Coping in Isolation: Shelly – COVID Video Series

SHELLY, 48, Los Angeles, California

Shelly, a woman with light brown hair sits on a bench. She smiles and wears a pink jacket and perl earrings.
Shelly is 48 years old and works with AbilityE.


Shelly is 48 years old and lives in Los Angeles. Immediately after moving to LA in January, she has found herself in self-isolation. Shelly works for ABILITY, specifically on abilityE, the disability casting resource for the entertainment industry. She lives with a condition called cavernous angiomas, small, raspberry-like lesions mainly in the brain or spinal cord made up of dilated blood vessels, which have led to several brain surgeries. Since then, Shelly is hemiplegic and a wheelchair-user.

Via Zoom, Shelly talks about everyday challenges, her feelings due to the isolation, and what other people should understand.


COVID-19 Video Transcript


The last person I saw that I knew was in March. I saw her for her birthday on March 5th. And she came once during the month to bring me groceries. Other than that, I have been alone, which was not my intention. I moved here thinking I could be more social. It was warmer climate, so I could get out more, and I learned to use the subway. I learned my way around, and all of a sudden, we are on lockdown. And I don’t know anyone. So, it has been tough.

Challenges during COVID

I am not so good at cooking, because I am hemiplegic. I have one hand that has a very bad tremor. And the other is ok, but I have a weak thumb. So, I don’t cook a lot no matter what. I can survive pretty much on very limited menus, so to speak.


Everyone is in this together. And sometimes, having a person with a disability that you know or that you see, they may like a little more reach out just to say, ‘Hey, how is it going? How are you?’ I know myself. I don’t seek out people. But I really appreciate when somebody says ‘Hi’ to me. I guess the biggest thing is that sometimes it’s difficult for persons with disabilities to reach out. So just offer a little kindness, and that goes a long way.

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