It’s been an awful past 12 months, I don’t need to tell anyone that. For disabled people it’s not just been the threat of the pandemic that’s been weighing on our minds. Ever since lockdown was announced last year, disabled people were the first to be thrown under the bus and it hasn’t stopped.
In Johnson’s lockdown announcement instead of saying that he would do his best to save as many vulnerable people as possible, he decided to go with “we will lose many loved ones”. Disabled and chronically ill people were locked up indoors with little to no help and saw what help we did have scaled back.
Many of us haven’t seen our healthcare teams at all, instead having only short phone appointments with barely any time to bring up any issues and many issues going unnoticed without a physical exam or blood tests. We’ve also seen all “non urgent” procedures delayed, but these can range from birth control to heart surgery. That doesn’t sound very non urgent to me.
Unsurprisingly, disabled people are dying of covid-19 in extremely high numbers – 6 in 10 or 59% in the UK between 24th January and 20th November 2020. Considering that only 19% of the population are disabled according to Scope, and the ONS’s study above cites an even lower percentage of 17.2%, it’s clear how disproportionately we have been affected by the pandemic.
And now, most terrifyingly of all is the news from Mencap that they received reports in January from people with a learning disability (PLD) or profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) that they had been told they would not be resuscitated if they were taken ill with Covid-19. DNRs have previously killed many disabled people in the pandemic who was judged as too frail to benefit from CPR, which is horrific enough and the Care Quality Commission decided these deaths could’ve been avoidable.
Considering many people with a learning disability or profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) don’t fall into the vaccination priority categories, this is a death sentence for otherwise healthy people.
So where are all the non disabled anti-lockdown mouth pieces who were crowing that the unhealthy should be locked up so the rest of them could frolic now? Silent as usual on disabled issues.
I’m sick of having panic attacks that I, my family, my friends, and my amazing community that has kept me afloat will be left to die. I’m exhausted from fighting about these issues and being called hysterical while people who spout eugenicist views are given air time. I’m so emotionally drained from having to beg our government not to kill us while comforting my friends.
We shouldn’t be having to fight to stay alive from our government trying to kill us, yet again during a deadly pandemic. We shouldn’t be faced with vile opinions from people who think our lives are worth sacrificing so they can go to the pub. We shouldn’t be living in constant mourning and fear from those who are supposed to help us.
Please, just stop f*cking killing us.
Editor’s Note: In the language in relation to people with a learning disability or profound and multiple learning disabilities, the author of this piece has followed the guidance provided by Mencap, although this is an ongoing conversation we are having over on our Twitter. If you’d like to contribute but don’t use twitter or would prefer to remain anonymous, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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