Jean Bowden, 75, from Kelvedon Hatch has been listed as one of the 1.5 million "vulnerable persons" by the government. Here's here take on the Coronavirus and Lockdown.

What have you discovered while in lockdown?

Something I never realised I could do was online shopping, especially for presents or clothes. That is just a dream! I couldn’t have imagined that were possible before lockdown. That said, I’ve found that shopping is practically impossible online, I’m not very computer literate if that’s a word! It seems to me that we must try and make do with what you’ve got. Therefore, I’ve been trying new things, different things to eat which can be quite interesting. And, thanks to the government package, we’ve loved discovering our new favourite food – mushy peas!

As a listed “vulnerable person”, you receive a governmental care package. Could you tell me a bit about what that entails?

It was quite comforting to receive the government package because it was an unorganised, difficult time to begin with and I was wondering how I would be able to get the basics I needed; milk and bread for example. The government package brought a level of reassurance; comfort that we were being looked after which is something I’m rather grateful for.

How does it make you feel to be listed as a “vulnerable person”?

I have relatively mixed feelings to be honest. It was a bit of a shock, especially when I received a message via text from my doctor’s surgery telling me to have a bag ready in case I needed to go into hospital at a moments notice. I found that particularly scary and the bag is still packed in my bedroom. Nevertheless, it is certainly a comfort to know it’s not just me and Rob, surviving on our own if you like. I’m reassured to know the government are looking out for me.

What are you missing most in lockdown?

My family. Missing my family has been hard, so very hard. I think it is for everyone. Even though I’ve got my wonderful family, you want to hug them but you can’t and, of course, you don’t feel like you’ve seen your family unless you’ve hugged them. Nobody realised before lockdown that we could hug our family and kiss our family when we arrive and when we go. Now, you’ve got to cope with that and that is what makes me want to cry. I know I find Face Time hard and I’m always pointing the phone in the wrong direction but it means so much to actually see someone. It’s little things, like being able to compliment your daughter, such little things which I feel we are learning to appreciate.

In addition to family, are there any aspects of your normal way of life which you’re missing?

Well, something I am rather worried about is that I can’t go to the hair dressers and nail salons!
How have you been limited by the regulations put in place?

Well obviously,  being “vulnerable”, I’m not allowed out; not even to the pavement. My husband, Rob, is also limited because of course he doesn’t want to bring any risks home etc. That’s the thing with this virus, I’ve found that it affects so many people, so many lives. Fortunately, this seems to have helped kindle a community spirit and I’m so happy to see that people are willing  to help, that they genuinely want to help.

Despite the lockdown, have you been managing to get your daily exercise?

Rob, my husband, makes me swing my arms around which is something he used to do in his football warm ups. I’ve never been any good though, my arms always feel quite heavy. Nevertheless, I do insist we walk around the garden as much as we can because it is essential to get as much fresh air as possible. I must say, I’m beginning to realise how important it is that we enjoy the wonderful plants in our garden. In lockdown, you really do appreciate every little detail around you and there’s a sense of gratitude which I feel; whether I’ve seen a plane in the sky or a blossoming tulip as I walk.

Does the coronavirus scare you?

That's the unnerving thing, you might look for all the positives, but there’s always the fear; will the virus get you? These are very frightening times but I desperately want to be able to see my family again. When will they relax the rules? There are all these questions, but equally you don’t want the government to relax the rules too soon, so I’m willing to do anything. We’ve got to be very, very careful.