The new Covid lockdown: 'Mental health problems in Scarborough will be much worse than last time'

Concerns have been voiced about the devastating impact new lockdown measures could have on Scarborough’s elderly people.

Thursday, 5th November 2020, 12:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th November 2020, 12:15 pm

The new rules mean many of the area’s traders have closed and meeting socially indoors with family or friends is banned, unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

Anyone aged over 60 or classed as clinically vulnerable is being urged to take extra care because they are at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

“It’s going to impact people hugely,” said Chief Executive of Age UK Scarborough and District, Julie Macey-Hewitt.

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“People’s mental health deteriorated greatly during the last lockdown but in winter that is going to be two-fold.”

She said there are many over-75s who had just about got the confidence to go out again after months of being stuck inside.

She fears this latest lockdown will undo all of that work and for some, she said, it will mean another stretch of not seeing anybody and having to rely on others for shopping and prescriptions.

Even if restrictions are lifted after four weeks, she fears it will take longer than that to encourage vulnerable people to go out again.

“These are strong, independent people but they can’t go out and even choose their own brand of cereal,” she said.

Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, said he was disappointed by the constituency – which had been at the lowest coronavirus alert level – being “dragged” into a lockdown but action needed to be taken to protect the NHS.

He has been raising with Downing Street the plight of hospices such as Scarborough’s Saint Catherine’s whose fundraising will be hit further by this new lockdown.

“Their ability to raise funds from charity shops and events has been undermined by restrictions,” he said.

“The ones that have been most independent of NHS funding have been the most affected,” he said.