Every day we are inundated with reports about COVID-19: statistics, new cases, and worse. Every day we hear of how the coronavirus has impacted people all over the world, but have we heard specific reports of its effect on blind and visually impaired individuals?
Thus far we have spanned the globe with blind citizens Around the world, from Australia and Malaysia, to the united kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, and Canada. In this seventh episode in our series, Around the World with COVID-19 from a Blindness Perspective, we hear from Brian Fischler. Brian comes to us from New York, the City that never sleeps. but we may have witnessed an exception to that age-old moniker as New York has been through an ordeal that almost brought the Big Apple to its knees… into a deep sleep! But as in the past, the big city seems to have bounced back and is rallying in recent weeks.
Brian shares his unique perspective on Corona and its effect on New Yorkers, their adherence to social distancing rules and how all of this affects blind people and himself personally.
Brian walks us through the initial onset of Corona and how New York felt they might avert the full impact, but like elsewhere, it caught up to them. He shares how he had lived in NYC during 911 and this is worse, saying that Corona has passed it for the “most terrifying thing in his lifetime.”
Brian speaks of his personal friendships with staff and owners of five bars and restaurants within a few blocks of his apartment, and how reopening would help them survive. Listen as Brian gives us an update on this, finally venturing out and having a couple of drinks inside a nearby bar when it briefly reopened. As a further update, as of the date of this podcast, July 6, 2020, New York has subsequently closed inside dining in order to stave off an increase in infections.
Brian has become a full-blown germophobe and has never washed his hands as much as recently. He wears his mask and obeys all the needed precautions, but explains how as a blind person, it is impossible to know if others are following those sane precautions and to ensure he is walking any kind of safe distance from others in the big city. Hearing someone Coughing just freaks him out!
Finally, Brian shows his optimism hoping that when all is said and done, ,people will be nicer as a result.
Be sure to tune in to more informative episodes to hear how your BVI counterparts around the world are coping with and adapting to cOVID-19.
special thanks go out to Chee Chau, for his beautiful song and titled wayfarer.
Contact Your State Services
If you reside in Minnesota, and you would like to know more about Transition Services from State Services contact Transition Coordinator Sheila Koenig by email or contact her via phone at 651-539-2361.
To find your State Services in your State you can go to www.AFB.org and search the directory for your agency.
Check out the Blind Abilities Communityon Facebook, the Blind Abilities Page, and the Career Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired group.