Hello, I’m Matthew, [sign name] Matthew. I’m going to give a quick rundown of my lockdown experience last year. Phew. The government announced lockdown. My job changed straightaway to a new strategy: online video chats. Meeting students, running classes, one on one catch ups, groups. That was going on every day, teaching like that. It was eerie. This new environment felt, well at first, I felt a little lost. It wasn't going well. I couldn't visit the school, it was closed, that made everything feel uncertain.
And access to food shopping...shops were open, so you were allowed to go there. But the rule was you must wear a mask. I went in, got things then at the end, at the counter the checkout person is saying something behind their mask, pointing at a bunch of stuff. I’m completely lost like "Sorry, I can't understand...your mask...." (I can lipread.) "Can you lower your mask?" and they'd shake their head, quite abrupt and carry on talking and pointing out something. I’m still lost in the woods, thinking 'Do I need to take something out put it over there or what? What do they want? This thing?' No. They get more insistent, but I’ve got no idea about what. Someone came around and took out some items and I just had to let it happen, I didn’t know why. Some Covid thing. It was awful.
Life became full of obstacles. It was stressful. On TV I'd watch the interpreters on Kordia, they were in tiny boxes in the corner of the screen before they were part of the briefings. I'd tune into Kordia TV every day to find out what was happening.
Whoa, I experienced this massive upheaval, it had a huge impact on me. All these new procedures that became the new normal for one month.
It was a hideous experience to have access so blocked.