Covid-19 Stories Blog

COVID-19 COMMUNITY STORIES

These stories have been kindly shared by children, young people and adults in our community, from personal accounts to the experiences of key-workers. People have described their lives at home, work and and school and shared their feelings, challenges and hopes. At Gladrags we wanted to capture local living history and create this resource for teachers and community / youth workers processing the events of Covid-19 within their schools, community projects and well-being settings.

Our FREE initial collection of 30 stories, written between May and September 2020, is now available in pdf (download copies below) and editable powerpoint verisons (please contact us for a copy).

Covid Wellbeing Resource - primary schools - whiteboard version (pdf)

Covid Wellbeing Resource - primary schools - print version (pdf)

Covid Wellbeing Resource - secondary schools / community projects - whiteboard version (pdf)

Covid Wellbeing Resource - secondary schools / community projects - print version (pdf)

You can take part!

As we continue to live in the age of Coronavirus, we are still inviting people of all ages and all sections of our community to give voice to their experience, so do please share this page freely or download our E-POSTER. For more info and to submit your story please download one of the following forms:

       Worker perspective        Personal perspective        Child Perspective

For detailed questions that help with putting a story together, either your own, or those of people you are working with / interviewing, please download one of the following sheets. They can be edited to suit your specific purpose.

Questions - worker       Questions - adult / young person     Questions - child / young person

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"As a Primary Deputy Head I am keen to source real accounts of different people’s experiences of life since lockdown due to the coronavirus. It is vital for pupils to hear about these experiences to support their understanding of how others have and are coping and to develop empathy with different people."

Nigel Watson, Coldean Primary School, Brighton 

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Thank you to East Brighton Trust for funding this project.

 Some names and places have been altered to protect identities.

The Doctor's Diagnosis

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I work as a GP in a small rural surgery. Our area has been relatively unaffected by the Covid illness – we have had less than 10 confirmed cases in our patient population of just over 5000 people and all of those cases have had only minor symptoms (and came from the local hospital). It has been extraordinary to see and read about the situation in other areas of the country and the devastating effect that the illness has had on care home communities.

SurgeryMy job involves the diagnosis and management of health conditions. In comparison to so many people who have been furloughed, or worse, my working life has continued as normal, however the substance of my working day has changed immeasurably. Faced with the challenge of looking after those people in society with the most fragile health without increasing their risk of catching a potentially fatal infection, my practice rapidly switched to different patterns of working and means of communication.

Previously, our working day was based on seeing 30 people, face-to-face, with booked appointments. Overnight, we stopped these to avoid direct contact where possible and reduce the risks of transmitting the disease. We started using telephone calls, text messages, emails and video consultations to look after our patients. These options have existed for the last 10 years, but we have always been too busy to contemplate a change that would be so disruptive to our staff and patients. Our patients have been extremely understanding and it is testament to their resilience that there have been no complaints.

Despite these changes, I think that we would still be at risk of being overwhelmed if there were high levels of Covid infection in our area. My colleagues and I can see on the news what happens to health services in areas of high Covid infection, but what we have not seen and cannot predict is what happens to the general health of an area when, overnight, GPs change how they work and potentially sick people try to avoid contact with everyone, including their doctors. How many cancers may have been missed, or high blood pressures, which might lead to heart attacks or strokes?

Early on in the crisis, I watched a video from a thoughtful and impressive GP, who was working at a Covid assessment unit in London. He described assessing patients with suspected Coronavirus and working out whether they needed to be admitted to hospital or not. What struck me the most was the advice to counsel the patients being admitted to ‘say goodbye’ to their families, since they would not be allowed visitors in the hospital and might never see them again. I cannot forget this.

IMG-20200910-WA0002These situations were not exclusive to people infected with the virus. Hospitals and care homes shut their doors to all visitors in order to reduce the risk of infection. With hospitals representing separation from loved ones as well as the most likely place to catch the disease, I have had many conversations with people who are unwell and in other circumstances would definitely be requiring admission to hospital, but who chose to remain at home to avoid Coronavirus.

Going forward, I suspect that my job will not be the same again. The over-worn phrase ‘the new normal’ has truth and I am hard pushed to think of an aspect of my working or home life that will not have be affected by the pandemic. My hope is that this can provide an opportunity to improve systems and beliefs that have continued for many years ‘just because’. Fingers crossed.

By David, June 2020

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