As the country went into lockdown due to COVID-19, Healthwatch Essex started to capture the experience of the people of Essex from a distance. This series of short films of life during the pandemic, captured over Zoom, highlight the ways in which life changed in 2020 across Essex. Descirptions of the films cans be found at the bottom of the page.
Sam is blind and had a double organ transplant five years ago. She was living in a hotel because of an insurance claim following a water leak in her home when the pandemic struck. Her husband subsequently caught COVID-19. In this moving film, she describes the challenges she has experienced during the pandemic.
Chloe is 10 and lives with her sister and parents in Harlow. She has struggled with her mental health in the past and, in this film, tells her story of accessing services and how life has been for her during the lockdown caused by COVID-19.
Laurie is a Clinical Manager at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. He talks about what life has been like flying across the county to save lives during the height of the pandemic.
Louise was living with her family in Brentwood when COVID-19 spread across the UK. Her grandmother died during lockdown and she talks about her experience of a socially-distanced funeral with just her closest family members.
Paul is an Army veteran living in Essex. Medically-retired after being seriously injured in Afghanistan in 2009, he has spent his time helping vulnerable veterans across the county during the pandemic.
Maria is a Senior Caseworker at Refugee Action in Colchester. She has been working with asylum seekers and refugees in the town during the pandemic and explains some of the significant challenges they have faced.
Corban found himself homeless in the lead up to the pandemic, following a relationship breakdown. He talks about his time in living in supported housing during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Clare runs a company which encourages people to talk more openly about death, dying and bereavement. She contracted suspected COVID-19 and lost a close family friend to the illness. She talks about how lockdown has been for her and the challenges of not being able to see, or be close to, her terminally ill brother.
Michael lives with a brain injury following surgery to remove a brain tumour several years ago. He was hospitalised just before COVID-19 reached the UK and talks about his experience of living alone, following surgery, during lockdown.