Helping Shielders Back Into The Community
“I would love something that tells people (from a distance) that I have been shielding – that, because I am high-risk, I would really appreciate them giving me a wide berth & wearing their masks at all times around me .”
L O Z Z A | Lozza Love
I designed the ‘Shielded With Love’ badge to help fellow shielders, like myself, on their return into the community – whether heading back to the workplace, travelling on public transport, attending face to face medical appointments, shopping for essentials, meeting up with family and friends not seen during lockdown, rejoining a social or physical activity, or simply venturing outside of their home for the first time in months.
Naturally, the emergence from lockdown for shielders and those who have been shielding by association, has been a vastly different experience compared to that of non-shielders. I know, as a shielder who has been identified as extremely clinically vulnerable, that I must take extra precautions to minimise any risk whilst in public settings. With this, comes an additional layer of anxiety and sometimes very real fear. Disappointingly, I quickly learned that my expectations of the wider community to rigorously follow social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines, were not shared equally by everyone around me.
Shielders shouldn’t be forgotten as valuable contributors to our economy. They share an equal desire to return to work, to places of worship, to social activities, and after being isolated for much longer than most of the general population, are sadly at greater risk of their mental health being adversely affected during these challenging times.
The ‘Shielded With Love’ badge concept was born out of a desire to continue the fierce community spirit of helping others, including our most vulnerable, that was shown in abundance at the beginning of lockdown.
For many months, shielders and those shielding by association stayed indoors to protect themselves and in turn, the NHS – their shields were their homes. Here at Lozza Love, we envision that as shielders and their loved ones begin their journeys to rejoin society, their protection (their new shields), will be upheld by the love, care and consideration of the wider community, with our badges acting as gentle encouragement for others to stay aware – for everyone to wear a mask; to keep their distance; to look out for each other.
The ‘Shielded With Love’ badge has been created to act as a silent & gentle “please take care around me” signal from the COVID-19 shielding community.