The Coronavirus Diaries – 16th December 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.

The Coronavirus Diaries - 15th December 2020

It’s been over a month since I have written a Coronavirus Diary. The last time I wrote was just before the 2nd lockdown. It’s been a weird old time with Christmas coming and coping with all of it in the middle of a pandemic.

Lockdown didn’t really feel much like lockdown if I’m honest, mainly because a lot of the day to day things – like taking the children to school and pre-school carried on as normal. It was odd not to walk to school with friends. One of the biggest things we noticed was all after school clubs being closed and weekends just felt empty and quiet with walks or bike rides being the only thing you could really do as a family. I missed socialising and seeing family, but it was a different experience to the first lockdown without a doubt.

My husband and I did hit the shops for Christmas shopping the week that they opened, but most of our Christmas shopping has been done online.

One of the most challenging things has been deciding what to do over Christmas. The government has introduced a 3 household bubble from 23-27 December. But you must not mix outside of those 3 households and it’s pretty impossible to decide who you are going to spend your Christmas with. Should you spend your Christmas with them or will there be a risk? After deliberation and heartache – knowing that both my husband and I will not see our siblings and their families, we will be seeing my parents and my parents-in-law and that’s it.

I am missing the Christmas drinks, the meals out with friends and all the wonderful things you do with friends and family at Christmas. The schools concerts, plays and nativities. Some of these are taking place online but they are just not the same. But we all just have to try our best. I did a murder mystery via Zoom with friends last week and it was actually hysterical.

The schools have done really well to date managing spread and we haven’t really had many cases, but suddenly this week it has changed quite rapidly. Last Monday evening (7th December) the whole of Year 4 (my son’s year) was put into isolation. Followed the next day by part of Year 6. It seemed to be moving rapidly through the local schools, with over 12 local schools reporting outbreaks and one closing.

My son was put into isolation until the 19th December and my husband and I suddenly realised how close to Christmas that was and that the prospect of a Christmas in isolation was actually very real.

I don’t really know how to explain this year, but I think it’s been about getting by as best you can. Accepting the things you’re missing and you need to go without for the greater good and your family’s safety. The summer felt like a bit of a lovely escape and fleetingly like things just might be back into normal and the second wave arrived, destroying all hopes. It’s been very challenging to all of our mental health, trying to keep picking ourselves up, finding new ways to connect, doing our best.

I know the Christmas will be very different, very quiet. But to spend Christmas in isolation seems almost unbearable. My youngest child is 2.5 years and has missed so much time with his grandparents that he doesn’t always recognise them. It makes me sad.

With lots of new cases spreading around the schools, a lot of parents were suggesting that the schools should be closing. We felt the same. The government have refused to close schools, after having them closed for so long this year. But with more mixing planned for Christmas and cases on the rise despite lockdown, something has to be done to slow things down doesn’t it?

My husband and I seriously debated pulling our daughter out of school and son out of nursery to give them two weeks before Christmas for isolation. After deliberation as it would only be for 4 school days we decided to do so. It wasn’t an easy decision and we went back and forth on it for ages. But it felt like the right one. After we had made the decision, our school’s head teacher sent out a lovely email acknowledging how parents must be feeling. That while absence would go down as unauthorised, and he had to keep the school open, but he would take no action for these absences.

We pulled Bo and Aria out of school on Thursday (Logan was in isolation anyway). Ironically the very next day the school has to close early for Christmas anyway due to a rise in cases, so it looks like our decision was the right one. Aria cried though when we took her out, she is such a social butterfly and she just didn’t want to miss seeing her friends and all the Christmas crafts and activities. I have promised that we will do lots of things at home instead. As best as we can.

Over the weekend a friend and her family who attend Logan’s school and one of Logan’s school friends tested positive. It feels like it’s getting closer and I really hope they’re ok.

Yesterday (Tuesday), Logan woke up coughing. My husband I felt achy all over and kind of headachy too. Not coughing but just a bit rubbish. Due to the coughing and Logan’s isolation Logan and I went for Covid tests yesterday, at present we are still waiting on the results.

It occurs to me, with isolation we will just make it in time for Christmas, but if any other family members display symptoms, there’s a good chance we won’t make it. We have a grotto experience booked for this weekend, so that all hinges on the result of this test. We shall have to see if we’re ok or if we have a covid Christmas ahead of us.

Today on the news, because of the rise in infection it’s apparently being debated if the Christmas rules are going to be changed. I understand why and with the vaccine approved at least there is an end to this ahead at some point. But, it’s hard when you’re living it. I have to remember Christmas isn’t cancelled, it’s just different this year. While at the same time hoping for a negative test result.

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