BORED. Frustrated. Lonely. Just wanting to go back to bed to make another day go by.

The COVID-19 lockdown has sent us all on a rollercoaster of emotions, and these are just some of the feelings Renfrewshire councillor Scott Kerr has endured while he has been shielding for the past few months.

After suffering a stroke when he was just 20, the now 47-year-old received the difficult news in March he would have to stay inside and have no contact with anyone other than his wife and son – who he lives with – for 12 weeks.

The dad-of-three had to say goodbye to many things he loved doing, such as working bank shifts at NHS 24, helping residents solve problems in his ward of Houston, Crosslee and Linwood, seeing his other two daughters, and playing football with his son. It all suddenly had to be put to one side in exchange for simply staying safe.

Scott admits the experience has sent him on a whirlwind of emotions.
And, while the feeling of having to sit things out sometimes wasn’t alien to him, he said he could not have foreseen how difficult shielding would be.

“Sometimes day just goes into night. Other times you’re watching TV but then you get fed up watching the TV, “ said Scott.

“Because you’re not getting any change of scenery and you’re not interacting with people, time seems to slow down. It can get frustrating.

“Sometimes you want to just want the night to come and you can go to your bed and wake up the next day, just for another day to go by.

“You’re normally in a habit of meeting people and having a good laugh, and for that to suddenly stop and just be stuck in a house, it’s very hard because you don’t feel like you’re doing enough for folk.”

Scott was born with a hole in his heart, which is ultimately what led to his stroke 27 years ago. Doctors had for many years thought it was a heart murmur, but only discovered the hole when he was eight and, by that point, they could do nothing about it.

He has since had to live life having to have regular blood tests and watching the amount of activity he does to ensure he doesn’t push himself too hard.
When he had his stroke, he was told he couldn’t work for a long time, even though he felt he wanted to.

But even with knowing what it’s like to tread carefully, Scott said the shielding period has just reminded him why he never wants to be stuck doing nothing again.

He added: “Normally, if someone has an issue in Houston or Linwood then you’d go out and have a look at it. You just want to do more.

“To go from doing quite a lot to basically nothing, it’s hard.

“It does feel lonely. I love my son and my wife and that but, you like to go into work to bounce off other people or speak to local people.”

Scott welcomed the recent relaxation of some shielding measure, but warned people against becoming complacent.

He said: “You see lots of people not following the guidelines which makes me annoyed because there’s a lot of people like myself stuck in. I just hope there isn’t a second wave. I am happy shielded people can now get out.

“I would hope to see a review each week as other things start to open, so hopefully it will allow shielded people more social interaction.”

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