Living in a hostel through the Coronavirus Pandemic - David's Story
David has been supported by the Opportunity Nottingham project for a number of years. He gets involved in many groups and takes part in consultation work to ensure the voice of lived experience is heard. Since lockdown he has been seriously unwell with heart problems (unrelated to the Coronavirus), resulting in two stays in hospital and minor operations. He is finding the lockdown situation challenging but is thankful for the support he is receiving from the staff at the hostel he currently lives in.
The lockdown has had an impact on David's mental health. On speaking to a member of the Opportunity Nottingham Team, he explained that "it's depressing. Everyone has got to stay in their room and you can't go out. It is really heartbreaking. You're thinking you are on your own." At a time when he has been so unwell, the lack of contact with others is particularly challenging. David feels everything is strange since lockdown, almost like he is in a different town or place... "It has really put me on a downer at the moment."
Living in the hostel, David has one room (average double size) with a small ensuite shower and toilet. With social distancing rules in place, hostel residents are being encouraged to stay in their rooms as much as possible, and not leave at all if self-isolating. For David, this means looking at the same four walls almost 24/7, with limited time outside and very limited interaction with others. David is making the most of seeing people (at a distance) for five minutes outside the hostel when he can. Food is brought to his room and left at the door. He mentions that everyone in the hostel is feeling anxious, but they are all trying hard to stay calm.
He misses the support of staff, who he can no longer meet with during lockdown. However, the contact he has received via the phone from the groups he is usually involved with has helped. Just a conversation with someone helps. He also mentions that the hostel staff are being very supportive, and that makes a big difference.
After lockdown, David can't wait to meet with his support staff and friends. To go shopping, or just be able to leave his room and use the communal areas in the hostel.