Coronavirus Challenges For Those With a Disability

Date: 2020-03-25 09:47:13

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Here’s how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting people with disabilities. 29-year-old James Davies lives with cerebral palsy in Melbourne, Australia. He is concerned about what may happen to him. With existing respiratory issues and being a quadriplegic, he cannot afford to be on his own.
“Self-isolation means death,” explains James.

Like most people with a disability, he needs around-the-clock care.
“I need assistance from a carer to go to the toilet, have a shower, get dressed, eat, have some food, clean my teeth,” says James. “So I’m always exposed to people. “
One worry that James has is that he can’t control his caregivers’ movements out of work hours.
“So if one staff member gives coronavirus to me and I give the coronavirus to the rest of the staff members, imagine the impact that’s going to have on their families and their friends,” he explains. “It’s just immense”.
James adds that shopping has become more difficult even with hours set aside for the disabled.
“By the time I go down the aisle quite slowly in my wheelchair, everything’s just been fully cleaned out,” he elaborates. “But it is amazing some of the initiatives that are in place. And I have been filled with hope on occasion.”
Being isolated from his family is the hardest. James recently missed his niece’s birthday.
“And she said to me, ‘So when can you come and see me?’ And I said, ‘I’m not sure, sweetheart. We have to be away from each other for a few weeks.’ How do you explain this to kids?”

But James remains hopeful.

“I’m one of those people who, I am not going to let the coronavirus beat me or beat us,” he says. “I’m still going to get out and about safely. I’m still going down to the cafe down the road to get a coffee. More than worrying about the spread of virus, we need to worry about the spread of fear. And instead of the spread of fear, we need to focus on spreading hope.”Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm

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