Vulnerable fear having to ‘play Russian roulette’ after restrictions ease

·4-min read

A clinically extremely vulnerable person has said she will have to “play Russian roulette” every time she goes outside her door once restrictions are eased in England.

Rosemary Parker said the clinically extremely vulnerable had been abandoned by the Government and it will be “survival of the fittest”.

Her comments come after Government guidance advised those most at risk from coronavirus to avoid others who are unvaccinated, continue meeting outside where possible and ask friends and family to take lateral flow tests before visiting after all remaining restrictions are eased on Monday.

The updated advice is aimed at the estimated 3.7 million in this group, which includes people with certain cancers and those with severe respiratory conditions.

Ms Parker, from Southport, Merseyside, who lost her spleen and part of her pancreas due to pancreatic cancer and has chronic asthma, told the PA news agency she would need “X-ray spectacles” so she could see who had and had not been vaccinated.

The 59-year-old added: “It (the guidance) was what I was expecting, complete abandonment like they have done to us before.

“They put the fear of God in you and say you are extreme risk and now it’s just ‘there you go, see you, you’re on your own now’.

“It’s just nonsensical, I’m waiting for my X-ray spectacles so I know who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t been.

“The guidance is just absolute nonsense. It’s just survival of the fittest really, that’s how I see it.

“Every time we go out the door now we are playing Russian roulette, and it’s not just us, anyone can catch it.”

Disability gymnast Natasha Coates, 26, who has mast cell activation syndrome and autism, said she was “really angry” and felt forgotten.

Ms Coates, from Nottinghamshire, added: “I’m really angry at the new rules – or lack of rules – to be honest.

“For people like me it’s not freedom day, it’s actually reducing our freedom. I didn’t spend 14 months shielding to be put at great risk again just so people can have a bit of normality. What about my normality?

“Why are we, as disabled people, always the last to be thought of? We are treated as a statistic, as if we’re disposable and don’t contribute to society.

“Am I just supposed to shield forever? I feel so forgotten.

“Also, how am I supposed to know who is and isn’t vaccinated? I have to trust people to be sensible which, looking at the current rises in Covid cases, doesn’t fill me with confidence.”

Ms Parker said that even though she had been double-jabbed she was going to start shielding again because people seeing her out and about will have no way of knowing she is vulnerable.

She added: “I just look normal, how do people know that I need space, how do I know they have been vaccinated?

“I just started to feel confident to go out, nothing drastic, going to have a coffee or whatever, and now I don’t feel safe to go anywhere again.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

“I am back into shielding mode. I have a wedding coming up and I don’t know if I dare go.

“The rates are rising so rapidly I just don’t feel safe out.”

Ms Parker said the Government had not factored vulnerable people into its decision making.

She added: “Do we not feed into their plans for the economy? Do they not think we are valuable members of society? They make you feel like the dregs.

“I can’t work because of my health but I think of all the shielders out there who have to work, who have to set foot out the door without any protection, all the safety nets have been taken away from them again.

“Why didn’t they wait until we had vaccinated more people? It’s just ridiculous and foolhardy and there’s no protection for the vulnerable.

“For those people who work, they have got no legal right to stay at home, to work from home, they have to get on public transport with people.

“We all saw the crowds on Sunday – relying on people’s sensibilities, it would be wonderful if we felt that was OK.”