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Totally, utterly and completely staying inside the house

(42 Posts)
ChicChicChicChiclana Mon 04-May-20 19:13:46

Is this actually a good thing for anyone (anyone who is mobile, obvs)?

My mum is 88 and has copd and walks with a walking frame but she has been walking up her garden path and along the quiet row of bungalows on the estate where she lives for 10 minutes a day since lockdown started. She feels she doesn't want to seize up completely. She has also had chats with neighbours standing more than 2m away on her garden path.

I think this sounds fine and sensible? I am sure any joggers or walkers would give her a wide berth as they go past but they will be very few and far between where she lives.

Otoh, I have another relative who is 16 years younger than my mum but is also on the ultra shielded list due to organ transplant. But this person is physically so much fitter than my mum, she's more like 25 years younger. She is always on the go, very energetic, very fast moving. She literally has not set foot outside her front door since lockdown started, not even to do a 10 minute walk round the block. Again, she lives on a quiet estate with hardly any traffic.

What is the benefit to her of never going out at all? Is this actually what people are doing?

OP’s posts: |
Bagelsandbrie Mon 04-May-20 19:18:40

I think it’s a very personal thing. I am 39 and I am in receipt of one of the shielding letters (no going out at all for 12 weeks) because I have Addison’s disease, asthma, a pituitary tumour etc. However I also have a child aged 7 with complex needs who needs to get out everyday otherwise we will all go crazy. And he needs two of us to take him out so dh and I have been going on walks with him. Luckily we live quite rurally so barely see anyone. I couldn’t stay inside for 12 weeks I’d be going insane. Despite my health issues I am very active, run 3 times a week, 10k steps everyday etc etc.

I think the government letter etc is guidance and every person needs to make their own risk assessment based on their own health.

Bagelsandbrie Mon 04-May-20 19:19:40

The staying inside for 12 weeks is obviously to eliminate (as much as possible) any chance of getting the virus. We don’t really know how contagious it is.

Sparklingbrook Mon 04-May-20 19:21:03

That's a really good question. I can't see why a person who is shielding (and is able and wants to) can't go for a walk to the end of their road and back if there's nobody about or after dark if need be.

I think the official advice has to be stay in at all times, the message needs to get through and then there's no grey areas? If they said you can have a walk around the block if it's quiet that could be misconstrued. If that makes sense.

happytoday73 Mon 04-May-20 19:25:59

I know a number of shielding people who are just going into their own back garden for exercise and vitamin d... But that's literally it for weeks...

I don't know how they'd cope with no garden.
Spain where children have literally not been outside for weeks and weeks must have been really hard...

ClientQ Mon 04-May-20 19:34:04

Yep I'm shielding and only use the garden
I've had to go out twice - once in the car to the vet but that was completely contact free and once to the pharmacy which felt v odd being out and walking!

ToffeeYoghurt Mon 04-May-20 19:34:49

Each to their own. If your mum is happy getting out briefly that's good and she should continue, obviously maintaining social distancing.

If your other relative who's on the shielding list feels safer following the shielding guidelines that's what she should do. Peace of mind is important for mental health.

If she's fit and active there are plenty of home exercises she could try. YouTube has some good free home workouts. Tell her to have a look. She should open the windows to get fresh air into the home and if she has a garden she might feel safe sitting out there for some sunshine. If not, it won't kill her staying in temporarily. Some people are permanently housebound.

Sadie789 Mon 04-May-20 19:39:47

I still find it incredible neither of my parents have had one of these letters given they both have very serious (albeit rare) health problems which for my in particular I would have thought made them both extremely vulnerable to a respiratory infection.

I digress but to me moving your body and getting fresh air are fundamental to your wellbeing both physical and mental, and good on your mum for making sure she’s getting a daily dose of outside exercise.

Personally I think literally staying within the walls of your home for weeks on end is detrimental. You are not going to catch this virus from fresh air and that is a fact.

If staying inside one limited environment for a long period of time wasn’t a negative for the human body and soul then prisons wouldn’t be a punishment.

SauvignonBlanche Mon 04-May-20 19:47:39

Has your DM received a shielding letter @ChicChicChicChiclana?
The advice is very specific, not to go out at all and is different to the advice given to the vulnerable group.

My DH is shielding (also due to organ Tx) and the only time he’s gone out of the gate is to put the bin out.

We’re lucky as we have a garden, I can’t imagine how hard it must be for shielded people who don’t have this.

Porcupineinwaiting Mon 04-May-20 19:48:21

I think it is a very individual decision. Wrt your mum and your younger relative, put bluntly, your mum has a lot less to lose.

ChicChicChicChiclana Mon 04-May-20 19:51:59

I agree with you Sadie789.

And, infact, all the pointers are that fresh air and exercise and sunlight (vitamin D) are really good for you if you can access it. And in the Spanish flu pandemic, people who were treated outdoors in field hospitals (because there was no room left inside) had better outcomes than those treated indoors.

Ultra vulnerable people who don't go out must be thinking they can acquire the virus literally just from encountering at 2m distance he occasional person as they stroll up and down their close/street/road. Is this good advice to be giving them?

