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Martin sitting outside his house

Socially isolated but closer than ever

Martin Baum

To self-isolate or not to self-isolate, that is the question. Well, no, of course it’s not and especially so for MSers.

A timely decision to move home

If my own personal circumstances hadn’t changed then self-quarantining could have been completely different by about a hundred miles. In the light of COVID-19, this really does put life, MS and lockdown into a fresh perspective for me.

Last year, because of a deterioration in my relationship with MS, I had to move from a place near the coast in Dorset back home to Hertfordshire. This was, perhaps, the timeliest decision I have ever made.

In the intervening 21 years being separated from family and friends was something that best suited us. On reflection, of course, it was a form of self-isolating. But we also had the freedom to come and go as we pleased.

Adapting our lives for MS

Commuting back and forth to London when we needed was never something that was ever regarded as an issue. We did it whenever we wanted to catch up with family and friends. But now, in the shadow of coronavirus, that way of thinking can only be regarded as selfish, insular and even glib.  

Over the years, though, in truth there’s been little to recommend living with MS as it was always the cause of me and my wife and son having to adapt our lives to accommodate it. That’s why we moved away from London to try and have a healthier way of life. We even had a beach hut.

Then MS dictated that we would be wiser, if not better off, being nearer to friends and closer to family. And so it’s proved.

Removing the psychological barriers

Despite living in lockdown, psychologically by removing that hundred-mile barrier and living close to people we’ve grown up with has made such a difference.

Although it’s still not possible to physically see anyone, just knowing they’re only down the road, so to speak, has made all the difference to living with MS in a lockdown world.

Martin is an MS blogger and influencer. You can read more of his blogs at martinbaum.co.uk.

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