Lyn Glover, Gold Coast, Australia
I have been the Facilitator for the Gold Coast Post Polio Network for 12 years now. We are under the banner of Spinal Life Australia here in Queensland of which I am a volunteer. We have Monthly Meetings and Quest Speakers, who I organise. I also outsource information on polio, newsletters, e-newsletters, and articles, which I take along to these meetings as well.
I have 40 polio survivors of which 25+ attend these Monthly Meetings. We are all so different. Some members have a visible disability and others don't, but we are all in this battle together. We have lost one member who was at a nursing home in this pandemic.
Gold Coast Post Polio Network are very upbeat and friendly. We care for each other, which is why these meetings are so important in accessing the community.
Our current project is collecting and recycling postage stamps and selling them to collect enough $AUD for collared shirts with our logo to wear proudly at meetings, events and out in the community.
My Monthly Meetings were suspended due to the pandemic. My last meeting was in March. So Zoom, Facetime, Facebook, mobile, and emails were my main contact with my Polio Family. I spent most days at home and only went out in the community for doctor appointments or shopping. I was able to catch up with both of my daughters and grandchildren as restrictions were lifted. I was also able to attend online church service every Sunday, which was a blessing. I also attended prayer group via Zoom on a Thursdays. During the pandemic, my younger daughter got married, and we were blessed with a birth of a baby girl.
I still to date wear my face mask which my eldest daughter made for me. I also self-distance, when possible, use wipes, and am very aware of my surroundings when I go out - being a polio survivor for now 62 years. Memories I have of polio are the sound of the iron lung, being put in a cot with iron bars like a cage, my double Thomas splint, and only seeing my family once a week through a glass window. A yellow cross was put on my family's door to notify POLIO was present, that is why I wonder now what the future will hold for survivors of Covid-19.