The harms of lockdown
Lockdown was disastrous for children with disabilities
Lockdown was disastrous for children with disabilities. We must never let this happen again, writes father and author Damien Lane.
Lockdown represented an unprecedented attempt to control a novel coronavirus through non-pharmaceutical interventions. It may never be possible to assess accurately the number of lives this measure saved or extended. But evidence of the costs of lockdown – particularly on health, education and the economy – grows daily. In evaluating our response to Covid-19, it is vital that we take full account of the impact that shutting down society had on people’s lives.
From the very first days of lockdown, it became clear that some groups would struggle more than others. Elderly people who lived alone were socially isolated. Parents who were expected to work outside the home while schools were closed, who lived in cramped conditions without access to laptops for online classes, or a garden for children to let off steam, found lockdown to be impossibly stressful. For parents of children with disabilities, lockdown meant having to cope in the absence of almost all of the usual sources of support.
Damien Lane has written about his experiences of caring for his son, Alex, both before and during lockdown. Alex, who is 19, has severe autism as well as a number of physical disabilities. In Kit Kats and Fishing Rods, Damien describes the many challenges that have had to be confronted in caring for his son. But, far more than this, Damien offers readers an insight into the immense value of Alex’s life and the tremendous power of parental love.
Damien describes his motivation for writing Kit Kats and Fishing Rods and explains how lockdown made an already challenging situation even more difficult.