While most of us are enjoying the easing of lockdown restrictions, many elderly still feel unsafe venturing outside of their homes, as the threat of coronavirus lingers.
As coronavirus cases remain steady in most parts of Australia, it has become safer to go out again, but people over 70 are still at risk, being in the most vulnerable age-bracket.
Winston Hills retiree, Barbara Towart, 77 said she still doesn’t feel entirely safe leaving the house.
“I’ve only just started going out,” she said.
“The very first time I went out I didn’t feel comfortable, I could feel the germs jumping on me.”
Prior to restrictions being lifted, Ms Towart said she did not go out at all.
“I stayed at home, didn’t go absolutely anywhere. My son did my shopping for me. I didn’t leave the house for nearly three months,” she said.
However, not all elderly members of the community felt it was necessary to isolate straight away.
Winston Hills resident Fred Broker, 70 is still working, running his own accounting business.
Mr Broker said he did not feel that he needed to isolate at first, it was actually his family who made the decision to stop seeing him.
“For the first few weeks I didn’t see my family, but that was more their decision than mine, they wanted to keep me safe,” Mr Broker said.
“Particularly my eldest son, I didn’t see him for a number of weeks, we just facetimed.”
Although restrictions are lifting, Mr Broker said that he is still not going out much because he is vulnerable and because staying at home has become the new normal.
“I would consider myself vulnerable, because of my age, and I have mild asthma,” he said.
“[Even though restrictions have lifted] it’s much the same, I feel safer but I am used to staying at home now.”
Mrs Towart is also the president of Northmead & District Probus Club, which runs activities for retirees.
Audio: Barbara Towart discusses how Northmead and District Probus Club have connected during COVID-19
Ms Towart said the club ceased meetings as soon as coronavirus became a threat due to the members age, but now that restrictions are easing, the club feels it is safe to start meeting again with the appropriate precautions.
“We stopped meeting immediately when it was declared a pandemic,” Ms Towart said.
“We had our last meeting just before that and members voted to go into isolation.
“We’re now having our next meeting on the 29th of June in a park, socially distancing at the tables.”
From June 13 gatherings of 20 people will now be allowed in NSW, both indoors and outdoors.