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People with disabilities and chronic conditions felt vulnerable during COVID-19 lockdown

COVID-19 image
Image: iStock

Over the last few months, we’ve been inundated with news and commentary on COVID-19 and the restrictions.

People have missed going to pubs, restaurants gyms and hair salons. I get it. It sucks. It’s inconvenient. Before the COVID-19 restrictions, I enjoyed going to the gym twice a week. It was a great social outlet for me, as well as a great way to work out.

But what if you have a serious disability or chronic health condition? For these people, the last few months have been hard. And the next few months won’t be any easier.

People with disabilities feel forgotten and vulnerable

The ABC  talked to a number of people with  disabilities and chronic conditions for an article. It exposed fears of becoming infected, nerves about the relaxing of social distancing and going without essential services.

El Gibb told the ABC that she had trouble getting shopping delivered at the start of the lockdown. This included groceries. This is not acceptable. Frankly, it’s outrageous. It’s a massive failure of both governments and businesses.

A few months ago, major supermarkets came under fire for mishandling extreme bulk buying and letting essentials run out. Many elderly and people with disabilities were forced to go without. Sure, Woolworths and other supermarkets tried dedicating an hour specifically for vulnerable people, but it was too little, too late. Many supermarkets couldn’t keep up supply.

For the last three months, people have also gone medical services for pain management. Emily went without cortisone injections during lockdown. I could only imagine how horrible that would have been.

Being vulnerable to contracting COVID-19

In all the debates over easing restrictions, one issue hasn’t been properly discussed: the protection of people with compromised immune systems.

It has left people with some disabilities nervous to enter public life. Sadly, isolation seems like the safest option.

There’s fears that there’ll be a lax attitude on social distancing. I personally think that the more restrictions are eased, the more likely social distancing will become a thing of the past. This has caused some people to isolate even more. This is really sad. It can’t be good for people’s mental health.

It’s sadly ironic that the people that should’ve been protected from COVID-19 are the ones facing most hardship. The lockdowns should have been implemented with the care of the most vulnerable at the forefront. Disappointingly, as with many other things, they have been left out of consideration.

Note: While I’m writing this post, things have already gone backwards in Australia. Due to a number of outbreaks in Victoria, restrictions on public and private gatherings have been reintroduced. Easing on restrictions of the number of people allowed in restaurants has been wound back.

Also, Coles have announced restrictions on purchases of some essential items in Lavington, Albury, Deniliquin and across Victoria. Hopefully, things will be better handled this time.

How have you found the restrictions? How do you feel about restrictions being eased? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Opinion/Commentary

Former Christian singer loses faith

Contemporary Christian worship concert
Image: iStock

Former punk singer – turned – Christian, Jonathan Steingard claimed on Instagram that he no longer believes in God.

I’ve been terrified to post this for a while – but it feels like it’s time for me to be honest. After growing up in a Christian home, being a pastor’s kid, playing and singing in a Christian band, and having the word “Christian” in front of most of the things in my life – I am now finding that I no longer believe in God.

Steingard has received many messages of love and support.

Popular Christian author also denounced faith

Steingard isn’t the only Christian public figure to renounce their faith. Last year, popular author, Josh Harris shocked fans when he claimed to no longer be a Christian.

For those who don’t know, Harris became a pinup-boy for the purity movement in the U.S after his book I Kissed Dating Goodbye was published and became a best – seller in the late 1990’s. The book took the  no – sex- before – marriage message to the extreme. He encouraged readers to not even kiss before marriage.

Harris was only twenty – one and not married when the book was published.

Last year, Josh Harris turned a corner and started to regret what he wrote in his book. He welcomed confrontation from critics and admitted that he helped caused harm. Later, Harris announced that he was separating from his wife and that he was no longer a Christian.

 

Were Harris and Steingard ever Christians?

If you take take 1 John 2:19 literally (from modern English translations anyway), Apostle John argued that people who fell away from the faith were “never of us”.

I’m not going to speculate whether or not Steingard or Harris were ever ‘true Christians’ or not. However, I want to make a few observations.

Both Harris and Steingard have profited from the Christian pop culture. Harris, in particular,  benefited from being a spokesman for Christianity.

It’s obvious that Steingard also grew up in the Christian faith. That doesn’t mean that the faith he grew up in would necessarily become his own. As a Christian, I truly think that faith is only cemented through revelation. Maybe a true revelation might bring both Harris and Steingard back.

Again, I don’t want to speculate too much. Only Harris and Steingard knpw deep down whether or not they really believed.

A number of Christians ‘soften’ (or hide) controversial views

 

A number of Evangelical Christians have  been very careful of their public persona. Many have either softened their views on controversial topics, such as the LGBTQ+ community.

Churches like Hillsong in Sydney have caused controversy over their views on same – sex marriage by both opponents and supporters alike. No one liked the fact that they tried to have feet on both sides of the fence.

While not changing their views, a number of Christian personalities have chosen to suddenly avoid controversial cultural topics. Kristen Beal and Bethany Baird of blog/ YouTube channel, Girl Defined is a prime example.

Prior to last year, content created by Beal and Baird caused mountains of controversy online. Their views on womanhood, gender, marriage and the LGBTQ+ community stirred up fierce criticism from Christian and non – Christian YouTubers.

Last year, tensions boiled over between Girl Defined and God is Grey’s Brenda Davies. Long story short: Davies reached out to  and invited a discussion on their different views.

Instead, Beal and Baird decided to drag Davies’ name through the mud at the Girl Defined Conference. Baird and Beal not – so – subtly implied that Davies was not a real Christian, largely because of Davies’ allyship to the LGBTQ+ community. This caused outrage from Girl Defined’s critics and fans.

Since then, Girl Defined has avoided controversial topics. Does this mean that they’ve changed their views? Probably not. Their just not vocal now. Frankly, I find this quite cowardly. To their defence though, (kinda), being repeatedly scrutinised wouldn’t be easy.

 

I believe that Christianity in the West is shifting massively. Christians have been forced to see their impact on others. Also, living in a Christian culture is no substitute for revelation.