I AM in my mid-sixties, live alone and have no close family. Having moved some time ago, my bungalow is sparse. I have debts which have occurred due to moving, circumstances and bereavements. I manage and still live well and modestly. Recently, about five weeks ago, I had personal problems and a fall. It was difficult to get out and there were times I climbed the walls with pain. But I rested and luckily I had stocked up.

I have no car and am not very good with ordering on the phone from the many shopping outlets.

In my village we have a good supportive shop who deliver and really look after people like myself. The owner and his family have been, and are, a lifeline. I know I can be arm, he brings the coal, and if I can’t shop they will bring what I need. Without this I would, I know, simply not be here.

I do suffer from anxiety and depression based on experiences from the past. Having the fall and struggling, this shop and the staff are here for us and throw those who roll in the cracks of life a lifeline.

Since I have been ill and now with the coronavirus, I have noticed that those who have cars, have support in the way of a husband or wife or close family, suddenly the doors are shut, they become insular. During my illness I never was asked or had a knock on my door. One neighbour did visit and visits now. We are both alone although she does have a family who comes in the way of a son who visits when he passes through from work and her next door neighbour is good. The people who have cars have closed their doors and, in a sense, put up a drawbridge and also in shopping those like me who cannot do a big shop are doing without basics like firelighters, toilet rolls, even beans! I don’t have a cooker, fridge or freezer. I manage. I have a microwave. Now that I am up I go out for a breakfast and fish and chips once a week. I manage. I am clearing my debts. My bungalow is not posh but it’s clean, the kettle is always on and it’s warm.

But during my illness and now the virus I sadly noted how alone, how isolated I was, am. There are millions like me. I don’t look old. I dress well and appear OK. My luxuries are to feed the birds, treat a dog or two. I know I manage, and I cope.

There are homeless people who have so much less but those that have cars become inward and clear the shelves should be ashamed. I have a shopping trolley, a limited budget. I haven’t the funds to fill freezers or such. I haven’t even got one. But I am okay. Just saddened by the actions of people who have so much and give so little to those who are near.

Queenie Fearon

Abbeytown