Are you doing anything different since shielding has “paused”?

Has the advent of August made any difference to you? I know many on here have been very anxious, particularly around the idea that it’s safe for them now to go to work. And also with the very noticeable number of people not wearing masks. As far as work is concerned I think I am very lucky in that my work organisation is still not open and so everyone in my organisation is still working from home. My employers are very understanding though and have said that whilst we are working towards gradually reopening, nobody will be expected to come into work until they feel ready. As for other things, I realised that I really needed to get out of London because it was starting to affect me badly. I took a train down to the coast yesterday and am staying for the weekend. The train had more people than I would have liked but happily the vast majority wore masks and I didn’t have to sit next to anyone. I’ve also managed to find a quiet bit of coastline to sit on a bench and read a book. It’s done me a lot of good. The hotel has worked hard to put safety measures in place but I think are finding it difficult to adapt at times . A lot of thought has gone into it though eg you have to book a slot for breakfast so that the number of people is controlled and well spaced out. I think it’s quite likely that some of these new found freedoms will be reversed during the autumn, not just for shielders but for everyone however I feel that I’ve battled really hard to get to my remission and I don’t want to waste it all sitting in the house. How have others been this weekend?

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Hi @Franko. I’ve just booked three nights in Devon. Very anxious about it, but like you, I needed a change of scenery and my two daughters are over the moon. Not sure about my husband who has to listen to me going on every night about whether we should or shouldn’t go! I hoping (after reading the good its has done you) that it will be good for us all. No pressure to go or do anything, just hopefully find some nice quiet spaces to relax.
I am still worried about returning to work and being stuck in a school for six hours but am trying not to think about that yet. I hope you enjoy the rest of your break and that you return feeling refreshed.

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Hi @Franko, you sound so lucky with your employer and I await others experiences. I think there are a lot of people on this site working in high risk roles.
The 1st August did not make any difference to me as I am following my medical team and Blood Cancer UK’s guidelines, but it was interesting that the outside world seemed to feel I should be celebrating a new freedom. It also seems weird coming as there there appear to be pockets of resurgence of Covid.
We await hearing about your adventures at the seaside, enjoy.

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Oh, @Nichola75 you must be very worried about returning to work in a school.
However three nights in Devon sounds great, but I understand your anxiety, I await hearing all about it.

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That sounds like a lovely idea. Reading a book overlooking the sea does sounds very attractive. I started shielding on March 16th and I don’t feel at all confident about relaxing the rules now. But maybe finding a quiet place outside to read is a good way to start.
I wonder which is worse…starting to go out and then having to lock down again, or just continue shielding.

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All I can say from my experience is once you’ve done it, it seems less frightening and I wouldn’t be as apprehensive the second time. I hope you’re able to get your break and much deserved change of scenery.

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The first time I stepped outside my home was scary, as if you were doing something you shouldn’t. Gradually that feeling has eased. I walk daily, sometimes twice daily and I’m beginning to extend where I go encompassing more streets etc. I have not been anywhere near a shop and the weekend afforded me no more freedoms. Luckily, I do not have work in the picture as recently retired so do not have to face that quandary. I feel I should try and do a little more before autumn and maybe restrictions are reimposed but I am anxious about that. Sometimes I wish I was braver as this feels more like existing than living currently. Good luck to those returning to their workplaces.

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It’s really hard Isn’t it. Off course you want to feel like you’re living more, but worry, which is completely justified, sometimes gets in the way. It’s the same for me. Just has to be day by day x

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I am due back to work in school in September, I have had a risk assessment completed but am still worried. We have booked a cabin in Dorset for a few days later in the month. We are taking the dogs and it is on a farm so fairly isolated. We will see nearer the time if we will venture out. I have been out walking and have met family for coffee in the park. I have just had a scan, at my request, as my treatment was stopped mid cycle so I want to see if there have been any changes.

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Hi @SP7, yes, the thought of going back to work in a school must feel worrying, there appear to be several other people on this site in a similar predicament.
A cabin in Dorset on a farm sounds wonderful, just what you need perhaps.
We await hearing all about it.
Please let us know how your scan goes?

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Hi @SP7. My risk assessment hasn’t been completed as yet. I’d be interested to know what has been put in place for you? It sounds like you are doing the sensible thing - venturing out but in a careful way. A few days in Dorset sounds lovely! I hope your scan goes ok, let us know how you get on, only if you’re comfortable with that off course. X

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Hi @Nichola75, I work in a special secondary school, my risk assessment is mainly the basic one suggested by the DFE. My head has added some other parts, I will have an area marked at the front of the class where I am meant to teach from. I can’t sit next to any of the students, even though we are in a bubble (11 students 4 staff) I also can’t do any personal care. I just don’t feel I can do my job properly, but know they are trying to keep me safe.
I hope to get scan results on Wednesday so will let you all know.

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It’s so hard isn’t it. I’m glad you are at a supportive school. However, I understand how you feel. The most important thing is your safety for now but your wellbeing is just as important to so please take care of yourself. I suppose all you can do is see how it goes. Thanks for the information. It will help when I have my risk assessment completed. Be thinking of you on Wednesday. Take care x

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Appreciate your dilemma, SP7. Sounds like your school is being very sensible, but it must be difficult for them and for you to balance the risks to yourself and the disadvantages to your pupils from loss of aspects of personal contact. Let’s hope other employers have a similarly enlightened outlook. I fear at least a minority will not and will take their lead from the way the pausing of shielding is being presented, as being a special benefit for shielders, not as a loss of protection.
But on a lighter note, here is my dilemma this morning; had to take car in for service and the garage is 9 miles away. They gave me a courtesy car to get home and back later. What PPE should I have worn while driving it??? Decided that clean gloves and face covering was probably sufficient, and the car was spotless, but who knows?

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Hi, just spoke to the consultant and she said scan results were good, no active sign :heart_eyes: This is an improvement on February scan where there was a query around my sinuses. Over the moon.

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That’s really good news @SP7. I’ve been thinking about you as I know the time leading up to the appointment can be hard. So what’s the plan now? I hope you have some nice things planned. Make sure you look after yourself x

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That’s fantastic! Really pleased for you. I got relegated to a telephone call which was supposed to be this afternoon but is currently almost an hour and a half late…

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My lymphocytes are still low, so need to continue with pentamadine and monthly blood tests, otherwise back on w&w. Our daughter got engaged last week, so it’s all go planning a wedding for next Summer. Just a shame we can’t celebrate with all the family, we will have to have a virtual celebration.
@Franko mine was a phone appointment too. Hope yours goes well. X

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Another 2 minutes of nothing unfortunately. I’ve got an appointment with the hospital in a couple of weeks and they told me to ask for a blood test then …hmmmpphh. Your wedding was timed better than my niece’s. She had to cancel 3 times and then just took a slot in July with no one there. The reception was left booked for late August but this is now in doubt as Boris didn’t lift the ban on receptions as expected…poor girl…

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Hi @Franko, please do let us know if or when you do get the call.