Our news is currently dominated by the rise of the ‘second wave’ of the pandemic. Having just finished a project with a children’s hospice studying the impact of Covid, it’s clear that for the families they support, talk of ‘waves’ just doesn’t make sense.
The SHARE study undertaken earlier in the year by @Togetherforshortlives, showed the fears parents of life limited children had in leaving the house because of the risk of their child catching the virus. Not surprisingly, their feelings of isolation and other symptoms of poor mental health severely worsened during lockdown. And for many, financial hardship increased.
Whilst most of us enjoyed respite from the restrictions, our study showed that for these families, lockdown continued over the summer. For many, their July and August was no different to their April and May. And this has continued into September and October.
Children’s hospices have used technology to keep in touch with families and this has been greatly appreciated. But not all families have access to laptops and I-pads, whilst many of the children can’t be supported via zoom. Our project showed that nothing replaces face to face contact with people you know and trust.
So, for those of us facing the restrictions accompanying the second wave, let’s remember those for whom all the months since March have been like facing a never ending storm.