I hope everyone is enjoying their Easter. I am just writing to say that I find it unfortunate and upsetting that the Goverment announces the end of shielding to the general public in one way but in another way in our letters as shielders. I am already receiving "attitude" from a few people who think shielding is all over now and I can and should be doing what everyone else is doing, ie socialising outdoors, going to shops etc. I find the shielding letter almost contradictory and tells us still to continue to be very cautious, to limit our social interactions and effectively to try not to be in crowded places. It says this regardless of whether we are fully vacinated or not. Personally I am not likely to change my behaviour until a few weeks after my second jab and even then I will re-enter society very slowly. Even during lockdowns a few people expressed that they thought I was being unecessarily cautious. I don't think so and I am pleased that my actions so far have kept me safe. How do you all feel?
Advice to x shielders: I hope everyone... - British Lung Foun...
British Lung Foundation
I totally agree gardeninglady and think you’re right to be cautious. In fact, everyone should be proceeding with care vaccinated or not.
You must do what you feel comfortable doing and take no notice of others. Stay safe and well. Xxx
I find this infuriating as well x
Another mixed message meaning you can do it, but dont! 🤔
I agree with Sassy, don't take any notice of what others say, you have to look after you and what makes you feel most comfortable is what is important. I must admit I have had days when it's been tempting to say "oh what the hell"! and the constraints now are well beyond a joke but what do you do? 🤔
I totally agree I find generally people are uneducated of how lung disease can affect you in everyday life and the fear of catching covid knowing how ill you can be with an ordinary chest infection. We will all do what we must to stay safexx
Do what is best for you which is what I think most of us here are doing regardless of what others say or do.
I agree wholeheartedly with you, I said the same about the letter. , It really is confusing. I don't see how people think we are being over cautious, covid is still out there so it's only natothat we who are extremely vunarable are still very cautious. I have no intension of putting either myself or anyone else in danger of catching this. Have a good day and take care 😊 Bernadette and Jack 🐕 xxxxxx
I agree. I’m on immunosuppressants,so am supposed to avoid crowds anyway.
Thank you for your comments everyone. It is not that their comments will change my well informed decisions on my behavour. What I find so hurtful is the fact that these people who are supposed to be my friends and care about me seem to think their level of safety precautions should be enough for me as well. I disagree, witness the many people who have followed normal guidance on safety precautions and still caught covid. It also makes me feel that I can't ask them to occasionally go into a shop for me any more for example because they clearly now think I should be doing these things for myself. Living on my own, worse than the physical social isolation in the last year, these sort of comments have made me feel emotionally and psychologically alone.
So sorry to read this gardeninglady. Life is hard enough without that kind of friend and it is sad that they have made you feel as you do. There are friends aplenty here but, of course, unable to help you practically. I hope that you get your second vaccine soon and are able to venture out taking all the precautions you wish to and that a friend will come round to seeing your point of view when you need a bit of help. xx
I understand where you are coming from on that. I have told my friends I so want to meet them for coffee or lunch out somewhere (outside only) but I can't do crowded places and happier if keeping 2 metres away from others even when outside. I think it is going to be difficult to achieve (now or later) especially in supermarket or other shops when they open.
I am even more concerned as there are friends who like drinking in pubs and others with grandchildren so a lot of mixing with the masses would in effect be taking place even indirectly. This situation I feel is going to impact on friendships.
Its difficult I am wondering if I need to adopt late afternoon or evening shopping where I can later on when more things are open, it will be for me only late spring, summer and first part of autumn for any adventures out, then I shall lock myself down for bug season and winter months again.
Stay well and safe as best we can.
Totally agree with your post.My family are luckily most supportive but as you say friends are pushing to meet up ,have coffee,travel overseas asap when allowed to see family.
Stay safe ,well and happy and do what is right for you.
It is difficult, recently my sister who lives overseas is talking about hoping to come see me soon and a friend from London, really at this point, I don't think I will be at all safe to meet them (what with all the people they would have been in contact with on their travels to get here) Its all very difficult. Especially as we now know that even after 2nd vaccine there is still a risk for all especially those who are CEV.
