Blind individuals having unique experience during covid-19

Local News

JOPLIN, Mo. — While the covid-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone. One Joplin resident shares her unique experience with it.

Although she can’t see, College View Manor Resident Shirley Ritter knows the impact that covid-19 has made.

Shirley Ritter, said, “I’ve never known anything that changed the face of America the way that Covid-19 virus has. Because, you know we’re afraid of one another. We used to run up to one another, ‘hi, I haven’t seen you,’ and give one another a hug, and that’s off the charts now and it’s a shame.”

Joplin Association for the Blind and Low Vision’s Executive Director Stephanie Mann says many of the blind community is more than just afraid, they’re sad.

Stephanie Mann, said, “A lot of them have been going through some deep depression. Some of them listen to the news way too much, you know they call you because they’re so worried about our government, you know, and you just have to talk them down.”

While Ritter agrees these are sad times, she says the hardest part is interacting with people.

“It’s more difficult when you see somebody’s gonna come over and they’re gonna hug you. You really rather they didn’t because you don’t know them, and you don’t know where they’ve been, or what they’ve done or whether they’ve been careful or not,” said Ritter,

“I know it’s a struggle. If it’s a struggle for me, and I’m not blind in the world, I know it’s a horrible for them,” said Mann.

While it may be hard, Ritter looks on the bright side of the situation.

“I had an old lady tell me this one time, it’s a good piece of advice, she said ‘I don’t know why you worry so much, she said you always make it through until that one last time you don’t and then it doesn’t matter anymore.'”

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