OP’s posts: |
Bluntness100 Mon 04-May-20 19:54:40

I think shielded are supposed to stay in totally. Other than to go in their garden if it’s safe. So both individuals you mention are doing fine.

I think the shielded person and how much vit d they are getting isn’t really their biggest priority.

ClientQ Mon 04-May-20 19:55:23

@ChicChicChicChiclana I'm using the garden. The problem is I guess with going out is a few things. If you see someone you know and you're tempted to stop and chat. And if you get people who insist on not distancing
And once you've been out once and been ok you might be tempted to do more
I mean I can't see the issue with me going out and walking the length of the street at 9pm and not touching anything... it's tricky

ToffeeYoghurt Mon 04-May-20 19:55:53

They don't have to follow the advice but if they want to why does it bother you OP?

It only takes one passer by to cough on them btw. Just one, just once.

ofwarren Mon 04-May-20 19:57:36

I have a shielded child and we are only allowed in the garden.
What would happen if we went for a walk and a person decided to walk next to us and cough or sneeze?
The shielding advice is totally correct as the odds are not in our favour of he catches covid.

SauvignonBlanche Mon 04-May-20 20:02:43

The guidance states that
You’re strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact if you’re clinically extremely vulnerable to protect yourself

But it also adds that:
Shielding is for your personal protection. It’s your choice to decide whether to follow the measures we advise.

ChicChicChicChiclana Mon 04-May-20 20:05:22

I guess my mum feels the health benefits of staying mobile outweigh the likelihood of someone with covid-19 coughing on her.

My younger relative has the mobility to cross the road pretty quickly as soon as she sees someone coming towards her.

I totally understand that it's an individual choice, nothing to do with me, but I suppose my question is are people in this ultra shielded group getting the very best advice?

OP’s posts: |
SauvignonBlanche Mon 04-May-20 20:19:12

I suppose my question is are people in this ultra shielded group getting the very best advice

I guess we’ll never know as it wasn’t able to be widely researched.

DH is coping much better than I would but it is hard, he says he’d like to go out and has been tempted but would rather not ignore the advice and take a risk as he says he’s too much to lose

Wingedharpy Mon 04-May-20 20:24:09

Presumably, OP, your transplant -recipient relative, not only wants to survive this pandemic (don't we all?), but she'd also like to survive it with her transplanted organ intact and functioning.

Presumably, your DM doesn't take daily immunosuppressant therapy which predisposes those individuals who do, including transplant recipients, to contract all sorts of infections very easily.

Your younger relative is following the guidance on shielding as advised. Her choice.
What's the benefit to her? Some peace of mind that she's doing everything she's supposed to.

Your DM is making her own choices.

I'm assuming you've never been on a transplant waiting list OP?

Drivingdownthe101 Mon 04-May-20 20:27:38

A friend of mine got a shielding letter for CF. She’s going for a run in the mornings and takes her daughter out for walks. She’s 35, takes her fitness very seriously due to the CF and has decided the risk to her of losing her fitness (and lung capacity) is far greater than potentially being coughed/sneezed on when out for a run/walk.

Unravellingslowly Mon 04-May-20 20:35:32

Again, she lives on a quiet estate with hardly any traffic

She’s a shielded transplant recipient. The advice is to not go out to exercise. Garden -yes. Walking round streets -no.

I live with a transplant recipient. I tried to go for my daily walks (that we’ve been doing for years prior to CV) and it’s impossible. Our usual quiet estate walks are now so full of walkers that I had to cross the road a dozen times in 2 miles. I no longer go out to walk.

Bagelsandbrie Mon 04-May-20 20:40:21

I do think SOME people who are in receipt of the shielding letter have taken it to mean literally sit at home and do nothing. Zero apart from eating and sitting on the sofa. I have heard lots of this from the various health conditions groups I belong to. I do understand that lots of people can’t exercise but for those that can it’s so important to keep doing it, inside if people can’t / don’t want to go outside. I guess a lot of people are depressed and have lost the motivation to do anything as the whole Coronavirus thing IS depressing for those in the shielding group. But I do wonder - like the op- if the whole don’t go out at all, ever thing is adding to people’s misery. I guess it depends where you live but if you are genuinely able to walk without bumping into others it seems positive to get some outdoor exercise for physical and mental wellbeing.

ClientQ Mon 04-May-20 20:52:48

Depends what you mean sit at home and do nothing really. I can't exercise but I'm watching a box set, reading, cooking, cleaning, beauty stuff, sitting in the garden ...
Apart from that, I'm a bit stuck on other things to do!

Gtugccbjb Mon 04-May-20 20:54:18

I think it’s a health disaster to stay indoors. I’d be horrified if any of my family were doing that. We have upped our exercise during this time for health reasons. Also I’m usually a heating on windows closed type but now have all windows wide open day and night.

dementedma Mon 04-May-20 20:57:35

My best friend has surprised me in all of this. she’s normally very sociable, goes out to visit her family, walks the dog etc.
she has not been outside her flat since lockdown. I mean, not once. Here son in law gets her shopping and the dog goes out to run around the garden. she is 66 so not particularly elderly with no real underlying conditions. she won’t even walk up and down the lane. I’m really quite worried about her.

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