COVID-19: 'VULNERABILITY' : I have a... - Positive Wellbein...

Positive Wellbeing During Self-Isolation

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COVID-19: 'VULNERABILITY'

lgd333 profile image

I have a question and wondered what others' comments were regarding this issue... We are all self-isolating as we should be due to COVID-19 and some of us are requesting help and assistance from friends, neighbours and family during this time. Regarding queuring and products from supermarkets, I understand products must be limited to only so many per customer etc. to make sure most people get the items they desperately need. I believe shopping online has been a nightmare with some people only getting delivery slots 3 weeks later; some online delivery slots are also closed. It is a great gesture offering the over 70's, NHS and vulnerable people first entrance into the stores when they open. How does one differentiate/give authority to who is 'vulnerable' especially when some of us have a 'silent' disability or chronic condition which is not necessarily seen from the outside? Just looking for feedback.

40 Replies

I suppose if you look over 70 they might let you skip the que and get your provisions quicker.

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to AlMorr

I'm still a 'spring chicken' and don't look over 70, that's for sure!

AlMorr profile image
AlMorr in reply to lgd333

Very good, I do my only shopping at 7.45am on a Tuesday, I live two miles from the supermarket which I walk to, no restrictions at that time except the two meters rule, the store is very quiet at that time.

On the way back I get a bus back which is normally busy with school children, however, with the schools off I was the only passenger on that bus last Tuesday, so no overcrowding on that bus.

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to AlMorr

We live further than 2 miles from Sainsburys and Tesco, who both have queuing and shopping times set for the vulnerable and over 70's only. The bus transport is good if one is close to bus stops but if in self-isolation this makes it difficult also. Thank you for your feedback.

Hi Jerry, Thank you for your prompt response. I have had epilepsy now for over 46 years as well had brain aneurysm surgery last year. I also get the flu jab, and take medication for high blood pressure and osteoporosis. Now we are on 'lockdown' of course its not easy to get to the supermarket regularly but the next time I visit, I will ask their Enquiries desk. One may get the 'okay' from enquiries but once one has stood in a queue for a long time, upon reaching the entrance one can still get refused depending of course, who is on duty?

ninelives profile image
ninelives in reply to lgd333

Bless you what a worry for you.

Have not been shopping yet(am not computer literate so can't do it on line) but will take my letter from NHS stating am vulnerable and see how I get on.Dont have help so will choose time carefully.

Best of luck

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to ninelives

Hi please advise how you got the letter from NHS? Thank you for responding.

shortmat profile image
shortmat in reply to lgd333

I think you will only qualify for the letter if your condition(s) are on the NHS list. They will have automatically sent you the relevant letter if it was appropriate.

ninelives profile image
ninelives in reply to ninelives

Hi there lhd333

My letter came through the post from my GP

My surname begins with W so only just arrived.

If you haven't got a letter by Monday please and think you should have had one please ring your local GP surgery and clarify if you should be on the list.

Wishing you well

katieoxo60 profile image
katieoxo60 in reply to ninelives

On line is a nightmare for shopping slots even click & collect.Thats a good idea taking the NHS letter. Sadly for me I can't even go shopping as I cannot walk very well or get up and down my five steps to front door to go out or in. But so far I have a brigade of helpers as does my freind up the road. Good luck with the first coronavirus shop.

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to katieoxo60

So glad you have a lot of helpers... Please take good care of yourself and enjoy the weekend!

Activity2004 profile image
Activity2004 in reply to lgd333

In some of the stores near me, they have put plastic dividers to separate the shoppers and also have self checkout. This is to make sure that the workers and shoppers don't get sick from each other. :-)

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to Activity2004

Hi, yes that was the plan. I am wanting to know how do they tell whether you are vulnerable or not if you have a chronic condition that is not visible.

Activity2004 profile image
Activity2004 in reply to lgd333

Do some of the stores you’re going to have a Pharmacy section for picking up the medication?

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to Activity2004

No they don't but my pharmacy which is located in the city has advised they are happy to deliver my medication. Grocery shopping was my problem due to queuing and differentiating in the queue who was vulnerable etc. with a silent disability or chronic condition. I am not over 70.

exy21 profile image
exy21 in reply to lgd333

My parents went for vulnerable hour and said there was no checking why for who they were shopping for. All ages in store at same time. It does state for people who are shopping for vulnerable/elderly at same time. My mother has blue badge, doesn't look 70, took it in. No one checked.

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to exy21

Hi I don't know what the blue badge is... We are in Northern Ireland and it's different here to England.

exy21 profile image
exy21 in reply to lgd333

Disabled badge for car.

