Francesca Dean recounts the trials of the last 18 months during Covid-19.
On 23rd March 2020, the world crumbled to its knees. Black clouds of anxiety, hopelessness, sadness and fear begin to roll in.
The sound of Boris Johnson’s voice booms all around us as we sit watching television with loved ones as he looks straight into our eyes as he poignantly says ‘Stay Home, protect our NHS and save lives’. With the utmost conviction, almost believable. Cameras flashing, journalists conversing, scribbling notes, synchronisation and working in perfect harmony.
On the very same evening, as we look out of our windows, bursts of normal quickly begin to diminish, hand sanitisers, face masks, PPE are thrown into our faces with no explanation or any real reason why.
We as a nation are told to adapt a stiff upper lip persona and to just get on with it. On the other hand, when living with a disability this is anything but straightforward. Disability is 24/7.
That night we lay with food in our bellies, comfy pillows under our heads, grateful in the knowledge that we have each other, but as we awake the next morning, life as we knew once before will never be the same again, for all of us, but especially for those with a disability, they and their families the ones who are affected by the longevity of these lockdowns every day on a physical, emotional and psychological basis.
Fast-forward to right now, nearly 18 months have flown by since the first lockdown and our government seem to think this is totally acceptable to abandon the disabled community leaving thousands of families without access to basic resources such as well-being, health and social care
Question marks hanging over them like a permanent dark cloud. The world is slowly beginning to open up again but there are thousands of families with children or family members of their own living with a disability left still searching for answers and craving normalcy.
We’ve been in lockdown since 2020 and it’s now 2021, and more than ever before we’re still having to use our voices louder than ever, in order just to be able to matter especially with a disability.
In times like this, we need to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder. However, when the phrase ‘disability’ is entered into the government’s vocabulary, klaxons begin to sound in their heads.
Why? Plain and simple they haven’t done enough to secure our future. After months of cyclical anxiety, depression and chronic loneliness and also not forgetting the heavy use of misleading pie charts and data.
However, the one thing that has let so many people down with a hidden or visible disability, and their families is the sheer number of broken promises made by our shambolic government. Disability is beautiful and we’re only human after all.
We won’t remain silent. We won’t be forgotten.
Francesca Dean is 26, living in Rossendale with her family. Francesca has Cerebral Palsy, unable to walk or stand but uses an electric wheelchair to help her get around.
Following school she went onto several college courses including Business and Travel and Tourism.
Francesca is currently employed at Blackburn Youth Zone as a marketing assistant.