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Lockdown Life and Learning

Photograph of painted flowers, shown on a laptop screen

 

Lockdown – Life and Learning - by Kate Dowding

 

Life during lockdown has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I have a lot of creative hobbies so I’m lucky to have not been bored. However, at the start I found it difficult to be on my own, especially knowing it would be for an indefinite period - I’m in the ‘shielding’ group (and really dislike video calls!)

I quickly realized that I would have to embrace technology and got stuck in. I took part in a few webinars, mostly on the topics of creative writing and social media. The more I did, the more opportunities I found. I’ve watched theatre performances, live streams of concerts, been on virtual tours of a zoo and art gallery, and enjoyed the virtual Chelsea Flower Show. As a wheelchair user, I would struggle to physically access many of these in ‘real life’. It’s been lovely to sit in comfort, have a good view and not worry about where the accessible toilet is.

I have also participated in activities that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do in a group/class setting. I’ve been attending virtual drawing and painting classes, which are live streamed on social media every Friday. I’ve really enjoyed trying something new, with no pressure or judgment, and my confidence has increased as the weeks have gone by.

Like many of us, I have gained the seemingly inevitable few extra pounds during lockdown. I decided to join a hand-cycle zoom class for adaptive athletes – it’s great fun! I needed a bit of variety so I have recently also joined a wheelchair boxing group, again with classes run on zoom. It’s important to keep moving for physical health but I find the exercise helps me to feel more positive too.

Although lockdown has been difficult, it has also afforded me many opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I really hope that these virtual events and classes are continued, to keep them accessible to more people. Oh, and I’m not scared of video calls any more! (In fact I’m off to a video ‘room’ with my craft group now…)

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