COVID-19: Man, 63, says ‘a lot has modified’ in village as he leaves care house for first time throughout pandemic

John ad Stacey drove around Ramsbottom

2021-05-04 20:18:00

Many people are dreaming of a international vacation, however John Walker, 63, could be proud of a automobile trip.

John lives in a care house out there village of Ramsbottom, in Bury.

“This place, right here, you have received freedom,” he tells me, “however you are still within the house.”

John prepares for his trip
John prepares for his journey

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John has dementia and, after a fall, broke his hip.

He hasn’t left the grounds of his care house because the pandemic started, not as a result of he hasn’t wished to, however as a result of authorities pointers meant if he did, he’d should self-isolate in his room for 14 days upon return.

“A lot may have modified exterior, I simply wish to see it,” he says.

Tuesday was the primary day the John might go away the house’s grounds, for a visit exterior, with out having to quarantine.

However the climate had different concepts.

It was a moist and windy day in northwest England and a stroll, or a visit to the park, was off the playing cards.

“I solely reside a mile away from this house and issues have utterly modified,” he advised me, “I stay up for even sitting in a automobile, getting in a automobile and driving via Ramsbottom could be a privilege.”

John waved as he set off
John waved as he set off

The care house employees, like us, could not assist be moved by such a easy plea and supervisor, Stacey Atkins, sprang into motion.

“We could go for a trip, John? Simply across the centre of Rammy? To see the way it’s modified?”

John was in his slippers however that wasn’t going to cease him.

He climbed into Stacey’s automobile and gave a delighted wave as they drive off.

It was only a 10-minute trip across the village and we chat once more once they get again.

I ask John how he feels.

“Good,” he says, “excited. My coronary heart goes! A lot has modified!”

“It’s going to be the backyard centre subsequent!” Stacey provides, “when the climate’s higher!”

“Yeah, they have a espresso bar,” John provides.

It was solely after we might left the house, and John was again inside within the heat, that the digital camera crew and I scroll via the footage from a small digital camera that we might managed to pop into Stacey’s automobile, simply earlier than John received in.

And you can see how valuable a visit this was.

John’s there, within the passenger seat, mentioning what’s modified.

“That block of flats wasn’t there!” he says at one level, “and that was once a storage!”

For John, whose world has shrunk so dramatically, this glimpse of the world via a automobile window felt like freedom.

However it’s what this journey reminded him of that feels most poignant.

Stacey and John drive previous the pub the place John met his spouse, Julie.

“We might swapped coats, and he or she was carrying mine and I used to be carrying hers,” he tells Stacey, “and we simply sat there consuming, and that is the place I met Julie.”

Watching that footage, we realised what folks like John have misplaced this previous 12 months.

It isn’t solely new experiences, however simply one thing as easy and as comforting as cherished reminiscences.

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