A sign saying "never forget"

Living in History

19th April 2020

The government announced on Thursday that the lockdown with continue across the UK for at least another three weeks. For most people the idea of being stuck at home for such an extended period of time is an entirely new and shocking concept. For me, and for many other disabled people, this is something I have lived through before.

In her recent speech the Queen mentioned the time during the Second World War when she and Princess Margaret spoke to the children who were being evacuated from their homes and moved to the countryside.It’s incredible to think that was 80 years ago! My experience was slightly more recent but also during a significant period in world history.

In the summer of 2001 I had just graduated from my undergraduate degree and was still living with my parents. I wasn’t yet employing Personal Assistants so I didn’t have the freedom to go out independently. This meant that I was stuck at home for around three months.

It was long hot summer and it was incredibly frustrating to have to rely on my parents to go anywhere, particularly as they both worked full-time. There were days when I felt really down and disheartened but I found ways to overcome this and make the best of a bad situation.

It was all about mindset. I knew the barriers I was facing so I just had to get on and deal with it. I read loads of books and thought and planned what I else I wanted to achieve in my life. Looking back I realise it was a time of great growth and learning for me and helped to shape the direction of my life and the person I am today.

Ironically, this was happening at the same time as 9/11. I saw the planes crash into the twin towers and watched and read about events unfolding in a similar way as I do today about COVID-19. It was a surreal time then as it is now, knowing deep down that the world would never be the same again.

Eventually the time did pass; I found PA’s and I achieved my independence. The following year I went travelling to Canada and America with one of my PA’s which was something I had always wanted to do. During my time in New York I visited Ground Zero and as I marvelled at the vast space that once occupied the Twin Towers, I was reminded of my time in the house and realised just how far I’d come since then.

Hard as this current situation is for all of us right now, it will eventually pass and it’s amazing to think we are living through a unique time in world history.

What do you think you’ll remember most about this time and how do you think it will shape your future?

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