We know that it is a really difficult time for many right now, and we hope that you are keeping as well as can be expected. We also know that the changing restrictions, the disruption to routine, and to daily life can be really destabilising, so we wanted to reach out with some resources on what help is available, and how we can help each other and ourselves.
A lot of the guidance on lockdown and social distancing can be quite confusing. Here is a link to the latest official guidance, which is a lot clearer: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875200/Full_guidance_on_staying_at_home_and_away_from_others.pdf
When so much change is happening outside of our control, it is really important to focus on what we can control and how we can look after ourselves. We have included some links below to groups who can help if you are struggling for essentials such as food. It can also be worth trying to build up a simple routine, whether it is by making lists of things you enjoy doing or tasks that are needed and scheduling them into your day, or making sure you are making both time to connect with others online, and adequate quiet time to yourself if you are living with family or housemates.
Please try to stay connected socially, and reach out if you feel isolated. firstname.lastname@example.org is always open, though we can’t promise rapid replies. We will try to set up some opportunities for online socialising in coming weeks, depending on how the team is doing. You might want to join one of the local mutual aid groups set up in light of the pandemic, especially if you need (or can offer) practical help.
Number 6 One Stop Shop in Edinburgh is also continuing their support and advice for autistic people registered with them. They are currently sorting out their remote contact options but you can get in touch with staff members by email for help. Their facebook page and Coronavirus Resources page have up to date information.
We have identified some online resources that we think might be of value.
- Here is a list of ideas for those of us stuck inside: https://chatterpack.net/blogs/blog/list-of-online-resources-for-anyone-who-is-isolated-at-home
- Tweet thread from an autistic doctor on dealing with the pandemic when you’re autistic: https://mobile.twitter.com/AutisticDoctor/status/1237481924664451076
- This is the site for the current directory of COVID-19 mutual aid: https://covidmutualaid.org/ They are building infrastructure we don’t have.
- This is mostly aimed at those supporting members of the queer community, but there is material of value here for those supporting anyone who needs to isolate. https://queercare.network/our-work/resources/covid-19/
- Tips on surviving isolation, from someone with a lot of practice https://www.bimblings.co.uk/2020/03/15/inside-a-guide/
- Maintaining mental health hygiene during a pandemic: https://sunnybrook.ca/uploads/1/departments/psychiatry/maintaining-mental-health-hygiene.pdf
- On anxiety and the current situation: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/blog/covid-19-and-anxiety-part2/
- Articles in NeuroClastic on autism and COVID-19: https://neuroclastic.com/?s=covid&submit=Search
- Emergency transmission from Doctor Who: https://twitter.com/bbcdoctorwho/status/1242783288571211776