Thanks ninelives, I will do my best and also you stay well, safe and happy too x
Tell the people who really need to know what the situation means for you. In No Uncertain Terms. You can also tell them that my consultant phoned explicitely to tell me that although shielding was coming to an end I was absolutely not to change my behaviour based on that or on the fact of the vaccination. She said that the time to start spreading my wings would be when infections were almost down to zero. I live alone also and it has been hard.As for a lack of understanding. I have had that for 70 years and have developed the hide of a rhinocerous 🤣
Oh dear! I'm so sorry about that! People knowing now that shielders have been told not to shield anymore have been led to believe its safe for all to venture out taking appropriate precautions, not taking individual circumstances into consideration. There has been so much fear and paranoia surrounding the pandemic, not without reason of course, but the government's view is we've got to get out there but do it carefully. Are there no local organisations who would still help you with shopping still for a while, if you don't think your friends are willing? My best wishes to you.
Well you are not alone you have all of us lungies, we all support each other. xx
I do sympathise. I'm on my own too, with bronchiectasis & several heart conditions, and have been getting online grocery deliveries for myself & several friends in their 90s. But so many friends& others have been wearing such flimsy masks that I don't think could be protective. I've worn N95 masks left over from the SARS epidemic, then bought close-fitting 3 layer cotton masks with a breathing vent & pocket for a 5 layer filter. I also wear a face shield or workmen's goggles on top to protect my eyes, so feel a bit safer with those extra layers.
My advice is take your time in readjusting and take things a day at a time and do what you feel is the right thing for you.
I am doing exactly what you are doing. The turkeys are beneath your notice so don't let them annoy you or get you down. It's a waste of your very precious energy.
I agree with you , they should send a letter to those who haven't been shielding, and tell them to be cautious, because i have heard people say ,I've had my jab so I can mix with as many people I want . Says it all really . Carry on taking care 🤗
This is spot on - I’m expected back into the classroom with no masks, no social distancing, going into 6 different classes and whole staff meetings. With the best of intentions, colleagues tell me that there’s nothing to be anxious about because,’it feels ok when you’re used to it’ . The gp says I must have another occupational health assessment before I go back and he wants me to have my second vaccination too because I’m immune suppressed from steroids but the school management say that there’s no point because there aren’t any adjustments that they could/would make anyway! The wishy-washy ‘you can do it, but don’t’ advice from the government is useless.
I don't envy you your situation. I would have thought that your school had a duty of care just as other employers do but can see the problems with regard to that in a school setting.This is certainly a time that I am glad to be retired as I really do feel for those who have been shielding and are still in employment. I hope that you find a workable solution.
Employers have to be able to provide a covid-secure workplace, and separate rules exist for CEV employees. The guidance as of April 1st still remains that CEV employees should work from home wherever possible, regardless of the cessation of shielding or vaccination status. If they can’t work from home, they are still eligible for the job retention scheme (furlough). Here’s the link for the health and safety executive’s advice on covid secure workplaces:
From within that you can access their advice specifically regarding vulnerable workers, but the direct link to that page is:
I’m afraid I can no longer afford to be on furlough so I’m back at work, I’m cev and for me I asked to go back it’s my choice I can’t keep myself in need to get back to some sort of normality
Shielding has only ever been a suggestion, and I know quite a few people who have not shielded or returned to work earlier for lots of different reasons, some of them because of the financial implications the same as you. The point of my reply was purely that there are other options, even if employers would prefer otherwise. It’s not just a case of shielding’s over, you have to come back now or else, and lots of people aren’t aware of that, or their rights.
Teachers don't get the respect they deserve. I'm glad I'm retired. Fingers crossed for you.
One of my sons is a head of a large school. He is carrying out twice a week tests on 1800 pupils and a lot of staff, sorry don't know their number, but this is over 4000 tests a week. He is really concerned for the welfare of his teachers and said a duty of care should be recognised.
I am so sorry that you are being made to go back to work in a school just now. It doesn't feel right to me.
