Living with Autism - a column by The Autistic Journalist Tyler Ody. North Swindon resident Tyler Ody has been working for Swindon Link for the past three years. From the age of four Tyler has been diagnosed with Classic Autism. Here's his new monthly column.
So this time I am writing about the covid-19 pandemic and how it affected me, and the negatives and positives about it.
On 23 March 2020, the UK went onto the first national lockdown and it was the worst day. Everything I was used to, stopped.
It was a struggle for me as I was still a college student so had to learn to use Microsoft teams and Google Classrooms.
Some people may have found it easy to adapt to the home schooling system, but for me it was hard. However, I learnt to use the online opportunities I was faced with and I felt like I achieved a new skill.
I felt really anxious about the whole pandemic, and going into the lockdown personally did not help me. It added more anxiety.
To have my routine suddenly taken away from me - such as going to work placement and other fun activities I used to do with college - I felt a bit cheesed off as I had to adapt and found it hard to process it all.
I had a really good support network from my family, like my mum dad and my little sister Teagan. I also had support from Lorna who was my college form tutor, and from my college friends.
During lockdown, Lorna and I did email each other online challenges such as listing our top ten albums or whatever took our fancy.
I was given the challenge to write a newsletter for the whole college, which I did, and it was met with an amazing reaction. I decided to carry on writing it until I left.
In the Summer of 2020, before the break as we were coming out of the first lockdown, I started going back to college. I went in for two days and had a fun-day Friday which was really great!
In November 2020, the UK went into another mini lockdown, but I felt happier as I was in college but we had the stupid tier system which was hopeless in my opinion.
That Christmas, it was a strange one, as we had to cancel plans to meet up with family on Christmas day. We were also moved into the higher tier ratings, as covid cases were very high at the time. This was sad and I missed seeing the other members of my family that I would normally.
In January of 2021, the UK went into lockdown three. This time I was in college which really helped me and keep my anxiety at bay and I was back to work placement again but doing it remotely with Swindon Link Magazine and Swindon 105.5.
I am very thankful to Jamie from Swindon Link and Shirley from Swindon 105.5 who gave me the opportunities to work, write and create.
In April when we started going back to the office, Jamie gave me some good news as he offered me a job with Swindon Link as he thought I had done well when helping to put content on The Ocelot online - https://www.theocelot.co.uk/.
All in all, the whole pandemic for me has been a very anxious time for me but with mix of positivity in there too.
I really hated the lockdowns as they took away my routine, but as of now it life is getting back to normality.
I am so proud of our key workers such as carers and nurses who have worked very hard during this difficult time.
I still feel anxious about whole thing as it was big change to the system, and taking away the fun things away from life, but I am glad to get back to some kind of normality.