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For those of us with disabilities, lockdown won’t end as long as Covid strategies leave us behind | Anthea Williams

As restrictions lifted in mid-December, my world closed down. I’m so disappointed by the rhetoric of our leaders of ‘personal responsibility’ On 14 December I took my last shopping trip, stocked up, and went home. Apart from a few necessary work events and trips to (vaccinated and tested) friends’ houses, I’ve stayed at home ever since. Coming from a huge New Zealand family, Christmas for me is all about people. I love summer and swimming, and my partner is always surprised by just how much energy I have for socialising in our extrovert v introvert relationship. But when the New South Wales government opened up on the 15th, my world closed down. I have rheumatoid arthritis and a few other autoimmune diseases, so I am on medications that leave me immunocompromised. And the science was clear: with my vaccines completed in early August, I had considerably reduced protection from Omicron. The last two years have been tough. At the start of 2020, I was living in a sharehouse in Sydney’s Newtown, working in theatre and film, and spending as much time as possible in the US with my partner. When Covid first broke, I wrote an opinion piece about my anger at society’s complacency around the deaths of those in the disability community. It still stings when Covid-related deaths are prefaced with a caveat about “underlying health conditions” – because that is what I have, and I love my life. Just after that article was written I moved out of my beloved share-home, put all my belongings, bar two suitcases, into storage, and moved back to Aotearoa for five months. I never did get to direct that show in Canada, my Sydney Film Festival debut was online, and I didn’t see my partner for more than a year. Continue reading...

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