Ironically, I had a post in my drafts folder titled ‘Lets stay home, learning to relax in your own four walls’ which is being re purposed in a timely fashion to talk the unavoidable, the unbelievable… the pandemic of 2020, Coronavirus.
Trying to avoid talking about the ultimate Elephant in the room is futile, so amongst random blog posts about fashion or interior design, let’s keep things current and air our worries. After all, we are all in this together.
A few weeks ago I would have happily taken the odd excuse to duck out of a social event. I’m 18 months sober, knackered, permanently cold, and often happy to balance out a few busy weekends with a couple snuggling up indoors.
It hasn’t always been this way, once a social butterfly who would rather err, be in a global pandemic, than self isolate, learning to chill the hell out and slow down has been a lesson 38 years in the making.
A self confessed ‘people person’, I’ve been known to have the tagline ‘always take the most sociable option’ when it comes to car sharing, room sharing, life in general. But twists in the road have shown me the beauty in the calm and quiet moments, in being alone, and being still, doing the every day and finding the absolute love in doing so.
Gardening over gigging, chilling over clubbing, eating over drinking, and staying in in over going out out.
Last weekend we took a keen stance and cancelled a non essential social gathering (that we had been really looking forward to). We stayed home and only ventured out to stuff we couldn’t avoid. It didn’t feel too major, and if anything i was worried people would think we were being a little crazy.
As the week has gone on and the expectations to employ distancing has increased, we have waved goodbye to our work colleagues and set up a temporary remote working set up, put our broadband to the test and become a couple who work from home together.
That has presented it’s own challenges, mainly who gets the office desk and makes the tea, but overall, we both feel incredibly lucky to have jobs and set ups which enable remote working and a little bit of normality to carry on.
Of course another moving target has been understanding self isolation. A technique we are being asked to follow if we, or any of our household show signs of Coronavirus.
The guidelines are clear; 14 days(or 7 days, or 12 weeks?) if anyone in the household shows a cough and/or temperature, or for vulnerable people, but the interpretation isn’t quite so black and white.
Namely, when do you subject your family to self imposed imprisonment indoors, and when have you just totally overreacted about that morning cough. When is the right time to make that bold call?
It’s a debate many parents have been trying to get right, as their kids splutter all over each other but show no signs of fever or being off colour. We kept our youngest off one day, sent her in the next, anxiously sought feedback that she had been well at school and constantly fretted over what we should be doing.
For the most part people are happy to do self isolation, they just aren’t sure when to do it.
The terms of imprisonment also have caused some confusion, with people in self isolation popping to Morrisons, Dads going to work, or confusing being off sick with another illness as self isolating. Or, my student sister who is self isolating with her uni mates, just for fun.
And I get it, I really do – people are desperate to stay normal as long as possible, in denial that they are at risk, or trying to keep their income afloat.
Part of me wonders if self isolation will ever really work, given we are all over the shop with it. Perhaps the lock down status in countries ahead of us is really the only option forward to ‘flatten the curve’.
As if things weren’t crazy enough, today’s bombshell (well not so much, we all knew it was coming) was that this week, UK schools will close indefinitely.
Whilst the details are being ironed out, the panic is rising as a working Mum (and Dad). How exactly is this going to work? How many hours of TV is too much? And what are Tigs’ minute taking skills like?…
And to add to the worry is talk of this lasting all summer long. It’s unfathomable, but it’s happenning.
It’s hard not to be kicking myself that I’m no longer a SAHM, able to focus on my kids needs, and I’ve even asked whether I should roll back to prioritise the kids needs. But my rationale head tells me this will pass, we don’t know what is around the corner, and we should find a way to muddle through, like every other family who is facing hardship ahead, many of whom are far worse off than us. Some of whom have already lost their jobs, and for those in which working from home is not an option.
Single parents, kids with special needs, disabilities, those with health vulnerabilities, front line staff…those who rely on interacting with each other… it’s a minefield of endless head jars.
There is no doubt that the months ahead will be the stories we tell our grandchildren; the times of adversity which challenge us but fail to break us.
Above all, we need to take care of our employees, our loved ones and each other. If we can do that, the rest will hopefully work itself out.
One day at a time guys.