By Clary Chambers, Founder of Spark Clarity, Invisible Illness & Invisible Disability Advocate & Consultant
COVID-19 has shown us how accessible our world is.
In a time where we're self-isolating and physical distancing, many folks have reported feeling more connected to extended family and friends than ever before.
But how is that possible when we are so far apart?
For many, the use of technology and tools such as Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp calls and other platforms that allow us to video call in real-time with others, has allowed us to feel stronger together while further apart.
At the same time, this new normal isn't new for everyone.
Thousands of members of our community have experienced this "new normal" many times before.
...and will continue to even after the pandemic is over.
Having to choose to stay home rather than go out into public is a choice many with chronic illness, invisible illnesses or invisible disabilities face daily.
Related: What is a chronic illness? | Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Whether staying home was a safety precaution because of being autoimmune compromised, or was done as a way to manage recovery, energy levels, or mental health one may have isolated before this COVID-19 pandemic.
It's important to note that isolating was a necessary choice for some, even when we all had the opportunity to be out and about.
Not everyone has the same choices. Our pre-COVID world was so inaccessible that many were forced into a life of isolation permanently.
There was no choice in considering if that was something you wanted to do or not.
After a few weeks living in a world where you can't access all your favourite stores, restaurants, family members (not judging for all those non-favourite family members you no longer HAVE to visit) can you even imagine what it would be like to be isolated for months, if not years?
A challenge many of us wouldn't want to take up.
As we think, dream and envision what our world will look like going forward let us remember that its a choice in how we move forward.
Will we continue to ignore the voices of folks who have had to extend creativity in everything they do to thrive in a world that was not set up for invisible illness and invisible disability?
Or will we finally realize that thinking creatively is the only way forward and who better to ask than the people who are experts in the matter?
The experts are those who come up with creative solutions to thrive in a world not set up for them.
Now I want to hear from you in the comments below
- Are you one of the thousands of folks who were isolated before COVID-19, or do you know someone who has been isolated before the pandemic for any length of time?
Let me know by leaving a comment.
- Have you been in a position before where consulting with you on a project, a travel location, or even what to make for dinner, would have made for a smoother process but you were left out of the discussion?
How did you handle it and what do you want folks to know going forward?
I'd love to know in the comments below!