JENNIFER, 55, New York
Jennifer lives with spina bifida and secondary lymphedema. She enjoys volunteering at animal shelters, where she also adopted her cat, Twiggy. When she isn’t in isolation, she spends time with family and friends, goes out to eat or shopping.
In her video, Jennifer talks about the struggles of living in isolation and the challenges people with disabilities face.
COVID-19 Video Transcript
It’s driving me crazy. Why? I don’t know about you, but I am going crazy. Well, there is a bus line that comes through here every hour. Monday through Friday. Pretty much all day long, which is really cool because I don’t drive and if I want to go somewhere, I just say to my boyfriend, ‘Hey, I am taking the bus. Bye, see you later.’ I can’t do that now because they took that away. It’s by appointment only. So if I want to go somewhere tomorrow, I have to call them today. So, you know, it’s a real pain in the butt. I hate being dependent on other people for transportation, because it just drives me nuts.
Anything you do to cope with COVID?
No. It is a good thing I have my cat, because she is a distraction. She is just oblivious to the whole thing. She is just a cat and doesn’t know any better.
We had an opportunity yesterday to go out to a food distribution center. They were giving away 25-pound boxes of food to anybody in our county. And all you had to do was show up and take a number. But we couldn’t go because the weather was bad. So we didn’t go. It would be helpful – especially because we are disabled – if someone would deliver such a thing. But that’s not the case.
No, it does not just affect the disabled or chronically ill people. My family lives in New Jersey, ok. I have an 82-year-old mother and a 25-year-old daughter. My 25-year-old daughter wasn’t having a college graduation this year because of this. My 82-year-old mother has holder herself up in her house and can’t leave because she is afraid to get sick. It takes away everybody’s ability to go out and do things.