The Coronavirus Diaries – 15th September 2020

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.

8th September

I woke up today and starting getting ready and I could hear Logan coughing. He had coughed so much he had made himself hoarse. My husband and I had a debate and looked over the advice on the government website. We were pretty sure that he had a cold, but according with the rules we now had to self isolate as a family.

So it meant back to home school and trying to get a test. The test situation this last couple of weeks has been absolutely bonkers. I cannot fathom how the government are not prepared for this. Children going back to school after not mixing with others for 6 weeks was bound to mean an influx of new germs, colds and bugs. It was inevitable. And yet, they had not increased their testing demand to prepare for this. Which has meant all areas across the UK running out of tests, test centres closing for walk and drop-ins and it’s all been a total mess.

I tried for ages to get Logan a test and finally managed to get him a test for the afternoon in Slough. At the moment, due to the test shortage only the person with symptoms should get tested. So we drove to the test centre and despite me stating I had no symptoms, I was advised to take a test also. Which seemed odd, but the person was very insistent.

We also went back to home schooling. I have to say that going into isolation a second time is harder. You know what it’s going to be like. And I think the children after the taste of freedom at school, found it harder to go back to home learning. There was a lot of bickering and fighting and frustration. My son’s year had set work already on the online system and my daughter’s year didn’t, so for the first day I had to totally ad-lib it. Although her teacher did send some things through after I messaged her, but of course it was at the end of the day as she is trying to teach a class too.

9th August

Another day of homeschooling and waiting for Logan and I’s covid tests to come through. More tension in the house. The children are really struggling and Bo has got chicken pox too (I think) and is certainly not himself. But we’re all just trying our best. During lockdown we were allowed to go out for a walk for an hour a day, in isolation we’re not allowed to do this. My husband who runs everyday is finding this particularly tricky.

This afternoon, our test results came through. My test was negative, but unfortunately Logan’s was unclear and we were advised that he would need to test again. After a bit of googling around this it seems that this often happens with children as you are advised to swab both nostrils, rather than throat and nostrils.

Now started the game of trying to get another test. You have to get a test within the first five days of symptoms appearing of the test will not working. So I knew there was a timeline for us getting a test too or we were stuck in 14 days of isolation as a family.

I had heard that new tests are released on the government’s website at 8pm. So at 8pm I sat on my laptop and kept refreshing. After 20 minutes I managed to get a test in Guildford for the next morning.

10th August

More home school. After all the squabbles yesterday I made the decision to set up desks for the children in their bedrooms. I have resisted doing this previously as I didn’t want them to feel shut off on their own. But we agreed I would set work with them, they would go up and do certain section, then they would bring down where they were so far and we could go over it together. That we would have break/play times and lunch times. But downstairs for any craft. I actually wish that I did this earlier as it worked really well. They were more focused and there were so much more focused.

Logan also did his second test in the morning. We decided to try and do the throat swab with him in the hope it might help to not get an unclear test next time. We actually did a practise run at home to see if he could cope with a swab at the back of his throat. He did fine at home and we managed to successfully do a throat swab at the test centre too which was great.

Something they don’t talk about on the news is that if you have to drive to a test centre, and Guildford is a half an hour drive for us with no traffic. You cannot stop to go to the toilet because you’re in isolation. With children if you have to drive further afield this can be quite tricky. As it was, Guildford is a 1.5 hour round trip.

11th August

I had a text message to say that Logan’s test was negative, so we were all systems go straight away. The last test results had taken longer, so I had pretty much assumed they wouldn’t be going back. So it was a bit of a rush and we went for hot school meals as I hadn’t made packed lunches, but we were fine. Logan struggled a little as it was an unexpected change. But as soon as I got him into school he was fine.

12th September

I thought the children we back at yoga today, they weren’t. So we had to drive all the way home again! Nice to be out this weekend though. The children have passed their cold onto me, but we’ve got a heat wave coming and the sunshine is lovely.

I had a couple of friends over for drinks in the evening. We sat huddled around our patio heater, which was actually delightfully warm and caught up late into the evening. I think we’re all worried about where this pandemic is going to go and what Christmas is going to look like.

13th September

Feeling rotten today, stuffy and heady from this cold. It’s been so long since we have had regular colds and bugs, which has been one of the blessings of lockdown.

My husband took the children for a bike ride to the park and we had one of his colleagues and wife and children pop by in the after for a drink and a chat. This is the last time we will be able to meet with another family like this as from tomorrow new restrictions come in place.

14th September

A new week, hopefully my children will make it through a full week at school and that Bo can attend his settling in session at pre-school that needed to be rearranged last week too. Lots of friends having problems with having to go into self isolation today with colds and coughs. All getting very frustrated at the no tests available and children missing school and parents missing work.

Today the rules have changed to the rule of 6. You can meet up with no more than 6 people in total in and outdoors. As a family of 6 this really sucks. For example we can only see one grandparent at a time or either my husband or I have to stay home if we want to take the children to see both grandparents. For most families this now means no socialising with other families now.

Quite a few local Santas grottos have announced they are not opening and with restrictions as they currently are I worry Christmas might be a bit miserable. But I actually have managed to book us tickets and I hope it can remain open. Which the children will be excited about I guess Christmas will just have to be different and we will make the most of it in different ways. I am planning on lots of Christmas lights and crafts and maybe if it’s safer we will have to meet outside and have a Christmas barbecue.

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