My local Age UK announced a while ago that they would be stopping the reassurance calls I have been making at the end of August, so I just made my last batch today. It isn’t surprising really – a lot of their “regular activities” were placed on hold during lockdown and they must be anxious to get them rolling again.
Most of the clients enjoyed the contact, but do not feel that they needed the calls. In fact, most of them have felt this way from the very start. Frankly, they have their shit together far better than a lot of others. A couple, I will continue to speak to every week. They seem quite vulnerable, just living life. It’s reassuring, that most people have assessed whether they want the service based on their need, rather than just taking it because it is available.
The pandemic has brought into focus just how much people will get into scrapes anyhow, regardless of COVID. One of my clients went out in their scooter the other week, hit a pothole and tumbled out. She was black and blue. COVID complicated things because she was then anxious about seeking treatment, but this might have happened anyway.
So, many of the clients have been pretty-much self-sufficient. I can’t help thinking it is just as well, because the charity has been slimmed so much in recent years, all we can really offer is signposting. You’re running short of groceries? Call this volunteer hub. You’re having panic attacks? Call this number. That side of things is immensely frustrating, knowing how little I can actually do.
The good news is that every one of the people I have started speaking to in March is still here. There are still little clusters in the UK – a half-dozen here and there, so we’re not quite out of the woods yet, but it’s a far cry from those heady days of April and May.
One thing that I have been noticing, have any of you seen the same? Cases are increasing again the the UK (there were 1,184 new cases here yesterday), but the number of deaths is comparatively low (16 yesterday, and normally it is single digits these days). My friends (also number-watchers) have noticed this too, and we’ve been speculating why this might be. One theory coming from some doctors in the Far East is that the virus has mutated into something less lethal. A virus, after all, has messed up bigtime if it causes its host to die. Let’s hope so.