An Aberdeen guide dog owner is urging people to have “patience” with the visually impaired while social distancing.
Janette Hayworth, 65, has been shielding due to due to COPD, a chronic inflammatory lung disease which increases her vulnerability to Covid-19.
The restrictions on people with conditions like that have been lifted and they are able to go outside and exercise.
Janette from Bucksburn has been venturing out with guide dog Iona, a seven-year-old black lab retriever.
She said adhering to physical distancing measures can be difficult when people are struggling with their sight.
Janette said while she has not run into any issues she has heard others have been having a hard time during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said: “I’ve been lucky I haven’t come across many people and the people I have met seem to understand that I can see them to social distance.
“I have heard some blind people are having problems and difficulty in different areas of the country because they can’t see to social distance.
“Of course they are encroaching in people’s space and people do have rather aggressive tendencies towards them.
“They have been shouting and swearing at them.
“I really want to ask people to be aware that if this does happen we don’t mean to do it. If they can let a blind or visually person know they are there.
“As far as I know blind people in Aberdeen have been getting lots of help from others. But I want people to know about this because not everybody has patience at times like these.”
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Janette, who is partially sighted in her left eye and blind in her right eye, relied on a friend to walk Iona while she was shielding.
She believes a visit to the shops could be difficult with the potential for queueing out potentially one of the issues.
Janette said: “When it comes to shops and things our guide dogs aren’t trained to social distance. They’re just trained to get us from A to B so they know when we go to a shop we say to them ‘find the door.’
“They don’t understand to join a queue so if people say to us excuse me there are people waiting to get us in and maybe guide us to the back.
“We wouldn’t mind standing at the back of the queue and people could help us move forward.”