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Daniel Docherty our Ambassador shares his experience about changes to his life during the Covid lock-down

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Life has drastically changed since my last update. As everyone is aware, the hope and vision for a brighter and more positive decade has been temporarily ceased by the global pandemic that has gripped the earth.

Many lives have regrettably been lost to this plague and I would like to first and foremost offer my sincerest condolences to all who have experienced tragedy or have been affected in any way by the current situation.

I have also personally experienced Covid-19, with my family testing positive. Thankfully all of my family have recovered including myself. On top of this we are all very proud of my Mum who is a nurse and front-line worker who still continues to help sick patients with and without Covid-19.

In terms of my work on raising Autism awareness and acceptance, I was supposed to give a talk on Autism and sing at a Tusla conference as well as sing at the Ausome Autism conference. Unfortunately these events were both postponed understandably and I look forward to continuing the work as soon as possible.

The necessary restrictions and precautions set out by the government also meant that my college closed and all the gyms closed essentially disrupting my entire routine. As is the case with most Autistic people, routine is quite important and changes in routine or a total collapse in routine can lead to extra stress and anxiety on top of the usual anxiety and stress that is already prevalent.

Without the gyms being open it is quite difficult to achieve the same level of deep pressure and regulation. Colleges also closed meaning all examinations had to be done through online assignments.

Thankfully I was able to complete the necessary assignments and work without the face to face help of lecturers or tutors. Interacting with close friends has also changed as physical contact has not been possible until very recently. In some ways this was better as some of the anxiety around communicating in person was removed, but overall it was negative as meeting in person has its benefits.

Overall it has been a peculiar period in my life and one I hope to move past and use to fuel me in my strive towards my goals. In times like this it is important to stay focused on your aims and keep yourself busy in order to stay mentally and physically healthy.

I have recently taken up family tree research and genealogy which I find very intriguing. It helps me to stay focused and occupies part of my time during this rather arduously mundane epoch. This has helped me personally, but of course it is about finding something personal to you and engaging with it in order to overcome the adversities of this time.

Hopefully everyone can stay safe and get through this pandemic together eventually restoring some sort of normality in this world.       

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