Hey you! Seriously I've had it with your employer 😂. What charlie said is right but also it got so serious last time go straight to union again don't even engage in their demands as it makes you more ill every single time. You can't risk getting that unwell mentally again and then the impact on your chest. Just contact union. I hope your managing some sleep..? X🙂
Hello - how nice to hear from you! You are so kind. The good news is that my gp has referred me but I have no idea how long it will take to be seen. He told me to stop trying to reduce the steroids and stay on 30mg a day, but I feel so awful at that dose that I’ve sneakily managed to get down to 20mg. I failed to reduce any further- so sleep? What is that? The OH appointment has just come through for the 19th April, my second vaccination is the 24th and I’ll be talking to the union on Thursday.
Thank you for your support- I hope you’re doing ok. 👍
Oh I remember them days of sleep.. what's that? Predsomnia!!! Well yes as you know I eventually came off after a long struggle it wasn't nice but I was determined as the pred was making things worse. And in order to have mannitol test I had to be on 0 meds!! I'm realising how much the pred was suppressing all the long covid complications now too 🤦♀️. And strangely when I was on 0 meds sleep improved now slowly going back on meds sleep not good again 🙄 as if on pred but I'm not. But hey ho I'm a step closer than I was 😂🤣. X
Don't take any notice of them and don't bother to explain to them if they're so ignorant of the dangers for the whole world's population. Look what happened after ease of lock down last year and everyone's get togethers at Christmas. There are many non-shielders like me who won't be changing my solitary, extremely careful lifestyle until long after I and the rest of the country have had their 2nd jabs. As for foreign travel? You'd have to be demented to be so foolhardy.
I totally get that its heartbreaking for 'friends and loved ones could think anyone can start mixing let alone shielded. I've said o more than one occasion "no thanks, I've got this far so I won't be mixing just yet."
I guess a lot depends on where you live, I pity those who live in large cities. P
Hello gardeninglady, it seems as if just about everyone on this forum is doing as you are doing.I fully intended to until Sainsbury's let me down big time on Thursday afternoon. I was forced to go to local shop to get bread, milk and other necessities to tide me over Easter. I am hopping mad with Sainsbury's and shall blame them if I catch anything. We must carry on being sensible and try to educate our friends and family.
If i had my way the wearing of masks would be mandatory in public for 12 months after June 21.Obviously exemptions will apply but this can be handled quite efficiently with the issuing of certificates etc...
I totally feel the same and I intend to continue to be very cautious. Like you some of my friends do not seem to get why but they do not have the amount of health issues that I have. Even after my 2nd jab on the 24th April plus 3 weeks I will still be very cautious and limit my social interactions and have no intention of going into shops for quite some time to come. I have managed to get whatever I wanted online for the past year so will continue to do so. Like you my actions so far have kept me safe so I will continue as I am. I think there are probably more that feel like we do. Anway I am with you on this. Best wishes.xx
I entirely agree with you, and shall continue to be very cautious. When I was first diagnosed with bronchiectasis my consultant told me to to keep away from people with colds etc, and I shall do that. Keep well xx
Well I totally agree on that one. With my Bronchiectasis if I get a cold if I can't get rid of it that day the next day it will become a chest infection. So I treat a cold as a dire emergency, stop everything I can, go to bed and rest and take every remedy I know of. I also won't go near the Grandchildren if they have colds or coughs as that has led to me having chest infections in the past. I have to say the only benefit of shielding for the last year and living on my own is that I haven't caught anything and no chest infections.
Nor have I - haven’t had a full blown exacerbation for over a year. Isn’t it wonderful! To be honest, I have felt so much better under all the restrictions that I dread when I will have to make myself go out and about once more. Do NOT let unthinking friends push you into doing what you know is not right for you.
I’m lucky to have my husband with me, who has shielded as well even though he didn’t have to. It must have been difficult being alone, but sensible to persist. I must admit we had lunch with my son and family yesterday, but we have had both vaccinations, my son has had one and they all had COVID-19 at Christmas. Social distancing with parents, but hugs with the children, aged 6 and 3 x
It must have been a wonderful day for you all.
