Covid: Shielding woman misses 'just feeling safe'

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Covid: Shielding finally comes to an end for Lucy Taylor

A 27-year-old woman with cystic fibrosis who has been shielding for more than a year has described how she misses "just feeling safe".

Lucy Taylor, from Newport, is classed as "extremely vulnerable" because she has the progressive lung disease.

From Thursday, shielding measures in Wales will "pause", meaning people in this group will be able to go to work.

Ms Taylor has had to mostly shield indoors since the first lockdown began in March last year.

She said going from living a "normal life" to being "locked away between four walls for so long" had been tough.

"Not just physically, but mentally," she added.

From Thursday people who have been shielding will be able to go to work if they are unable to work from home - and as long as their workplace is "Covid secure".

Children who have been shielding can return to school when appropriate for their year group.

Ms Taylor said she had learnt a lot about herself during that time, which she said was "a good thing" but "not something I would ever want to live through again".

She said: "I miss that freedom of going out and just feeling safe."

Between March and September 2020 the only place Ms Taylor said she went to was hospital for appointments.

From September to December she went back to work but cut her hours.

And from the start of December until now she said she had "been indoors again".

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She said she found seeing people going out "really hard"when restrictions were eased last year

She stayed inside when lockdown restrictions were eased last summer.

"Seeing people doing their own thing, even though they had to socially distance and wear masks was really hard," Ms Taylor said.

"You just want to be out there with them but you know you can't."

However, she said people getting vaccinated made her feel "a bit better".

"It's only a small minority who have disrespected a lot of people, and totally disregarded people, and this virus altogether, and don't believe it exists or whatever," she said.

"The majority of people I have spoken to, or who I see online, take this very seriously and they know there are people out there who need to be protected, who need to have that social distance from each other."

'Miss freedom'

Ms Taylor said she also missed family, friends and travel.

"Being 27 I should be out there doing things and I'm just stuck in," she said.

"I miss that freedom of going out and seeing people."

She said she had seen comments online from people saying vulnerable people should be locked away so others could "get on with their lives".

"That has been hard to read because we have lives as well," she said.