When families reunite, in gardens with beer and cheer,
I will still be listening.

When neighbours have toured more houses in a weekend than I’ve visited this year,
I will still be video calling.

When Facebook is filled with pictures of friends by the sea,
I will still be pacing my garden.

When the schools and nurseries reopen and parents breathe a sigh of relief,
I will still be educating my Dylan.

When retailers turn over signs, from ‘closed’ to ‘open’…’all come in!’,
I will still be online shopping.

When the ‘two metre rule’ is relaxed and the nation celebrates a ‘hug your loved ones’ day,
We will still be sobbing.

For we are the shielded.
A forgotten corner of society deemed too weak to risk.

And even though we forwent our treatments to make space for the sick,
We curried no favour, gained little coverage.

There was a window of opportunity, a chance to really experience.
How lockdown gave a taste of disability and how we have to live.

But the time when we were ‘in this together’ has now seemingly passed,
As people go back to normality, the shielded are left at home. The outcasts.

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Arthritis and Psoriasis Patient Advocate, Writer And Consultant. Owner Of The Pain Company.

I share my story of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis to raise awareness and specialise in pain, parenting (with disability) and the mental health impact of living with chronic illness. I write and campaign for leading charities and organisations. In addition, I provide patient experience consultancy for both charities and global healthcare companies.

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