The hotfix also appears to have broken shields:
Blocking is now rarely effective. I’m taking damage from all shaleback and crocodile attacks even with shield continuously up.
Unwielding a shield takes two actions. The first unwield removes it from the hotbar – it disappears, and if you loot something, the looted item goes into the shield’s previous slot – and the shield continues to be visually wielded (and blocking animation still doable). The second unwield returns it to the hotbar – if its slot is already taken, it picks another slot, or goes into the bag – and is actually removed from the character’s arm.