. That doesn't sound 'too' bad, except for the shopping element.

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