Agree 100% the letter should be publicised as it gives mixed messages.
I shall do exactly the same. Feel that it will be a long time before we feel safe in crowds, doubt I shall want to hug friends again. Will see if I feel differently after my second jab. Stay safe
I will be doing exactly the same. I don’t want to reintroduce myself back into the frenzy...after all I’ve kept myself safe for over a year. As they say ignorance is bliss by many. When it’s out of sight, people have no knowledge or understanding of what this disease can/is doing to us. I’ve always maintained that I’d never survive Covid with Asthma and Bronchiectasis. Just stay safe my dear and ignore the ignoramuses.
Does it matter what other people think? This is your life. We have been shielding because we are extra vulnerable. Policies will change but our vulnerability remains the same. I too will be very cautious and reduce risk as much as possible. It is very frightening heading out there after the year we have had. Look after yourself and stay well xx
Hi gardening lady,although I am itching to get out and about it would be silly to think about being safe without jab 2 done. I feel sorry for the younger shielding group who have been told they can return to work, that really is scary.
I totally agree re mixed messages.I am CEV as I have an immune deficiency and diagnosis of bronch and yet on April 1st I got an email from work asking me to plan my return.
Last time this happened I was given a letter by the immunologist, but he is overworked and hard to get hold of.
I have been working from home solidly for over a year and I feel very, very tired.
I hope you all continue to stay well.
I think exactly the same as you and interpret my letter in the same way.I am also getting flack from people or do not agree I should be staying in. I have my 2nd vaccination this Saturday, and my GP told me, in view of my condition that I must remain isolated for another 3 weeks after that date and then proceed with caution, still wearing a mask if many people around. I shall follow his advice! Well done for posting this.I will be interested to read other views.
Good morning gardeninglady☕I shall go out a bit but will not shop or mix. After 2nd vaccine I shall go back to the gym👍
Make sure to find a good gym. It took me a while to find one that enforced mask wearing. But, then again, I'm in the US. Ugh. "Give us our freedom to be stupid!"
Good morning Schmu👍,Yes, I know how you feel, but I go to the same one before the lockdown and you do need to wear a mask. There are these guys here, too, who won't wear masks or follow covid rules, so 'stupids' are everywhere!
Have a good and safe Wednesday, Schmu👍☕🥐🤗🤞💐💖
I agree with you. My husband has numerous ailments and will not be "letting down his guard" until a few weeks after our second injections. We've come too far to let it slip now.
Hi Gardeninglady.I totally agree with you, you return to going out in your own time, when you feel ready and safe, take no notice of those that want you to rush into something you're not ready to do.
I agree completely. I think it's crucial that we only do what personally feels safe to us. I won't be going into crowded places either - not while covid is still circulating in the population.
I do believe when you look at countries like the United States and Israel, the government has been too cautious about shielding. I am on the most vulnerable list and received shielding letters due to my severe asthma. Nonetheless, research has come out showing asthmatics who use steroid inhalers may be protected against COVID and overall asthmatics don't have a higher risk to COVID. After reading several reports that suggest the government has been too cautious with asthmatics and shielding, I am looking forward to my second vaccine, which I will get tomorrow. After, I get it, I will slowly begin activities and after 3 weeks I plan on becoming more involved. As for my feelings, I will describe it has disappointment. because a lot has been taken away from me due to COVID and I believe, the government has been too cautious. Also, I am looking forward to my second shot so that things can begin to return to normal and begin to have a normal life. 13newsnow.com/article/news/... dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech...
Many of us on the forum have very severe lung disease and are clinically extremely vulnerable. I for one do not feel the government has been over cautious. The death rate has been apalling and those of us who have been shielding could easily have been added to that number had we done otherwise. Those of us who are CEV need to continue to be very cautious. The vaccine alone is not enough for life to return to normal.
