Weekly Poll Results – COVID-19: Easing of Lockdown

Each week Disability Equality Scotland send out a poll question to our members on a topical issue.  For the week commencing 1 June 2020, we posed three questions:

Question 1. Do you have any concerns about the easing of lockdown, especially if you or someone you know is shielding?

  • YES –90% (113 respondents)
  • NO – 10% (12 respondents)

Question 2. Has information about the easing of lockdown in Scotland been reported in a clear and accessible manner?

  • YES –62% (78 respondents)
  • NO – 38% (47 respondents)

Question 3. Are you confident that the new Test and Protect strategy will help contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland?

  •  YES –31% (39 respondents)
  • NO – 69% (86 respondents)

Your Comments

The following is a summary of the main themes and key concerns of our members regarding the easing of lockdown restrictions. We provide verbatim comments where appropriate to illustrate strength of feeling or personal experience.

Easing of Lockdown

Disabled people are concerned by members of the public who are failing to adhere to lockdown guidelines, such as physical distancing and non-essential travel. This creates considerable disquiet for our members as the lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

“Most people are acting responsibly but some are not and that will mean everyone gets put back into lockdown.”

“I think the virus will spread again because of people’s behaviour and not sticking to the guidelines on physical or social distancing.”

“Too many people are failing to obey lockdown rules. Easing this is going to make people think we are going back to normal.”

“Most people assume the 2-metre rule has gone.”

Shielding

Concerns were raised by people in the shielding category who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. It is essential that people in this category continue to receive the support they have been getting, including pharmacy deliveries and free weekly food boxes. The poll was conducted prior to the release of Scottish Government shielding guidance on 08/06/2020.

“I care for my partner who is shielding, and I am frightened to go out in case I bring in the disease. I know both our mental health is suffering but there is nothing else we can do.”

“I am concerned that the easing still has most ramifications for those with disabilities and others in the shielding group.”

“I’m shielding and we have been forgotten about.”

“We the ‘shielding group’ will be sacrificed for the benefit of the economy!”

There were calls from respondents to increase the level of engagement with disabled people, so that specific concerns are addressed in a prompt fashion.

“How will they get it right when they haven’t asked disabled people and carers for their input?”

“The Scottish Government don’t seem to have consulted with people who are shielding.”

Information on Easing of Lockdown

There was consensus amongst respondents that more can be done to communicate information to the public, especially for people in the shielding category. It is also vital that changes are communicated using a variety of accessible formats that incorporate the principles of Inclusive Communication. At Disability Equality Scotland, we convert information into easy read, a format that is accessible for people with a learning disability.

“Please communicate core messages using as many accessible formats as possible so that the correct guidance reaches people who are shielding.”

“There has not been much information about releasing some of the restrictions for people who are shielding and how they will be safe.”

“There has been a lack of information and focus on disabled people and what changes mean. This should have also been a platform to educate the public on our needs as they believe everyone that is disabled should be shielding because we carry the virus.”

“Feeling very overlooked in the planning. Very little, if anything at all about easing lockdown and what this means for the shielded community and disabled people.”

Some respondents had experienced information overload and struggled to find the most relevant and up-to-date guidance on the easing of lockdown restrictions.

“The information is all over the place.”

“The information about the easing of the lockdown was confusing.”

Test and Protect

Overall, respondents welcomed Test and Protect, but for it to be effective, it is essential that there are enough tests available and the public adhere to guidelines.

“Test and Protect is a good idea however people need to be honest about saying where they have been if they test positive for the virus. Of course, those testing positive must make sure they do Isolate themselves from the 7 days. After many people have been stuck at home, I have concerns about them doing so now.”

“People won’t report so they will be unable to trace effectively.”

“Test and Protect will only work provided there are enough tests available across Scotland and it has been disheartening to see how many folk are flouting the new guidelines – which creates additional worry and anxiety for those considering going out for the first time in a long time.”