When we were welcoming in the New Year on 1st January 2020, we could not have predicted that the world would have changed so much in a few months. The coronavirus pandemic has meant that every one of us has been affected. Most of us have had to adapt our daily lives in so many ways and for some of us there have been more drastic changes than others.
During this time we know that people’s health care has changed. We have heard so many stories about the challenges that people have faced. But we haven’t just been listening to these stories, we haven’t just been recording them, we have been using them. We have been trying to make sure that decision makers, planners, health professionals and others understand what this means for ordinary people in our towns and villages across Wales, so that then they can do something to make it better.
The coronavirus pandemic is not over. We know that the winter period is going to be challenging for several reasons. Being in lockdown over the spring and summer months has already been difficult. People are worried about another lockdown or restrictions on their daily lives. We hear about a second wave of coronavirus. We know that in the Hywel Dda area, during the first peak, we did not experience the vast numbers of cases that arose elsewhere. No one can predict what will happen next and that kind of uncertainty makes us all feel very afraid.
We want to continue hearing your experiences and we want to continue trying to make things better. To understand how we can best help you, we want to tell you some of what we have done over the past months. The easiest way of doing this is to look at an imaginary street of people, which could be anywhere in Hywel Dda, to see what our work has meant for the residents. We cannot cover everyone’s stories or experiences but we want to tell you our first pandemic story as an organisation.