How has COVID-19 impacted your life? We might be physically apart, but it’s more important than ever to stay connected.
Every day for a week, we posted a new question on our Facebook page for you to comment on. You shared your experiences and advice. Your stories and tips. Your perspective and your voice. We wanted to hear from you, and you delivered! Here’s what you told us:
1. What has been the impact of COVID-19 on your life?
“It’s absolutely terrible that my mom is practically blind, and she can’t even leave her residence for a walk with me outside. This is absurd.” – Morris Lighthouse, QC
“I’m very fortunate to be still employed. I work at a drugstore! It has been a very trying times. My main concern is, has and always will be social distancing due to my lack of vision, but it is my duty and my honour to help everyone through this time and continue to be in the front lines and helping the public.” – Nick D’Ambrosio, QC
“Here we live with family so it’s still going well with a boy who’s almost three. There are ups and downs, but we’re going through this together and I love being surrounded by my family. The most difficult thing is the fact that there are many people using online grocery delivery services. So, for us who can't drive (me with my low vision and my boyfriend with his epilepsy) it makes things very complicated. Either we have to walk to the nearest grocery store and call a taxi to get home, or we ask a neighbour to pick up our groceries.” – Ana Rosa Dallaire, QC
“I'm starting to find this very long... I'm not used to being locked up like this. Like many, I take my pain in patience and stay connected with CNIB teleconferences as well as my friends. I think my birds are happy to have me home.” – Christine Brunet, Unknown.
2. What would you like people to know about living with sight loss during COVID-19?
“I am blind, and what I’m finding very difficult to understand is that people on the sidewalk, despite the white cane, agree that it is me who must deviate my path to respect the distance. Please be forgiving – it is not easy for us to change direction, and we would also like to take advantage of good health practices without having to stress. Thank you.” – Anik Cousineau, QC
“I said it in another post, but what I wish people would understand is that for us, going to the grocery store is more complicated. So, using the online grocery store can save us a lot of time and also worry since it's difficult for us to perfectly respect social distancing. Online grocery delivery should only be used for people without a car, people with young children, sick people and people with disabilities – like us.” – Ana Rosa Dallaire, QC.
“I think what people need to know is just because someone ‘looks sighted’ or is using a phone doesn’t mean they aren’t blind or visually impaired and they should try not to judge those people.” – Christine Benoit, ON
“Many people are tense right now. Someone told me that she had been told by a store manager that it would no longer be possible to be accompanied by someone else. While she was showing him his white cane, he replied, “Well you will stay at home!” A little more tact would be appreciated!” – Lyne Dubé-Éthier, QC
“You feel even more dependant of others. That being said, when somebody offers to run errands for you, it’s not a reason to bring you something different than what you’ve asked. Just because you’re blind doesn’t mean that you have to be grateful regardless of whether you got what you were asking for. OUF! Sorry but it’s good to say it…take care” – Doris Pineault, Unknown.
3. What are some of the challenges you have faced during COVID-19? If you’ve found a solution, what is it?
“One major challenge is that I have a chronic pain condition and specialist appointments have been cancelled and I’m unable to get badly needed cortisone shots and trigger point injections. Also, with the limitations on prescriptions I’m having to pay more money because of not being able to buy more than one month of medication at a time. And although this doesn’t sound like a big deal when you have 10 or more prescriptions you’re looking at $80 extra per month because of dispensing fees.” – Laurie Hammond, NL.
“Main challenge is getting on the bus at front doors. Some drivers are trying hard not letting white cane user enter in the front, even though the sticker on the front door, and website stated that people with mobility devices to enter in the front.” – James van Gent, ON.
4. If the federal government came up with a program to support Canadians with disabilities, what would we want that to look like for our community?
“Not sure I understand the question but…for me, it would mean that I could finally have a place, I could feel helpful, creative and mostly, independent.” – Eric Zohar, QC
“A place with a leader to build strength, stretch. Yoga, walking anything with others to get in shape. Weather is horrible most of the time.” – Louise Koroluk, SK
5. What advice would you give to others to keep their spirits up during the pandemic?
“I would say maybe do what I’m doing lately...do something that makes you happy before going to bed, and again when you wake up. It’s like a therapy for me and it’s working.” – Anik Cousineau, QC
“Listen to music you like – it relaxes you and clears your mind. Don’t obsess over the news but watch enough to stay informed. Cooking and trying new recipes helps pass the time as well.” – Bou Boulanger, QC
6. Now that the streets are quieter, are you noticing anything that you haven’t noticed before?
“The sounds of the world. The birds, wind in the trees, laughter of people, children having fun.” – Jinnie Saran, BC
“Hearing the birds sing. The air is relatively clean.” – Sharon Pratt, Unknown
“With less traffic on the streets, I am finding it more difficult to be certain that I am crossing the street safely. I cannot see the signals at all, and I depend on watching, hearing and feeling the flow of traffic. Without that flow of traffic, I sometimes just have to wait there until there is enough traffic to get the sense of which direction is moving and which direction is stationary.” – Terry Stortz, ON
“The streets are quieter, but the sidewalks are busier!” – Lyne Dubé Ethier, QC