SHELLY, 48, Los Angeles, California
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.