Independent Age
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Independent Age

Life in lockdown — Vincent

Vincent, aged 72, is an Independent Age supporter living in Coatbridge, Scotland. A retired steelworker, Vincent has been taking part in Independent Age’s virtual coffee mornings during the COVID-19 pandemic. He spoke to us about the impact of the pandemic on his life.

When the pandemic hit the UK, I was more worried for my children and my grandson rather than myself — I am a widowed father with three adult children and I become a grandfather to my lovely Louie for the first time in October 2019. But as the weeks went into months, I become more anxious.

Before the pandemic, I liked to spend my retirement going to concerts and shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I looked forward to it and met people from all around the UK and the world. Sadly, I haven’t been to a concert since December 2019 and miss them badly.

To pass the time, I try to exercise every day and used to go for a 2 mile walk in my local public park, to keep fit and keep my weight down but even that has had to stop now. There were too many people in the park and the joggers would run very close to me, without a mask and breathing heavily — it didn’t feel safe. I’ve had to do exercise at home now instead but it’s hard with the wet and windy Scottish weather.

Shopping has been a major problem during the pandemic. Luckily, I’ve been able to get out and do my own shopping and sometimes have a wee chat with people I know, from a distance, but the stores don’t feel that safe. Hardly anyone has a mask on and people aren’t distancing. And food is so expensive! I only have porridge with fruit for breakfast, something like a tuna sandwich for lunch and then a health fish or chicken with plenty of vegetables for dinner and it’s costing me about £60 a week. I tried to treat myself with some deliveries from local restaurants but that was putting too much of a hole in my bank account.

Now that the restrictions are stricter in Scotland, the biggest challenge is not being able to see my family. I feel miserable and a bit depressed that I can’t visit and play with my grandson. Writing this has brought all that back.

If you’re wondering what the latest guideline restrictions are for you, feeling lonely or anxious in lockdown or need help with getting shopping delivered from home then head over to our COVID-19 hub.

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Oliver Steadman

Oliver Steadman

Campaigns Officer at Independent Age working on improving bereavement support.