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Bethnal Green woman who has been shielding calls for clarity about new lockdown measures

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 June 2020

Bethnal Green freelance artist Sarah Davis, 29, says leaving her home after shielding for 12 weeks during the coronavirus pandemic is

Bethnal Green freelance artist Sarah Davis, 29, says leaving her home after shielding for 12 weeks during the coronavirus pandemic is "quite an intimidating prospect." Picture: Macmillan Cancer Support

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A vulnerable Bethnal Green woman says people who have been shielding need clarity as coronavirus lockdown restrictions change.

Former cancer patient Sarah Davis, pictured out and about in east London before lockdown, says what is needed is Former cancer patient Sarah Davis, pictured out and about in east London before lockdown, says what is needed is "discussion and evidence of a wider plan for people who are shielding - not snap decisions". Picture: Macmillan Cancer Support

With more shops opening, people returning to work and some social outings permitted, many vulnerable people - including those living with cancer - are feeling confused and anxious about how the new measures will affect them.

Sarah Davis, 29, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2017 and had a stem cell transplant the following year, has been shielding since March.

She admits she’s “quite conflicted” about the new advice and doesn’t feel comfortable to go out.

Sarah said: “On the one hand I am glad vulnerable and shielding people are being discussed but the move is just so sudden and has added to the confusion.

“I personally would’ve liked discussion and evidence of a wider plan for people who are shielding - not snap decisions that, quite frankly, seem irresponsible.

“I’ve seen no scientific evidence being presented to justify the move. The infection rate is still quite high.”

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A freelance artist and sculptor, Sarah is currently furloughed from a part time job and has lost all her creative work during lockdown.

“I love living in east London, it’s thriving and lively but so, so busy - which makes the idea of venturing out after 12 weeks quite an intimidating prospect,” she said.

“I am able to work on personal art projects from home, which is a real boost - although I miss my art studio - but I only feel comfortable going back to work when it is safe to do so.”

Macmillan Cancer Support, which helped Sarah throughout her treatment and recovery, is calling for clear communication from the government so vulnerable people can feel safe and access support.

Anna Collishaw-Nikodemus from Macmillan said: “Many people living with cancer in London are having to make decisions about new advice and whether they feel safe to go out once a day.

“So, we are asking the government to communicate clearly with people who are shielding and those that support them.

“This will help them make decisions about whether they or members of their household should leave home, go to work or school.”

• To donate to Macmillan Cancer Support’s emergency appeal, visit macmillan.org.uk/emergency or call 0300 1000 200.

The free Macmillan support line is open every day, between 8am-8pm, on 0808 808 00 00.


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