Corona Virus Impact on the Blind

The spread of Covid-19 has the world’s attention. Its impact on the blind community has a variety of implications. I must say that it’s quite difficult for a blind person to follow some of the current recommendations from the CDC. 


This is a challenging recommendation because I see the world with my hands. My everyday life requires me to touch a lot more things than a sighted person. This becomes worse when I’m in an environment that I’m not too familiar with. Imagine me in a public restroom. You wouldn’t believe what my hands have to touch when I’m finding my way around. I always feel sorry for my poor cane as it must travel the floor and poke into areas that can be crazy nasty. During the flu season and with the current spread of the Corona Virus, I carry hand wipes with me. Finding a sink to wash my hands is not always easy so hand wipes are the best substitute I found. I sometimes use hand sanitizers, but I have a feeling those products don’t work as well as advertised.


This recommendation by the CDC maybe even more challenging than telling a blind person to be careful what they touch. I really have no idea how to implement the six-foot recommendation. Other than with traveling with a sighted guide, the only thing I can think of is maybe taking bigger sweeps with my cane. I do know a blind guy in my town of Branford who attached a horn to the handle of his cane. Perhaps that would be helpful to honk a horn as I walk. The other factor is that I always appreciate assistance from people wishing to help me find my way. I guess I’ll have to make my own path now or perhaps people won’t offer their help as much until the virus is more under control.

Any virus outbreak is scary. When it comes to a virus, the blind and the sighted share something in common. Neither of us can see it so in a way, we’re all blind to it. These are difficult times especially for those of us who must use our hands to do our seeing. My wife always makes fun of me for how soft my hands are. I keep them this way because I can feel better with them. However, with the Corona Virus lurking about, my hands are dry and cracked from all the hand washing and hand wipes. Now my hands are just like my wife Lauren’s. Her hands are rough with callouses and torn apart from all of her intense crossfitting. She wouldn’t make a very good blind person with those hands. I don’t even think she can feel a pin being stuck into them. She’s lucky that living the blind life is my job, but when it comes to stopping the spread of Covid-19, we’re all in this together.

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