Q: What has been your biggest concern during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Staying COVID-free mainly… Especially in a household where we have support workers coming and going. Luckily I have a great team of women supporting me who understand that keeping me safe means keeping themselves and their families safe too. As long as everybody is doing their part to do that, we can prevent the spread amongst ourselves and our loved ones.
Q: Why is having easy access to PPE important to you?
I think it should be important to everyone… In saying that, people with disability have no choice but to expose themselves to those who cannot isolate.
Personally, I have gone nowhere and have fully accepted and abided by the restrictions, however that does not mean I am not in close proximity with my support workers. These workers go home to their families and need to do their own grocery shopping and mingle within crowds and could possibly come into contact with the virus. I trust my workers, but with limited PPE, it’s difficult for me to provide them with the resources needed to protect themselves, which in turn protects me as well as their loved ones. This makes the hope of ‘flattening the curve’ even more difficult.
I personally have been forced to use my NDIS funding to send support workers out to find supplies like we’re in a post-apocalyptic world. As such, I have attempted to access, and have thoroughly exhausted, all avenues in which to find the PPE I require to keep myself and my staff safe.
Q: As restrictions are eased around Australia, many are starting to enjoy the freedom they had prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reality for many people with disability is that they will remain in isolation until a vaccine is available. Will you continue to self-isolate until a vaccine is developed and why?
Yes I will. I do not trust that everyone is doing the right thing so I personally will continue to self-isolate. I can see further cycles of the virus breaking out should our country not continue to do so. I believe it’s too early to come out of isolation and further believe that more needs to be done to ensure there are enough supplies for everyone, especially people with disability, the aged and all those who are most vulnerable.
Q: Do you feel you will have an ongoing need to source PPE?
Most definitely. I need it every day for daily life, not just to protect myself and my family and my workers from COVID-19. They are staples in our world and they are so hard to access! That goes for all people with disabilities. Furthermore, all of the big disability consumable suppliers have been out-of-stock which has put all our health, our lives even, at risk.