Shielding, losses and recharging


Sharda, our newest Age of Experience member, shares her experience of being in lock-down


My name is Sharda Lavingia and I am a full-time carer for my partner and also a mindfulness trainer. 

I'm in my 60s and my partner and I have both been shielding during the last few months because my husband's condition classified him as extremely vulnerable. Our lives are usually very busy. I am active in my local community as a volunteer and member of various organisations.

When lock-down happened, it worried us because we were not sure what would happen with our hospital appointments, how we would access medication and how things would work for people like us, who had to stay at home. We found our hospital appointments cancelled, but were able to speak to the consultant through video conference calls, and the medication was delivered to our front door. We were registered for assistance so we also had food parcels delivered which was good but because we are vegetarians the meals didn't always include options suitable for us.

My partner and I have both been shielding during the last few months

Lock down losses

Sadly, my older brother passed away due to the virus. This was in the early days of lock-down and a very difficult time for us as a family and especially for me. I used to go and see him twice a week in the home where he lived. When he got ill we couldn't visit him at the hospital or talk to him via phone or video calls because none of these were in place in the beginning. It was only through my contacts as a volunteer in the community that we managed to get fresh clothes to him. When the funeral was arranged, only six of us were allowed to go. At least we were able to get him some Hindu ritual-related items for the funeral.

Since March, my husband and me have been at home doing things we always wanted to do like learning to cook new dishes and experimenting with new ingredients, reading, meditating and going for local walks during quieter times outdoors. I am sure many of you, like me, have also been devoting much of your time to eating, drinking and watching comedy repeats on TV. Trivial it may be, nonetheless it has given us an opportunity to recharge our batteries as citizens and most importantly given nature time to heal.

Perhaps you as a reader have welcomed the choice to refocus and to consider what is central in our lives and what is peripheral? For me, health, family and friends remain paramount.

Coming back

While I learnt how to live without meeting friends and acquaintances, not attending functions or events I am glad that I was able to still help an elderly friend with his shopping and an elderly lady to keep active. I made phone calls, ordered medication and arranged for recipe boxes to be delivered to keep her active.

I am now teaching relaxation online and attend virtual meetings. Lock-down has eased for us since 1st August but we are still cautious and getting used to the new normal of life. We wish and pray that the whole world see relief from this virus that has gripped the whole of mankind.

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