COVID-19, Shielding & Tesco Priority Delivery Slots

posted in: Cancer 0

‘What a year this week has been’, declared a meme on Facebook. They’re not wrong. COVID-19 is scary – even scarier than cancer in some respects. In a year this may seem like a distant nightmare – I hope so – but for now everyone is scared.

Husband has been characteristically untalkative about the cancer, getting on with planting vegetables. But he did say “I don’t do worry but I’m worried about this”.

We know that he’s vulnerable but we don’t know how vulnerable. We just don’t know what to do.

As ever, I turned to the internet, to reputable sites such as Macmillan and Lymphoma Action. They say that anyone with a blood cancer whether in treatment or not, is classed as very vulnerable so we decided to isolate until we can find out more from the hospital.

I know we’re supposed to be getting food delivered rather than going to a supermarket but I’m finding it incredibly difficult to get an online food delivery. I’m glued to the computer and it’s really draining. It may seem daft but I find it really upsetting every time I fail to get a delivery slot. In England people who are very vulnerable can get priority supermarket delivery slots. That sounds great but apparently the system isn’t operating elsewhere in the UK and we have no idea if that will change. We’ve both been sitting up until midnight, logging on 10 minutes before, getting into the queue and then finding that all the slots are gone.

April update: having waited weeks for the government to add Husband to the supermarkets’ list of vulnerable people, I searched online to see if there had been any changes. Yes! It should be available for us! I rang the Tesco number – 0800 917 7359 – explaining that Husband has to shield. All they needed was his email address and post code and they were able to confirm that yes he was on their list of shielding customers. We were advised that it would take at least 24 hours for the system to update but that we would be given access to additional delivery slots. We didn’t quite believe it but it proved to be true. It’s not magic but we can now get online deliveries. We can’t work out what the rationale is for which dates show as available – sometimes they seem to open up slots in the next 7 days when none show as available in 14 days – so you do need to check all the potential dates but we’re just grateful that it works.

There’s more information on getting online food deliveries here:

Tesco Priority Slots for Online Food Delivery

Money Saving Expert blog post on How to Access Groceries If You’re Vulnerable

We’ve received a letter saying that Husband’s next monitoring appointment is cancelled but not explaining what will happen next. Perhaps they don’t know. The world seems upside down at the moment. He’s relieved because he didn’t want to take the risk of going into the hospital for his appointment but there is the small matter of the cancer and needing to know if it’s active or not. We don’t even know if he should be having his blood test done or where.

But we do know what we should be doing: staying at home, isolating from the world.

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