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Life with MS easier during coronavirus lockdown, says NI singer-songwriter Chloe Scammell

Chloe Scammell performed with her band Calico Fox at events including Belfast Pride and Culture Night.

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Chloe Scammell said the move to online life made socialising easier (Niall Carson/PA)

Chloe Scammell said the move to online life made socialising easier (Niall Carson/PA)

Chloe Scammell said the move to online life made socialising easier (Niall Carson/PA)

A singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland whose music has been inspired by her “debilitating” medical condition said the coronavirus lockdown has made life easier.

Chloe Scammell, 32, performed with her band Calico Fox at events including Belfast Pride and Culture Night.

She has the neurological condition multiple sclerosis (MS) and said the move to online life made socialising easier.

Ms Scammell said: “A lot of people with MS are more aware of their limitations but at the same time it is nice in a sense that there are more facilities available to people with disabilities, to people in their homes, because everything is going online and events are not happening in person.

“It makes things more accessible.

“I had a friend’s birthday shower online, which was interesting having to do things so differently but at the same time it has been nice in a way.”

Among the symptoms of MS, a chronic and progressive condition, are fatigue, which she described as debilitating.

Ms Scammell added: “Going out and meeting people and doing a lot can make that a lot worse so the new way of life has made things a bit easier.”

Too much stress can trigger flare-ups of the condition and cause damage.

She said: “If you are fairly introverted, it can be stressful trying to keep up with people and being expected to be places.

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Chloe Scammell said she is still writing new material (Niall Carson/PA)

Chloe Scammell said she is still writing new material (Niall Carson/PA)

PA

Chloe Scammell said she is still writing new material (Niall Carson/PA)

“When you have no other choice but to stay at home, you appreciate that chance to stay home and being able to relax and do things on your own schedule.”

Ms Scammell said she missed visiting her father in Enniskillen.

She has a dog walking company but packed up in the middle of March just before the lockdown restrictions came into place due to worries about contracting coronavirus.

Ms Scammell tries to avoid the common cold and flu because of the potential dangers it can pose to someone with her condition.

She said the band had gigs lined up and an album launch party had been planned for March.

Ms Scammell is still writing new material but Culture Night and summer festivals have been cancelled.

She said: “Hopefully things will come back bigger and better in the future.”

More information about the MS Trust can be found at www.mstrust.org.uk.

PA