How Covid-19 has affected my life


Covid-19. A name this time last year none of us had ever heard of.

Now every social media site, every news bulletin - in fact - everything you see and hear is all about the pandemic. 

Most of us can’t escape it. We are reminded by what we see and often what we don’t see - that is, more people working, children walking to school and groups of friends and family laughing over drinks in a beer garden basking in the spring sun. Instead, we have empty streets, quiet roads and closed shops.

I’m 62 years-old, unemployed. I live in Kent with my ex-husband and 22-year-old son, deep in a beautiful valley not far from Canterbury. It’s a beautiful and now empty city.

When it first became apparent that we were about to have our lives changed forever, I felt like I was actually in shock. Like many of us felt - it was like an apocalyptic movie - except I couldn’t get up and leave the viewing when it got too tense. I was trapped within it.

Every morning waking in this valley, spring all around me, birds singing, flowers blooming, sun shining - there hid a terrible secret. There lives an unseen enemy, one that can kill, that could be absolutely anywhere, at any time.

I began to get even more anxious than normal. I should add that I have ADHD, I am dyslexic and suffer from anxiety at the best of times! I prefer to face my fears and try to fix them myself so choose to not take medication. Would a good hot bath do it for something as bad as Covid-19?

As each day stretched in front of me and we all started to not get on at home here, as things aren’t great at the best of times, I decided I needed to take action and fast. So I have decided to keep busy, keep a routine and get outside as much as possible. Have started planting seeds and soon vegetables to become more self-sufficient. Except everyone else had that idea, it seems.

The Shaw Trust, who are careers advisors linked to me by the jobcentre, are still ringing to see if I have had any luck with a job! I have applied for several but don’t hear anything back. That was how things were before Covid-19 too. Since then, to be honest, I do absolutely need the money but staying alive is more important for me now and not coming in contact with anyone.

Thank goodness for my continued volunteering with Turn2us. The team still helping as much as possible. Recently I had a great online meeting with their team to share my thoughts on the redesign and relaunch of one of their Benefits Calculators. Things like this are helping so much. Keeping my brain active. It was great to see all their smiley faces.

Things are getting better. Days are running into each other. I absolutely hate doing the one shop a week. It’s like a military operation! Though like many, I wish I could have it delivered, I know that the vulnerable people need this more than I do. I have been trying to hook up with local people via a Facebook group who need help and, as part of that group, I point people in the right direction for assistance at times, as a lot of elderly folk around. 

So, who knows how long this will go on? I suspect it will still be for a while yet. But we have the summer ahead, we all need to stick to the rules, even if you are like me normally, who is a rebel!

People are actually having time to do the things they were always going to do but never had time. The Earth is healing in many ways, ozone healing, the air feels fresher and cleaner...maybe this was meant to happen, so we all could stand back and, as the old saying goes, ’smell the roses’.

In the meanwhile, I do hope people continue to do what helps with their wellbeing. I find that volunteering helps but there are lots of ways to be active and support people who may be finding it harder to get by than yourself. I would say this but supporting the Turn2us appeal certainly goes a long way to keep their Coronavirus Grant Fund going and help them manage the massive demand on their services. Give what you can. And please – stay safe.


Turn2us Coronavirus appeal

The Turn2us Coronavirus appeal has ended, but you can still support those of us struggling with the cost of living crisis by donating today

About Karen

Karen has previously used Turn2us services and we were able to support her during a difficult time. She has since been an active Turn2us supporter, volunteer and collaborator – helping us to design and improve our services to better support more people.