Have you noticed people struggling to keep a social distance? Are they able to see? Is their mobility restricted? We all need to keep our eyes open and up our observation skills during lockdown and distancing restrictions. And we are doing a good job. However, some people are struggling. I happen to be a volunteer trainer of Guide Dog Puppies and I was terribly sad to read that one Guide Dog Owner has said he’s decided not to take Kika, his Guide Dog, out alone any more, thus taking him back to the permanent lockdown which engulfs many Visually Impaired People (VIPs). In recent weeks so many people seem not to have noticed him, haven’t bothered moving and instead brush or bump into him. The pavements are now too busy for VIPs to maintain social distancing. This is one step back for equality and independence. Also I’ve heard people complain when VIPs with Guide Dogs have seemed to ignore queues. The Guide Dogs are trained to take their VIP in straight lines and they haven’t learnt about queuing. My present 6 month old pup Clarkie is getting a lot of experience of queuing! Perhaps that will be a new skill for future Guide Dogs! But in the meantime, Please, Please, can we all of us blessed with sight use it and not discriminate against the VIPs.
Peter, Volunteer Guide Dog Puppy Walker.