Grangemouth disability champion Emma has had a long, tough lockdown

A renowned travel writer, disability champion and Falkirk Herald columnist has not found the last year of lockdown easy and it’s not over for her yet even as restrictions are relaxed.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 11:25 am

Grangemouth resident Emma Muldoon, who writes the well known online Simply Emma blog and a monthly column in The Falkirk Herald, has to use a wheelchair due to having limp girdle muscular dystrophy.

Due to the coronavirus crisis and her condition, Emma has not been able to go outside very much and while many of us – including those who have had the COVID-19 vaccine – plan to go out and about more as restrictions relax, that is not the case for Emma.

She said: “I have been shielding since last March, only leaving the house a handful of times mainly for hospital appointments or to receive my COVID-19 vaccines. And even though I’ve had my second vaccine, I still plan to shield to some degree until I feel safe not to do so anymore.

Emma Muldoon has been finding lockdown particularly difficult

“I'm shielding because I have limb girdle muscular dystrophy, which has meant taking extra precautions. I even cut back on my care support in the first lockdown as we wanted to reduce contact as much as possible.

"I’ve had important hospital appointments cancelled and assessments for a new wheelchair postponed even though my current wheelchair is no longer suitable for my needs.

“I know many disabled people have felt forgotten about and more isolated than normal throughout the pandemic.”

The toughest thing for Emma is having to curtail her travelling. A keen gig goer she has also missed attending live concerts.

“I usually have a very active lifestyle for both work and social life,” she said. “Like everyone, it's been difficult for me not being able to go out and do these things. My partner and I are avid gig-goers and love travelling and we really don’t know when we will feel comfortable to enjoy them again even once restrictions are lifted.”

Emma’s comments on her current situation come at a time when a Office of National Statistics (ONS) study stated three in five of all COVID-19-related deaths are disabled people – with those with disabilities accounting for just 17.2 per cent of the ONS study population but 60 per cent of the coronavirus deaths.