[NFBWATlk] Practicing Social Distancing as a Blind Person?

Humberto Avila humberto_avila.it104 at outlook.com
Sat Mar 28 22:37:30 UTC 2020

Hello, fellow list members,

I hope this message finds you well, healthy and ready to tackle any challenge and anything that may come up with persistence.

I am just relaxing at home, hanging out with family and friends (virtually) and just supporting my parents. I work virtually also during weekdays and just started tackling tech projects that I've not been able to do.

I know that we are all dealing with the situation about the COVID19 and how our local, and state governments are imposing regulations to stay home while the spread of this viral content out there slows down. Which leads me to ask, how is the whole deal about 'social distancing' supposed to work if you are a Blind person? How does one know how far apart to stay from another person while going out, since one may not always be able to hear people or footsteps around especially while using a noisy cane that's supposed to track where one is? If I'm going to the store, or the Post Office, and someone at the security counter says, "OK, please follow the red signs under your feet to know where to stand!" how about that? Obviously, asking another stranger would involve close contact with a fellow human being, since I can't hear their hands crackle as they wave them around and therefore I would violate the social distancing rules if I were to be by myself. How do you deal with the whole concept of 'No Contact Delivery'? Does someone just knock at your door or how might the interaction play like, if getting a food delivery from Doordash, for instance?

What about driving to do essential functions / activities of daily living, like going grocery shopping or even out to get tested for this novel virus? Obviously this is a time where I really wish that self-driven vehicles were available and ready for cheap markets right now, because I can't drive, and public transit (at least in my areas) is being reduced pretty much, and, Uber drivers... well... they don't wanna be exposed, either. So they're not driving. On the topic of public transit, how about interacting with drivers? If riders and drivers are supposed to do the whole 'Social Distancing' thing, do you feel as though it is more challenging to get your questions answered? I am one of those that has to stand up and get closer to them, since in my experience, drivers can't always hear people from their seats, or they need to look at who they're talking to.

I am glad I have the support of my family right now at their place, but some Blind people might not have. So I ask these questions in an attempt to get a discussion going especially about our accessibility rights if we need to play the in the same field as the sighted public as far as doing our part and protecting our loved ones.

Take care, and have an awesome day!  Stay safe


“Positive thinking leads to a positive attitude which leads to positive actions which lead to positive outcomes.”
— ME

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