Help get the ShieldUs logo a recognised symbol for those most at risk!

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In the UK alone over 2 million people received a letter or phone call from their Drs asking them to shield at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, meaning they are not allowed to leave the confines of their homes and gardens, many of who do not have access to outside space. Shielding was implemented due to the ongoing evidence that those with underlying health conditions are far more at risk from developing complications from Coronavirus, becoming extremely sick and also dying.

Daily exercise and a visit to the shop for essential supplies is strictly off limits. When the lockdown was eased slightly earlier this month and the rest of the population were allowed to sunbathe, drive distances to go for walks and have social distance contacts with their loved ones, the shielded watched on, often alone from home on the TV and saw photos online of loved ones sensing their first taste of a gradual way back to some sense of normality. The term isolation somewhat made stronger at this time for those shielding.

Shielded people have had to rely heavily on the kindness of strangers, charitable organisations and local businesses to deliver weekly emergency food packages, prescriptions and other supplies, here we have seen overwhelming acts of kindness and selflessness from others. On Monday the 1st June shielded people in England and from Monday 18th June in Scotland shielded people are now allowed out for an hours daily exercise. These people are getting ready to take their first steps back into the world, some way behind the rest of the population with no real idea of how the world looks at the moment or what to expect.

The effect on people’s mental wellbeing is astronomical, and not just for those who are shielding/shielded, mental health has suffered across the board during this pandemic.

Imagine being shielded, already battling daily with whatever underlying health condition you have, to then be told this virus will most likely kill you if you catch it, families of those who are shielding are also constantly anxious and worried for loves ones.

Now imagine being told you can leave your house for the first time in almost three months to re-join society, to go for a walk, to visit the shops, when you have had little to no human contact in nearly 12 weeks, your home has become your little safe haven and leaving it is possibly terrifying.

Two of my three children have a progressive, incurable, genetic lung disease, so we have been shielding, a little earlier than some since the 13th March, the one hours daily exercise we are now permitted to do has been absolutely crucial to all of our mental health and has allowed all of us some sort of normality. However, I noticed my son who is 8 is noticeably anxious and agitated when people are near (even though they are much further than the recommended 2m) when we are walking on the beach, he refused to get out of the car the other day because there was a few people walking on the beach. I do not want my children or anyone to live in fear.

The shielded are not to be seen as vulnerable and weak members of society but strong and resilient, already coping with health conditions and then for many to be left completely cut off from the outside world is a testament to their strength. We are all on this together.

We have come up with a concept to try and alleviate some of this anxiety for when shielding is set to end, or already has for some. Also not forgetting those who were not included in the shielding scheme who suffer from diabetes and other conditions that also feel vulnerable but maybe have not been recognised.

We want our logo to be universally recognised as a symbol for shielded patients across the board, young and old our logo is available to purchase on a range of merchandise, badges, window/ car bumper stickers, t-shirts, facemasks and door posters, so that when they re enter society to go for their first bit of fresh air for months or have to pop to the shops or even go back to work, people will recognise that they are still vulnerable and give them the space they need and take into account the anxieties they may be feeling. 

We are selling 100s of badges, bumper stickers and posters daily all over the UK from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and all over England. 

Protecting those who need it most is something as a species, humans seem to do instinctively, and this pandemic has shown us as a family that the human spirit cannot be broken no matter how strange, sad and difficult times become.

The proceeds from the products will go directly towards research for the British Lung foundation and directly towards helping those who are shielding! 

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