Very easy for others to make judgement......however when you have a serious lung condition that makes the likliehood of surviving Covid unlikely then we have no choice other than to be cautious. I have ILD and take immunosuppressants. I will still take care . Keep well stay safe xx
I completely agree, I am having the same thing. I will be continuing to keep myself safe for as long as I feel necessary and I will not let others influence me to do anything different. I have managed over a year and three cancelled holidays 🙁, it is still very much out there and we are all still at risk, I have lost a couple of close friends and had friends very poorly with this virus. On a happier note its chilly but the sun is shining, stay safe xx
I feel the same as you to tell you the truth iam very frightened as iam just getting over having my treatment for cancer of the lungs plus copd its like fighting to things
Hi gardeninglady I know where you are coming from. My husband stepdaughters have all expressed how silly they think I am by being overly and unnecessarily cautious. Have been off sick from my retail job in a chemist since December. I am only classed as vulnerable so no shielding letter. I have got Moderate Emphysema have had a CT scan on stomach have bowel disease balloned blood vessels and a split liver. I now need an MRI going back to work scares me because I am now so unfit. No one in the family understands lung disease and what COVID would do to us. Feel I am in a constant battle with family and friends why I do not want to mix with people. It’s all taking it’s toll ⏱
I agree totally. Like you, I have followed the shielding advice throughout and I am still here to tell the tale. You are doing what is best for you, it doesn't matter what others think. John
Totally back you , I think it is too soon for X shielded to be going out here there and everywhere and a large number still have not had second vaccine as yet. Masks need to be worn still if you can cope with them on. I personally am taking it very slowly till my second jab is done. Still sticking to my care bubble for safety and just did my on line order for food next week. Take care no point in exposing yourself to the illness if you don't need to .
I will also be ignoring the government 'advice' to pause shielding. I started shielding weeks before they issued their shielding 'advice' and I will end it of my own volition as well, when I deem it safe to do so and that is not yet.
Yes I also started shielding before we were advised to. It was just common sense.
I agree with you and I’m going to continue to be very cautious untila) I have had the second vaccine and b) the majority of the population are also vaccinated and c) the stats show hardly any new cases Luckily I don’t have anyone putting unnecessary pressure on me to do otherwise and that I includes my workplace. Slow and steady. Cx
Knowing your own body and deciding on the level of risk you will take is up to you. The government have in my view taken away our fundamental right to make our own health decisions.They haven't given good balanced scientific advice for a long time.
Crowds are always a problem, as is pollution and close indoor sitatuions for longer periods. I worked out a number of years ago that sitting in a room in winter with a bunch of people wasn't a good idea.
Being outside in my view with a distance shouldn't be a problem. If your view is different then it's valid for you.
You could ask the person you are meeting are they and their family feeling fighting fit at the moment - I do that and am happy to meet outdoors.
I've asked that for years actually.
If the vaccine doesn't work, and this is just a herd immunity and seasonal drop off in deaths, then we'll have to work out our own level of safety going forward anyway.
good morning Gardeninglady i absolutely agree, i have just had my second jab but i will continue to be very cautious for a long time
I think you should do as you are doing if that makes you happy.
But if you are going out for a covid jab what does it matter if you have a walk about
You can catch it either way so that is my question why continue the charade
I wish you well
HiI totally agree with everything you wrote in your post.
I have been shielding since last year and am due for my second vaccine on Thursday 8 April but I will not be rushing out saying yayyyy after a week.
I will still act very cautiously and only go out when I feel safe, I do not drive so am wary about getting on a bus or in a taxi.
Luckily I have friends who will volunteer and my best friend Hilary has gone above and beyond and I know will continue to do so, she understands as she has a downs syndrome son, Matthew, who lives with her and she is his carer.
Take no notice of what others are saying and do it at your own pace for your own safety, I will be.
You doing absolutely the right thing gardeninlady 💗👍🙏
Exactly the same
Totally agree. Go to wrk if u cant wrk from home. Isnt the whole idea to protect life. Alot of ppl cannot wrk from home. But ive noticed since being back at wrk some of the others have this hatred towards me for havin time off wrk. Its not on. Iwish i didnt have to go back but then its so mixed boris letters. Go out but dont go out.