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to exy21

Thank goodness they had support from the supermarket... Have a nice weekend!

katieoxo60 profile image
katieoxo60 in reply to lgd333

I have a blue badge and disabled train pass which also show your age , plus as already suggested your NHS letter or maybe a DWP letter for disability benefits. Not all disabilities are covered by the NHS letter only the more vulnerable ones.

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to katieoxo60

Thank you for feedback. No NHS letter received yet... Perhaps it might still come.

bobbybobb profile image
bobbybobbAmbassador

You raise a very good point. Invisible illness and invisible disability and the public's awareness of it is very poor, they have little understanding what it is or what it means unfortunately. If you don't look sick and disabled, you are not sick and disabled but of course we know this simply is not true. Some supermarkets have the Sunflower Lanyard, so staff will recognize you as vulnerable or requiring some help. xx

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to bobbybobb

Regret no Sunflower Lanyard but will try and find out from enquiries in the store. Thank you.

bobbybobb profile image
bobbybobbAmbassador in reply to lgd333

There are a large range of stores that have them. xx

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to bobbybobb

Thank you Bobby... Will keep an eye out for it!

have you tried ringing the supermarket up and explaining your situation? I know their lines are busy but it may be worth trying. You could arrange a time and see who will be "on duty" so that you don't get refused entry after queuing - you could take a prescription or whatever proof you have of your illness?

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to backintime

Thank you for feedback. I have tried many times now to phone both Sainsburys and Tesco stores near us. One is put on automated response and holds on the line for approximately 30 minutes waiting for an answer. This happened to me frequently and after connecting and waiting, I was cut off from calls. My pharmacy gets my prescriptions direct from my doctor who is also closed to patients at the moment. Keep well.

backintime profile image
backintime in reply to lgd333

I figured you'd already tried, but it was just a suggestion.

Do you know anyone else who goes shopping there? Could they ask on your behalf?

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to backintime

Thank you for the suggestion... I am one of the ones that tries to help the over 70's do their shopping. Where we reside, I am one of the youngest members in our block. They range from 70 - 90... Bless them!

Perhaps showing Health card or Medic Alert information might help. Regret I don't drive due to epilepsy.

I find this a really interesting question, this is my situation, age 57, born with glaucoma, lived with CFS for 25yrs, treated successfully for breast cancer in 2013 which has left a legacy of lymphodema and more recently osteoporosis, had successful cataract surgery in 2015 but my eye reacted badly and the complications weren't sorted out meaning that in 2017 I was registered blind. A couple of weeks ago I arrived at a M&S food Hall at about 9.45, tried looking at the notice, the assistant asked if anything applied to me, I said I don't think so but I'm registered blind and I carry a card issued by the City Council which I'm happy to show you, her reply, don't worry just go in. There is a branch of Sainsbury a short bus ride away but I don't want to go because they say keep buses for essential journeys, and they may not let me in. Within walking distance of home I've got a Tesco Express, Co op and a small M&S in a garage, last weekend my sister brought me over 4 bags of food, and if I really can't get anything she'll get it and bring it over in the car. Despite my health issues I've heard nothing so I'm guessing I'm not a vulnerable person.

katieoxo60 profile image
katieoxo60 in reply to Jennymary

You are correct according to the NHS letter vulnerability does not cover all disabilities. It says you have been recognised as someone at risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus and are more likely to be admitted to hospital. Pregnant ladies are included because it could affect the baby in the womb. I come in this vulnerability catagory but my immobility due to two other matters is not taken into account just like you being registered blind. Many shops and delivery services are trying their best to service all less able. Hope this helps you.

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to katieoxo60

Thank you for feedback. Many have so many disabilities which aren't included. The supermarket concerned should use their discretion if one is vulnerable or not, I hope this is the case. Online shopping is a 'no no' at this time. Have a nice weekend!

Very good points you raise my friend , when I did my shop today at Tesco on the way out there was another line for the vulnerable and elderly which was from 9 till 10 but I didn't know before about this , there was no advertising of this as I know of , so is it the luck of the draw when you arrive and hope it's quite when you do your shop .

The NHS has published a list.

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to shortmat

Please advise where we get the list... Do you have a link?

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to shortmat

I looked at the Gov UK site and this covers those living in England... Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland are not included?

Look at digital.nhs.uk/coronavirus/... this replaces the previous "Vulnerable Patient" list. Appears to have been published last night.

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to shortmat

Thank you for link. Will do! Have a nice weekend!

lgd333 profile image
lgd333 in reply to shortmat

Just read... Thank you... The Gov. UK Registration process applies to people in England only, not Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. We appear to be different.

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