It’s not okay for families like mine to “just stay at home” during the pandemic.

Daniella’s household is in a unique position where every member has an underlying condition. Daniella is immunocompromised with three autoimmune disorders. Her husband has epilepsy and mild learning difficulties. And their son has complex needs, including autism, epilepsy, SPD and hypermobility.

How have you kept the family safe during the pandemic?

We’re all at high risk to Covid-19. So, we’ve all lived in our own “lockdown” since the start of the pandemic. I also decided to keep my son off school and do remote learning. It’s a difficult way to live, but at least the school has been reasonably supportive.

Eighteen months is a long time. How are you all getting on?

It has been scary at times and difficult not to be free to go out and about. But we’ve enjoyed spending more time together as a family. I’ve been able to work out ways to help with my son’s complex needs. For example, I found my son lost interest in doing worksheets because his hypermobility was causing pain in his hands. So we’ve switched to learning online, and he’s doing very well. My son misses school, but he understands that it’s too unsafe for him to go back at the moment.

What support has your family had during this time?

I have a wonderful support worker. To safeguard the family, I’ve had to cancel with her for 10 days every time there’s a case in her children’s school. This has put extra pressure on my hubby to care for our son and me without any help. The government have landed vulnerable families in an awful position that puts even more stress on us.

Do you have any questions for our politicians?

  • Why haven’t you protected children and implemented measures in schools to keep them safe and control transmission?
  • Why should vulnerable families have to choose between health and education?
  • How long before the government acts and stops vulnerable families from feeling segregated from society?

What would help your family rejoin society again?

I’d like to see Covid circulating at low levels in our communities. And the correct mitigations put in place in schools through mask-wearing, HEPA filtration, CO2 monitors and hopefully a vaccine for younger children, so my son can safely attend education. Daniella updates us weekly on school Covid outbreaks using crowdsourced data.

Tap here to see her latest school maps

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