In December 2020 China reported a pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan. By 30th January, the outbreak was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation, and on 23rd March, Boris Johnson announced “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay home”…
Since then Boris has since caught and been hospitalised with the virus, his fiancé Carrie Symonds has had their child, we’ve clapped/banged pans each Thursday for the NHS, and celebrated VE day 75th Anniversary whilst social distancing. In the meantime we’ve been together as a family 24/7 for nine weeks (with the exception of a few shopping trips and exercise), working and schooling at home.
In week seven, full lockdown was relaxed, and we can travel for exercise and meet one person not from our household. Some years at school are set to return from 1st June (after May half term) but this does not affect us just yet.
So how has lockdown been for us? We are lucky, as although Dad is a key worker, neither of us are on the front line. For us, there have probably been more positives than negatives – relax time in the morning rather than rushing to get ready for school (whilst Dad and I take it in turns to get fresh air or read), eating meals together at the table, and going for a daily walk.
Each day, we attempt PE with Joe (me having a go whilst the brothers enjoy the kicking and punching, and odd running up the walls exercises). I work mornings whilst Dad supervises school (mainly workbooks, word searches and colouring). After lunch we switch. Dad works whilst we do 30 mins of Sumdog and Times Table Rockstars, then the fun stuff – tv, computer games, tablet time. I like the Maddie Moat series on YouTube aimed at primary age. Our walk is my favourite part of the day, especially since it’s been so sunny.
By teatime, Dad and I are exhausted. We’ve started a new ritual of sharing at least one thing we’re grateful for as we eat. After, the boys still have plenty of energy and take it in turns bouncing on our indoor trampoline, bathing, and reading (nudging each other if we spot our eyelids start to droop).
After prayers (the same one my Mum said to me every night whilst growing up), songs, Beaver/Cub promises, kisses and cuddles, and a cuppa, I let out a big sigh, relax into the sofa, celebrate making it through the day, and put on a film.
I’m pleased groups including book group and Slimming World have continued on zoom, and I’ve got to try new online activities e.g a creative writing course – writing for wellbeing, yoga, Zumba, cooking with kids, sign language, a big camp in with Durham Scouts, a get together with friends, and a family quiz (thanks Aunty Rach).
It’s strange as socially, I’ve never felt more connected. School have a headteacher and class blogs, and made the pupils a video about missing them. Parents in each year group quickly responded by making class videos back. One of the teachers shared craft videos, and children have sent colourful photos in for a new project. A new What’s App group for Boy 2 has regular updates, video came codes, and even singing each other happy birthday.
When out walking, the majority of people say hello. We spot rainbows in windows, leftover Easter quiz letters and flag bunting. There are chalk and laminated messages hanging from trees about staying safe. People from all walks of life are pulling together to help each other.
I’ve also enjoyed the creativity and generosity of companies and famous people who’ve been sharing content e.g. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Shows Must Go On on YouTube (Last night was The Sound Of Music :-)), and Sophie Ellis Bextor’s kitchen discos are a guilty pleasure.
I’ve highlighted the positives here. Coronavirus is a worldwide pandemic, and that does not come without consequences for each of us – no one is immune, from mild anxiety through to severe trauma. I deal with this by prioritising our family, each day at a time. I’ve turned phone notifications off (although media headlines keep finding their way back), and temporarily un-followed people/groups posting about politics and Covid19.
There’s so much communication it’s overwhelming at times, but ultimately it’s our choice to have a phone (I remember life without them), and when and how we use them.
Whatever your situation, I wish you, your family and friends well. Please stay strong, and believe in yourself and your decisions. However changed life will be, the end to lockdown will come (and we’ve a long list of things lined up to look forward to when it does).
I’d love to hear your feedback about Life in Lockdown, your top tips, and what you’ve been enjoying most.
#LifeInLockdown #Coronavirus #Covid19