Staying connected during social isolation

Emma Burke

Emma tells us about her experience of social distancing and isolating during the Coronavirus lockdown. She shares her thoughts on social media and how she's using this time to focus on her hobbies. 

I have heard this uncertain time being referred to as an "opportunity". I think this mindset is helping me be more productive and positive.

Emma sitting at a table

My name is Emma, I am 21 years old and I work in the Policy and Campaigns team at Leonard Cheshire. From today, I will be documenting my experience with social distancing and isolation as a result of Coronavirus. 

I have been working from home full time since 17 March. This is because I am considered a vulnerable person as I have a long-term health condition that, in some cases, affects immune strength. I have been warned this could mean I could get considerably ill from the virus, although this is not known for certain. 

The challenges of working from home

The hardest thing about the sudden shift to home working full time is the lack of social contact I’m having with colleagues and friends.

A lot of the people in my life, like my family, live far away or live in various towns outside of Cardiff so I can’t visit them. I’m finding it difficult to cope with the stress and uncertainty of the virus without the in-person support of my family and friends. 

Social media and trying to stay connected

I am struggling to adjust to the amount of discussion about the virus taking place on social media. Though I do not actively use Instagram and Twitter, I do look at those platforms for news or daily updates. At the moment, this is proving very damaging for my wellbeing due to many people voicing their opinions on how to handle the outbreak in the UK.

With limited access to the outside world, social media acts as an escape for many people. However, given that there is such a vast amount of negative and unconstructive criticism, it is no longer a place I can spend much time. 

Exploring new hobbies and using this time as an opportunity

Instead, I am looking for alternative ways to fill my time when I am not working. For instance, I have a large collection of plants. Getting to spend time repotting these has proven very therapeutic. I am also reading more, which was one of my new year’s resolutions. I have heard this uncertain time being referred to as an ‘opportunity’. I think this mindset is helping me be more productive and positive. 

Although I wish it was under different circumstances, social distancing has surprisingly given me time to consider my own happiness and wellbeing. I will use this space to document my thoughts and progress as we continue to distance and self-isolate.

Protect our carers with PPE

We are doing all we can to stop the spread of coronavirus, save lives and keep people safe. More equipment to protect our carers is urgently needed.

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