A CLYDEBANK schoolboy has described how he’s looking forward to the normality of days out with friends and a normal school day, after shielding for nearly five months.

Brandon McLaughlin suffers from juvenile idiopathic arthritis and takes the medication methotrexate, which severely impacts his immune system, resulting in an increased risk of infection and long-term effects of coronavirus.

His condition has meant Brandon has been cooped up at home throughout the lockdown, though he jokingly told the Post he has no complaints as his days have been filled with YouTube and gaming.

The S4 pupil has been able to meet up with one friend since mid July, but this has proven difficult with friends who are not shielding and some not understanding the precautions he would need to take if he goes out.

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The 15-year-old also felt concerned about the impact missing school might have, as it was not confirmed until July 30 that young people who were shielding could return to school with their peers.

Brandon said: “Shielding hasn’t been too bad, but I have lost contact with a few friends because they didn’t really understand why I couldn’t hang around in crowds and thought I was being difficult.

“I am looking forward to going back to school and seeing my mates. I wasn’t sure if I would be allowed, but I’d have sat in a classroom on my own with a mask on if it meant I could have some normality back.

“In fairness, it’s not been too bad throughout lockdown. I’ve spent more time with my mum and dad and played my games and watched lots of YouTube, as well as helping out with the housework.”

Speaking to the Post on Friday, Brandon said he had not yet planned any outings with friends as he had been unsure of what the announcement would say.