As Britain continues with its third lockdown, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spoken to a few people with long-term health conditions, to see how they have been coping during the pandemic. The royal couple also expressed their support for the vaccine programme and warned of misinformation about the jab.
“Catherine and I are not medical experts by any means but if it’s any consolation, we can wholeheartedly support having vaccinations. It’s really, really important,” Prince William said.
He and the Duchess were speaking to Shivali Modha, who has type-2 diabetes, which makes her vulnerable to coronavirus. She had been supported and reassured by Diabetes UK and family members who have had the jab. Shivali has been shielding with her husband and daughters since last March.
She said it was ‘the unknown’ that made her worried about getting her vaccine. “I guess it’s just the unknown and I think that’s the case for most people,” Shivali said.
“I hope it [receiving the vaccine] comes as a huge relief in the end,” Catherine commented. “I know there’s maybe the anxiety and worry leading up to it, but I hope for all of you it will add a bit of normality back to your lives and confidence as well as we go forward into the spring, that would be great.”
“I’d love for everyone to have it,” Ms Modha said, ” so that everything can be a little more normal.”
But she also stressed caution about waiting the right amount of time for the vaccine to get working in the body, before meeting up with people and relaxing distancing measures.
“We’ve spoken to a lot of people about it and the uptake has been amazing so far,” the Prince said. “We’ve got to keep it going so the younger generations also feel that it’s really important for them to have it.
“So it’s great that Shivali you’re taking the time to work it out and come to the conclusion that ‘I need to do this’ because social media is awash sometimes with lots of rumours and misinformation, so we have to be a bit careful who we believe and where we get our information from.
“Especially for those who are clinically vulnerable as well, it’s so important that those vaccinations are done, so good luck.”
In conversation with Fiona, who has asthma, William asked how she felt about being called for her vaccine. “I can’t wait!” Fiona replied. “I’m priority group six, so any day now I’m really hoping to get called up.
“I think I’m trying to not see it as a magic cure.
“I’m not going to go out licking lampposts or anything straight away! I’ll still wear my mask, I’ll still keep my hand gel, still social distance,” she added, laughing. “But it’s nice to know that mentally you have that layer of protection and that if you do end up being unfortunate enough to catch it, it won’t be as severe as it might have been without having been vaccinated.”
The Queen came out in support of the vaccine programme this week, having received her first dose alongside The Duke of Edinburgh in January. She remarked it ‘didn’t hurt at all’ and that people should think of others and get the jab.
She also joked that her GP ‘hates me now’ after being in contact quite a lot regarding her situation in relation to the pandemic, to which the couple laughed.
The Duke of Cambridge contracted the virus last April, but the information was only revealed towards the end of last year, reportedly as the Royal did not wish to worry anyone, especially as Prince Charles’ office announced he had been ill with Covid-19, albeit mildly.
Kiera, Fiona’s daughter, also appeared on the call, discussing homeschooling. She commented her mum was a good teacher, but that she missed her friends.
Shivali, who has type 2 diabetes, and Fiona, who lives with asthma, shared their experiences of the pandemic and discussed the positive impact the vaccine will have upon their own lives moving forward. pic.twitter.com/glB44ZSoxu
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) February 27, 2021
The Duchess responded: “Yes, it’s hard when you can’t see them and muck around’.”
Kate has previously mentioned how difficult she found lockdown with three young children at home, and that she was bad at maths when it came to lessons.
The couple are still located at Anmer Hall, where their children are remotely learning, until English schools reopen in a week.