2020 has been a very strange year for sure; what would we have thought if we knew when we celebrated in the new decade that we would be fast approaching a worldwide pandemic with pretty much every country in the world going in to full lockdown to try and stem the spread of Coronavirus?
Our previous Insights have covered our various thoughts over the past few months and how social distancing in particular has had a massive impact on vision impaired people, including me, Dave, since lockdown back in March.
There have been several changes to the rules and restrictions as the government try and balance kick starting the economy and getting people back to work and children back to school, with keeping the hospital admissions to a minimum. Currently, here in Surrey, although cases are on the rise, we’re still under the covid restrictions for England which follows the ‘Rule of Six’.
So, is it that bad? Personally, although the continued social distancing still presents problems with independence, especially when trying to visit shops or access services due to not being able to socially distance from other people and follow 1 way systems, etc, there have been some benefits for vision impaired people and the wider disabled community.
I went out with some friends for the first time since lockdown. Six of us met at a pub before moving on to the local Indian restaurant. We all followed the rules, wearing face coverings in communal areas and checked in with the NHS app (this wasn’t that easy due to needing to align the QR code in the window in the app) at both venues, and had a fun evening catching up with each other.
So what are the positives I can hear you shout… how can there be any???
Well there are, in fact a few… so let me tell you …
Extra Space – the extra space between tables meant that it was much easier getting around in both the pub and the restaurant. I’m not saying it was easy but it was much easier than it usually is when there are lots of tables and people to navigate.
Easier to talk – with music playing at a low volume in the pub and no music in the restaurant, it made chatting so much easier. I have always found that background noise makes hearing people difficult so it was so nice being able to speak to my friends without us having to shout; I couldn’t even hear other people’s conversations on other tables and it felt like we were in the restaurant on our own.
Table service – The best thing that I found was the table service. I don’t think I’m a lazy person but being served and paying at the table in the pub removed all the hassle of getting to and from the bar and carrying drinks back to the table. The restaurant has always been table service but there are some restaurants where you have to serve yourself or are ‘buffet’ style which is difficult when you can’t see… why can’t we have table service all the time!
Yes we had to be out by 10pm which was an early night for us usually but it wasn’t that bad… in fact, I would be really happy if some of these measures were to stay in place even after the coronavirus times.
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
Interested to learn more about VIDA Training? Read about our Training and Consultancy packages, specialising in Vision Impairment and Disability Awareness, Communication and Team Building or contact us for further information.
Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.