What will coronavirus shielding look like this time round?

People with underlying health conditions are being warned to be extra cautious under lockdown.

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People with underlying health conditions have been told they must shield as the new lockdown gets under way.

The restrictions are the same, but shielding people must also not go into work, even if they can’t do their jobs from home.

Scotland’s chief medical officer explained what shielding will look like this time round, as those who will have to follow the rules told us how they feel.

Gregor Smith, chief medical officer

“It’s not the general advice that we issued in that first part of the pandemic where everyone was just advised to stay home and to cut contact because that’s an incredibly difficult thing, both physically and for your mental health. 

“We cannot escape the fact there is a big risk to those who are clinically vulnerable and the advise is to try as much as you can to stay away from other people and limit your chance with coming into contact with coronavirus.

“We’re not saying don’t go to essential shops. We’re not saying don’t go out for exercise, – what we’re asking people to do is take extra caution as they do that and where we know there are additional risks that aren’t justified such as going to work at this time in the pandemic, then we’re advising people to work from home.”

How do shielders feel?

Derek Brown was diagnosed with the same type of leukaemia as me just two years ago and admitted he had mixed emotions at the prospect of shielding again.

“Being back at home with the family is great in one sense,” he said.

“But not being able to do what I do is tough as I love my job.”

Sarah Green’s two young children have cycstic fibrosis ,which has meant this past year has been particularly tough.

She said: “To be honest I’ve never really stopped shielding because I’m that panicky but I miss my mum, I want to see my mum.”

Diane Robb, who who suffers from severe asthma – the group that make up the highest amount of shielders – had this advice to help people through.

“Try as hard as you can to get yourself into a routine. It doesn’t matter how much exercise you do. It could be sitting exercises but I think exercise is the way to go just to get you up in the morning.”