I have decided to write a weekly diary of our time through the Coronavirus pandemic. To keep for the future. It’s such an unprecedented time and full of so many mixed feelings and events we have never encountered before it is hard to process it all.
Homebase stores have opened with social distancing. We need to repair a fence so I went out to get some bits. I have to confess it was nice to get out on my own. Like the supermarkets you had to queue to get in, trolleys were being disinfected before passed on to someone else and there was a maximum of 30 people in store. It also made me see how social distancing may begin to work for other stores when things start to reopen again.
Had a call from the children’s school today. The referral forms for my son’s autism referral for school had been sent to our house so they wanted me to take them in. My husband was on video calls all afternoon so they have to walk up with me. It’s the first time they have left the house in 8 weeks (except for Aria’s hospital visit early on), they were delighted to be outdoors.
It’s was interesting to watch them though. Despite me reading the riot act to them before we left. Don’t touch anything etc, it wasn’t long before Logan was running his hands along the railings. When we did get to school Aria asked if she had been good as I stood and watched her stroke the draught excluder brushes on a door. This is why the children returning to school makes me nervous, it is just so hard for them to comprehend.
The 75th VE Day. Some people are having socially distanced street parties. It was lovely to see people happy and getting into the spirit. It’s very hard being forced to stay home all the time. We’re spending the weekend (well, my husband mainly) sorting out the garden. To get the children out the way I took them for a walk in the sunshine. It’s the second time they have been out in 8 weeks, we went for a walk in the woods and they were so happy. The freedom, being able to play in nature and escape the confines of our house and garden.
It turns out alcohol and street parties and lockdown do not work. Videos have been released of people doing the congo down the street, people playing together, hugging one another. It’s frustrating as we stick to strict rules and others don’t. But in a way I do get it, people aren’t meant to live in such an isolated way. But I do worry we’re going to see a rise in infection rate in 2 weeks time now. Time will tell I guess.
Tonight the whole nation is awaiting the annoucement from Boris Johnson on what is next for lockdown. We know that Scotland and Wales have extended, with a few relaxations for Wales – you can leave the house multiple times for exercise and garden centres can open.
We can see on Twitter that the government have changed their slogan from ‘Stay home. Save Lives.’ to ‘Stay Alert. Control the Virus’ Save Lives.’ But none of us really know what that means.
The endless speculation from the media, which mostly seems made up it’s so vast in the different ranges is not helpful to mental health. Some people seem convinced that life as normal will revert to tomorrow and schools will be back in 3 weeks. For me, I think this would be terrifying and rushing back too soon will create a second wave. But I do know some small businesses are struggling massively.
To be honest though, whatever they announce no one is going to truly be happy as different people want different things.
Boris Johnson’s speech last night was pretty awful. A total mess and so unclear. It sent my anxiety through the roof. The suggestion that Year 6, 1 and reception will return to school on the 1st June has sent me in a tailspin. Aria is in Year 1. I completely understand why they would choose Y6, they’re the oldest and it will help them get ready to transition to senior school. But reception and Y1? The years where it will be impossible to social distance? The years where education isn’t so important as a lot of countries across the world don’t even send their children to school then? I just don’t get it. As things stand, unless they drastically change and the government can’t even clearly tell us our R number I won’t be sending her in. Looking on social media, many people seem to agree with me.
The rest of the messaging seems unclear too. Who can go back to work from Wednesday? How can they if schools are still closed? What safety precautions need to be put in place? What about family, nothing seems to have been mentioned about family? Children can’t go to the park, but they can mix with 30 children in school? Even the messaging this morning is confusing with Dominic Raab saying you can meet with your parents 2m away in a park and then changing his mind.
It’s so confusing and unsettling. Hopefully we will have some decent clarity later today. For the rest of the day though I am going to back away from the news and social media a bit as it’s not doing me any good. With luck the situation will come clearer over the next week. For now we will continue as we are.