Those with Low Vision Facing New Challenges Amid the Coronavirus

If you have low vision or a vision impairment, you know visiting the doctor, grabbing groceries from the store, or staying active and healthy each have their own familiar challenges. However, amid the coronavirus pandemic, these somewhat simple tasks may come with a whole new set of challenges - social distancing, lack of reliable transportation, and local services closed to in-person appointments.  Leaving the house while coping with these new circumstances can be stressful, on the other hand, staying at home can cause you to feel isolated.  To help ease the stress, keep you safe and healthy, and help you cope with isolation, we’ve put together a few helpful tips.

Three Quick Tips for…

Visiting the Doctor

  1. Connect with your doctor virtually – If your appointment can be done over the phone or video chat with your doctor, it is best to connect virtually
  2. Reschedule for a later date – Routine check-ups or non-emergency appointments may be rescheduled for a later date or a time when the doctor is not as busy.
  3. Protect yourself and others – Properly wear a face covering or mask while in public, don’t touch your face, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. The CDC provides instructions on how to wear a mask and how to make your own.

Groceries and Necessary Items

  1. Stock up on items – When you go to the store, try to stock up on necessary items to reduce the frequency of grocery shopping.
  2. Ask a friend, family member, or neighbor for assistance – Though you may normally be very independent and go to the store or run errands on your own, it may now be wise to ask for assistance.  While trying to maintain social distance it would be difficult to ask for help locating an item and transportation to and from the store may be limited.  If no one is available to go on a grocery run, or if you don’t feel comfortable asking for assistance, check out a local grocery delivery service.
  3. Protect yourself and others – Many stores are now requiring a face mask be worn when in the store, so be sure to grab yours before you leave the house. Wipe down the cart with the wipes provided by the door.  Touch only the items you are going to purchase if possible.  Wash everything thoroughly when you arrive home.

Woman viewing a photograph with the Compact 6 HD

Coping with Isolation

  1. Join a virtual Low Vision Support Group – Virtual support groups can offer you association and connection to others while staying at home.  Talk to a counselor, share your concerns with peers who have had similar experiences, and look forward to on a regular basis.  Spectrios Institute for Low Vision and Lighthouse Guild are two of organizations that offer online or call-in support group meetings.
  2. Call a friend or family member – Talking to loved ones can help you feel less isolated and more connected to people and has the same effect on the person you called.  By reaching out to others, you will be able to exchange encouragement and help others to feel less isolated as well.
  3. Keep your mind and body active – Read a book, join an online book club, go for a walk, or learn a new recipe.  Staying active will help you reduce stress and keep a positive mindset.

We know you have experienced issues with accessibility, transportation, and access to necessities.  We hope you were able to take the survey to help us Flatten Inaccessibility.  In these uncertain times, spreading good news is also a way to cope with isolation and stress.  Do you have positive experiences or good news you can share?  We would love to hear from you, and may even feature your good news on our social media pages.

Apr 16, 2020

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