Right now the entire world is struggling to deal with the craziness that’s been brought on by
the global COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s all the more challenging for people with disabilities.
For weeks we couldn't even leave the house! I have to stay home to keep safe and to keep other people safe, but it also means not being able to hang out with friends or go out and do things.
I have been keeping myself busy during these crazy times by doing reading challenges from
online websites, and I am beating my parents right now!
This reading challenge gives you a list of categories and you have to choose books that fit them. For example, I have to read a book from the year I was born, a book with a colour in the title and a book that’s more than 600 pages (good thing we have lots of time to kill!).
This book challenge is not only good for people who are in school, but also for travelling, car
rides and friendly competition with friends and loved ones. It makes you explore books that
you might have laying around but never read or find new titles that you may not ordinarily
I have a bit of a challenge retaining what I read because I’m more of an auditory learner. I can
read fine but don’t always understand what I’m reading. So when I read books I like to follow
along with the physical copy of a book while listening to the audiobook at the same time.
I use the Audible app on my iPad. This is great for people with disabilities who are partially-sighted, people who are just auditory learners or for people who don't have access to a the physical copy of the book (you couldn't really go out and get one during the height of the pandemic).
The great part about Audible is that if you start a new account you can get a free 30-day trial and your first book free. After that it is $14.95 per month. You can get the app on just about any mobile device through the Google or Apple app stores.
I have also been doing a lot of Zoom meetings and Facebook Live activities though Halifax Club Inclusion, a non-profit organization for Nova Scotians with disabilities. It provides recreational activities such as choir, lunch club and more.
Club Inclusion has two locations - one in Dartmouth and one in Halifax. Because of COVID both locations are closed so they have created a private Facebook called Club Inclusion Hangout. Members can interact with friends and session leaders in fun activities and games.
The people who work there are awesome and help keep me from getting bored while my parents are working. They have virtual choir, chair yoga, Dungeons and Dragons, drama, dance, games, book club and more!
On two occasions they came out to my house (following all social distance and public health guidelines!) to surprise me. Justin M dropped off a care package, and Justin E played some social distance games with me while broadcasting live to my friends (Note: there are people who work there who are not named Justin too).
You can find out what’s going on if you sign up for their email list where they send out a calendar of things going on.
Another way I’ve been getting through the pandemic is by getting outside chilling on my patio. This is where I spend hours listening to music, reading, or now that some rules are being eased, being at least six feet away when chatting with family on nice days.
I love having access to this patio. We moved less than a year ago and at my old house I couldn’t get outside without assistance. Now, I just pack up what I need in my walker’s bag and roll right out the door!
If it’s not raining on the weekends our family goes outside and does some gardening. We are currently growing lettuce, blueberries, cauliflower, cucumber and potatoes. Most have already started to sprout so we are hoping they take off soon.
During this crazy time of the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, it’s hard for people to not be able to see their friends and family in person.
But it’s still so important to communicate with your loved ones and people that you care about through phone calls, text messages and social media such as Zoom, Facebook, GoogleMeet and email.
Early in the pandemic my family set up a weekly chat so that we could still see each other. First is was just family in Halifax, but now my aunts and uncles and cousins from Cape Breton and Ontario join in too. Even my newest cousin who was born during the pandemic comes on sometimes with my Auntie.
For people who don't have access to this, it’s hard. but try to stay as positive as you can during these crazy times.
Now that the lockdown has passed we are allowed to go outside, do more and see more people. But we still need to be careful and follow social distance guideline. One of the best ways to do this is to get out and kayak.
I love going kayaking with my family. I have a lot of upper body strength and can sit down and not worry about my balance so kayaking is the perfect way for me to get out into nature.
Congrats to all graduates that were supposed to have graduation ceremonies this year! I know it’s hard not to get together to celebrate this accomplishment together but your hard work paid off.
Thank you to all the essential workers, including grocery store workers, nurses and pharmacists. You put in long hours and put your lives at risk to provide us with our basic needs.
Stay safe everyone!