This week Sandie Dunleavy made her first visit into the city centre of York after 18 months of self-isolating to avoid Covid-19.
And she has revealed how challenging the trip was after nearly two years sheltering at home .
Sandie is a broacaster who is well known in North Yorkshire for her easy listening shows on various radio stations over the past 30 years.
Now lives in the village of Rufforth just outside York and she spoke to David Dunning on the YorkMix Radio Late Show.
Sandie was quick to follow the Government advice in 2020 because she suffers from asthma. So a week before the first lockdown she and her husband decided to stay at home.
“It just bothered me immediately really. Because I’ve got asthma you just have to be careful and they kept talking about the effect on lungs on the news. I thought, Oh, my goodness me. I suddenly got very scared at that point.
She felt she had no choice really and had to adapt to protect herself.
“We did the shopping through the click and collect system and had deliveries of other things we needed. Then we just went on FaceTime to talk to family, both here and abroad, and did a lot of jobs around the house.
For Sandie and husband Bob it just made sense and they managed fine. They missed a few things especially going out to eat but she says “We thought if we want Fish and Chips we will just have to make them ourselves.”
Sandie says she will continue to protect herself until it is totally safe because having got this far it would be silly to blow it all now.
Back in town again
After 18 months of living life like that what prompted them to go into York city centre for the first time this week?
“I had to go to the bank and there was no getting away from that. It took me three days to think about it then I said tomorrow we have to go and I looked on the internet and discovered it opened at 9am, which was earlier than i expected too. So that was the time we thought it was best to go.
“We left the house just after 8am. We were parked up by Clifford’s Tower for about half past eight. Obviously there were some people about but we were fully masked and went straight to the bank to see to our business.
“Then we just bought one or two things at the market. I was very careful and I stood 20 yards away from the vendor shouting at Bob to buy some apples and get some potatoes. It all felt very strange to be back in the city and to be back but still having to be so careful.
“We were in and out of York in an hour!
“Of course you suddenly realise that here we are in Parliament street so we could have a walk down to Betty’s or maybe, as Bob suggested, have a looks at the Shambles. He loves that street so much but I didn’t feel like staying this time. I said no, oh no!
“I’m just cautious.” She laughs as she recalls having her first family visit indoors in February and all five of them sitting in her lounge wearing masks.
“If anybody gets very close to me and and they are not masked, I’m not pleased and feel the need to very quickly get out of the way.
“I hate wearing a mask, I really do. I just wish for the day when it’s all fine again.
“But for now, just for a little bit longer, there’s a feeling, I suppose, that we’ve got away with it for 18 months. How stupid would it be if we leap into something now and get caught out?