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Recorder letters: Lockdown joy, face coverings, easing lockdown and homelessness

PUBLISHED: 12:30 21 June 2020

Lockdown has provided an escape from the busyness of the normal work life. Picture: PA

Lockdown has provided an escape from the busyness of the normal work life. Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Lockdown has brought one joy

Mahabir Sangha, Bethell Avenue, Ilford, writes:

The lockdown has brought one important joy to all households.

I was always busy with the busyness of work and life. Coming home to eat my supper, sleep, shower and change shirts and then back to work. I hardly paid attention to my home. How true the saying “we only address those things we pay attention to”.

Lockdown has forced me gently to pay attention to the house that I live in. Only when you have to enjoy the environment that you create do you realise what you need to change and pay attention.

And with me it started with tidying up, followed closely by refreshing rooms with plants, incense and fresh air.

Am I the only one who was lost in the busy of busyness?

People without masks risk my life

An Ilford resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

The government continually tell us they trust the public to keep the rules so don’t give orders but ask us to keep rules.

From my perspective, they are completely unaware of what is going on.

From Dominic Cummings downwards very many people are ignoring the rules and have been since the beginning of lockdown.

For example, in my block of 11 flats, one person had visitors from the beginning of lockdown and up to now at least two more residents have had visitors to their flats.

I was forced to go to the bank last week. None of the staff were wearing masks. The very helpful lady took my paying in book and cheques from my bare hands, used the machine with her bare hands and handed the paying in book and receipt back to me.

The door was then helpfully held open for me by a lady without mask or gloves. No one was at any time two metres away from me.

Again I was forced to go to a supermarket in South Woodford. I only saw one member of staff with a mask and only about a third of customers wearing masks.

I find all the above very threatening as I fall into a vulnerable group.

People are acting very selfishly. We have been told time and time again that the wearing of masks is not to protect ourselves but to protect others. It seems to me that people have been told they aren’t vulnerable so don’t bother wearing masks. This is selfish!

I know a 28-year-old with no underlying health issues who has had the virus very badly and after several weeks is still very ill so no one should be smug.

Both my fellow residents and all the people not wearing masks in an enclosed space are risking MY life and I resent this.

Blind need help to social distance

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Keith Valentine, development director, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), writes:

With social distancing now part of everyday life it is important to highlight that not everyone can maintain the required distance as easily as others.

People who are blind and partially sighted can struggle to know when they are getting closer to someone, or if someone is approaching them. And guide dogs, of course, aren’t trained to help in this regard. In general, people are supportive, but there have been occasions when individuals with sight loss have been challenged or even shouted at for coming too close to others, when the reality is they simply weren’t aware of it.

In such uncertain times, tensions over distancing can rise. But we would ask that if you feel someone seems to be ignoring the restrictions, consider for a moment whether that person, rather than being careless, might not be able to fully see you. Please be aware that some people do need just a little extra thought.

Don’t forget those still self-isolating

Deborah Alsina MBE, chief executive, Independent Age, writes:

After more than two months of staying at home, many people in London took full advantage of the nice weather last weekend, and are now able to meet up outdoors in small groups.

A huge number of people, however, especially those who are older and vulnerable, will have to continue to stay at home owing to health or mobility reasons, or because they’re worried about mixing with the general population again.

That’s why Independent Age, the older people’s charity, is calling on your readers not to forget those who need to continue self-isolating. We urge them to stay in touch with friends, family and neighbours who need to remain at home, as well as those who live alone or have no family or friends, and those who feel lonely.

Independent Age’s recent polling found that 89 per cent of people aged 65 and over say their social contact has reduced significantly since the lockdown started. Even before the pandemic, more than one million older people said they were always or often lonely.

Now that many of us have had a taste of how this feels, we must do all we can to help everyone stay connected.

Independent Age’s advice relating to coronavirus can be viewed at independentage.org/covid-19

Independent Age is also supporting #letstalkloneliness, an initiative to encourage people to talk about loneliness and help tackle it.

Help us to end homelessness

Jon Sparkes, chief executive, Crisis, writes:

Help us ensure no one goes back to sleeping on the streets after lockdown.

The coronavirus outbreak has made so many of us appreciate the sanctuary that home provides.

We have seen the government, local councils and charities achieve the extraordinary by finding temporary housing for thousands of people sleeping rough or in unsafe accommodation. Proving that a safe and settled home for everyone is within our reach.

We know that our supporters care deeply about people facing homelessness, even more so during this pandemic. People have been going to real lengths to fundraise for us, from running marathons to playing the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Every one of them has contributed to helping people in the most vulnerable circumstances at this time. But our work is not over.

Now we need to make sure people are not forced back onto the streets. We also need to protect those who have lost work and are struggling to pay the rent and risk losing their homes.

We need your support to achieve this.

To donate to Crisis please visit crisis.org.uk/homeforall


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