Meg T on 07 July 2021
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Q. Where do you live and how do you feel about it?
I live on the outskirts of the small town of approximately 70,000 people. I live on a housing estate made up of privately-owned and socially rented homes as determined by the colour of your front door; white for private, black for socially rented. The view from my lounge window is superb-green fields, the hillside and trees. It can be very peaceful times, but because of the close proximity of fellow households it can also be noisy and modern built houses have thin walls. I live in a socially rented property and am reliant on Housing Benefit. I am very fortunate to have a garden both to the front and rear of the property so during the pandemic lockdowns I have had access to an open space where I can decompress. My area has been a Covid hotspot during the pandemic - I have been shielding throughout as I am clinically vulnerable (although not recognised by my GP and the government) and have not succumbed to Covid-19, but I know of two people in my circle who were so ill they needed critical care intervention otherwise they would have died, plus 4 others who contracted it but didn't require hospitalisation. In my local area, the community appeared split along the lines of those that followed the guidelines and those that didn't to the point they didn't appear to give a flying fig about it - freely mixing households despite the guidance, which I found really infuriating. I have had to live with the sounds of domestic violence occurring on a daily basis in the adjoining household which, having escaped it myself has been very stressful indeed, not just to me but to my 16 year old son. I have a dog so when I've felt well enough I have taken her out for a walk as part of the allowed exercise part of the lockdown restrictions. One thing I have noticed that as part of the lockdown, public toilets have been locked - including disabled access toilets - even the RADAR key operated ones. As someone with a neurological illness which affects my bladder and bowel function, I've found this very challenging to deal with and it has limited the areas where I can go. And rubbish. Loads of rubbish in public spaces. It sure seems to have accumulated even in the "posher" areas. Not entirely sure why, unless it has something to do with altered patterns of rubbish collecting and street sweeping - routines disrupted due to lockdowns for example.
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