When restrictions and facemasks are relaxed in England on 19 July, millions of us will be effectively forced back into lockdown
When the first lockdown was announced, it was a surprise to discover I’d been left off the government’s shielding list.
As the keeper of an unholy alliance of chronic illnesses, including myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and episodic ataxia, I’d at least expected to be warned to be careful. But although the government forgot about me – just as they forgot about 2 million other vulnerable people in England – my GP didn’t. She firmly advised me to treat myself as a shielder.
And since my disabilities meant I was already working from home, I was in a much better position to shield than many other people.
For the 3.7 million people across England who are classed as clinically vulnerable, and the millions more of us who were left off the official list, being overlooked has occurred with a depressing regularity over the past 16 months. It therefore came as little surprise that, when Boris Johnson announced England’s social distancing measures would end on 19 July, the government had seemingly forgotten about the impact this would have on clinically vulnerable and immunocompromised people.