These three pieces tell the story of my lockdown experience in terms of my three disabilities. They are all acrylic paint with pen.
The first image is about my anxiety: I have health anxiety at the best of times, but when the threat of coronavirus was growing and I was stuck at home, I would look out of the window at the shop across the road. Seeing people moving around outside—many of them panic-buying essential items—wondering if they had the virus, if they were spreading it among themselves, if they had spread it to my friends and family. It felt as though the virus was knocking against my window, trying to force its way into my safe space.
The second image concerns my underactive thyroid. This was perhaps the most difficult to visually convey—the symptoms include fatigue, poor concentration, and weight gain. These are all things that many of us have experienced during lockdown, with the combination of monotonous isolation day-to-day and the ever-changing news cycle. Finishing my degree has been very difficult because of the fatigue and poor concentration, and I wanted to depict the distraction, worry, and exhaustion which has exacerbated many of my usual symptoms.
The final image conveys the disability that affects me most on a daily basis. I have endometriosis, an inflammatory condition characterized by lesions of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus (represented by the black spots). This causes daily pain, which is worsened by stress, and has deteriorated over the last few months. Because of lockdown, I have not had the level of medical attention that I otherwise would have sought for this pain. I have now been able to get a consultation—which will all be online—and I don’t know the amount of treatment I will be able to get in these circumstances. This piece is designed to show the extent to which Covid has overshadowed my other health concerns: of course, the pandemic had to take priority, but in the meantime the disease in me has likely grown.