Hi movingonup23, I really get what you mean! When shielding was paused last time my consultant said it still was not safe enough to be patient facing in my role as a community nurse. The hostility I felt from so many of my colleagues(people I had thought of as friends) was palpable. Once again I am still triaging from home and this will be reviewed in May. Hold your head up high, we are not in the wrong.
Hi I know how you feel I have been shielding now told as you shielding has stopped but we still have to be very careful but I have also been told I have to go back to work which just happens to be in a large supermarket 🤔
Sounds very sensible to me. My neighbours have been very understanding and helpful, and wouldn’t even consider criticising us for being careful, just as they are themselves. I noticed out walking the other day that there is still a mix of attitudes, with some people giving us a wide berth, and others passing us closely as if nothing has changed; but I expect this disparity of attitudes will be with us for some time to come.
Keep safe and well.
Completely agree. Personally I have more faith in Dr John Campbell than the Government! I had a short trip to Poland booked for September with friends, but have no intention of going abroad this year certainly, possibly next year too. I have also had the occasional inappropriate comment from the odd friend. My reply is usually "You do what you feel is right for you, and I'll do what I feel is right for me!" True friends will usually acknowledge that everyone must take their own decisions. Gardening Lady, you're 100% in the right.
We must remain safe, period.
You do whatever u need to do to stay safe.other people dont have a clue,in saying that to you.i feel for you.ill b protecting myself too.talking of things people say - I had bad covid 12mths ago,no tests unless went in hospital - against all advice, I wouldn't go in. At times,I didn't think I'd survive + it's taken its toll,still not back to pre covid health..two of my sisters, now ex daughter in law tell me I didn't have covid!!! I dunno why people are like this.ignore them.stay safe xxx
On the news tonight they were saying if you are shielding you should be shielding for another three weeks. I think it’s up to the individual to do what they feel is right and follow how safe they feel.
1 in 8 people over 70 who are infected with COVID die. My husband tells me ! But startled at that - not sure if it’s still the case - he is 77 and won’t get his first jab for another few weeks (we live in Spain) So we’re not meeting anyone either. People think we’ve been too cautious - we don’t care - we’re sticking it out till we’re fully vaccine protected and hope we get to see family at Xmas in the uk. So close now it wouldnt make sense to take risks. I think you are doing what’s best for you - and you are protecting others too.
All I will say is you can’t hide forever and if this disease is going to get you it will . What is the point of life if you can’t go anywhere or see any family or friends and you live in constant fear that you can’t even go into a shop.
After a year of hiding myself and family from the world I have begged to go back to work which I am glad I have been allowed to do. I have had the vaccine and apart from the irritation of these awful masks which hopefully from June will be no longer required, life is now quite normal and to be honest I am done now with all these lockdowns and restrictions. I understand the anxiety and I have been there myself wit the torture of difficult choices but you just got to face it in the end of covid is not going away all we can do is pray the vaccine holds up and you have a choice stay in and have no life or get out there and live it.
I am in the US, so I have both my shots. So, I asked my gp to order a "spike antibody" test that is sensitive to the antibodies created by the vaccine, it is an experimental test, it's NOT the test that looks for antibodies created by an actual covid infection. I got the test back, and it reported that I had made spike antibodies. Yay! This test does not give a result that includes the level of antibodies, it just says whether or not you have had made the spike antibodies.
This gave me the courage to hang out with other fully vaccinated people (ie. my family.) Maybe this test is available in the UK? Maybe this will help you have some empirical evidence to feel a little ok. It helped me a little bit. I still wear n95 masks and look disapprovingly at people not following guidelines. Let's just hope we all get through this!
I totally agree with you. I find people have scant empathy with the vulnerability of others. They seem impatient with the extra caution l try to instill in my life. Too often l feel lm regarded as a drama queen because l want to avoid social interactions.
As long as the virus is still active I am going to continue with safety measures. Easy for people without lung problems to be blasé about catching such an awful virus. Anything we catch now makes our lungs weaker. I'll happily let people think I'm daft. 🤔