The norm

Day 22 - The Norm

Figures

UK Deaths: 5,373

UK Cases: 51,608

Worldwide Deaths: 73,759

Worldwide Cases: 1,328,437

The Norm?

So it’s over 3 weeks since we as a family started isolating and 2 weeks since lockdown became the norm.  We are slowly getting used to the restrictions.  Meanwhile, around the world, the situation develops.  Some countries are seeing everything slow down after their ‘peak’.  Whilst others are just seeing the beginning of the pandemic hit.

Here it’s been another pivotable weekend.  Professor Chris Whitty (England’s CMO) hasn’t been heard from since he went into self-isolation last week.  It is past his 7 days, but still, we have heard nothing*.  Scotland’s CMO broke her own restrictions by travelling to her holiday home, twice!  She resigned this morning.  The Queen addressed the nation – only her fifth time since becoming Queen.  Last but by no means least, the Prime Minister was taken to hospital last night as a precautionary measure, his symptoms from the virus not improved in 10 days.

Easter Holidays

Typically as we have seen these last few years, the weather is abnormally pleasant.  However, unlike previous years we cannot flock to the coast, we cannot rush to the park, and we cannot crowd beauty spots.  It is indeed a lot to ask, and police forces across the country are worried it will be too much for some.  This weekend saw some London parks closed after people seemed not to understand social distancing and ‘necessary’ time out of the house.

I cannot imagine what it must be like to be in lockdown and not have some green space, to be stuck in a flat or apartment without even a balcony.  The prospect of several months must seem at times impossible, especially with young children.

I really do worry that the behaviour of the selfish or misguided minority, will lead to the sensible majority being ‘punished’ for even longer.

The New Normal

I must admit as concerning as each developing day is, most of this weekend has been a little easier.  The school holidays may be playing a large part to this…

Life as we know it will never be the same again.  But how soon we can get back to seeing our friends and families again, how soon before we begin to flatten the curve, is entirely up to us!

Stay Home, Stay Safe,

Fay x

*Chris Whitty appeared for the first time at the government briefing this evening.


silent killer

Day 16 - Silent Killer

Figures

UK Deaths: 1,789

UK Cases: 25,150

Worldwide Deaths: 40,633

Worldwide Cases: 823,200

Silent Killer

We’ve officially finished ‘Household Isolation’! However, the ‘geek’ and I have still not left the house as we are vulnerable.  I did manage to walk up the lane to fetch the bin this afternoon, that was an achievement.

More and more I find myself staring out of the window, looking at the silent killer.  Windows seem more like a shield from the outside these days.  Instead of the beautiful frame for nature that they used to be.

I worry about my mental health if I’m honest.  I’m not sure it can make it through this.  However, one thing I have noticed is my ability to voice my concerns now.  Furthermore, I am able to own my feelings and adjust each day to them.

What

So one thing I do find useful for me is to write down the things that are making me anxious and upset.

  • Coronavirus
  • Death
  • Home Schooling
  • Video Conferencing

Coronavirus & Death

Two things I have absolutely no control over!  Therefore essentially I cannot do anything about them.  It does not stop me feeling anxious though.  And don’t get me wrong, the ‘death’ part is not selfishly about me dying.  It’s about friends and family that I love, losing their lives, or losing their loved ones.  It’s about tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands of people losing their lives across the world.

Now I know that for most anxiety sufferers, then staying away from social media, TV etc. is usually the best advice.  However, that’s kinda my thing.  I need facts, I need to know how things work, I need truths.  So BBC News is my friend and social media, my in house comedian.

Home Schooling

Good god almightly this is already doing my pip in.  I know that teachers had little or no notice to set work, but we are two weeks in (actually this was happening way before lockdown) and some teachers still can’t seem to attach the right answers to the questions.  Or set out a pdf/ppt that actually configures right for printing and therefore half of is missing.  However that aside, I have managed to be much more realistic this week.  My kids start their school day when they wake, with mine that is anytime from 8 am to about 3 pm LOL.  I set them the work that has been set by the school, sometimes they finish much quicker, sometimes they take longer.  It’s a ‘hard push’ at times, but no longer a battle.  If I figure they aren’t going to be productive then I don’t push, there is no point.  I leave for a day when they are in a better frame of mind.

Video Conferencing

This is a gift from the devil!!!  Seriously whoever invented Zoom, Skype, House Party etc. all need putting in a room and isolating for a very long time!  One of my biggest anxiety triggers is the phone, I struggle to answer it, I used to even struggle picking it up to phone others.  You know that sketch where someone is phoning a date and picks up, dials and hangs up; picks up, dials and hangs up…  Well, that was me for every single call I would ever have to make.  Deep-seated back to the days when I was bullied, I have an uncontrollable (and unfounded) fear of people making fun of me when I’m on the phone.

Face your Fears!

Now you’d think that because video conferencing meant I could see the people I’m talking to then it would be easier, but no.  Several fears come in here.  Yes, I can see you, but you can see me, and I can see me, and depending on numbers, loads of bloody people can see me!  Also what if I press the wrong button, what if the microphone is on when it shouldn’t be, or the camera isn’t on when it should be.  The possibilities are endless…

So anyway, whilst everyone else is embracing video conferencing, washing their hair for their work Zoom meeting, or playing Pictionary on House Party with a gin in hand.  Personally, I will be working my way up to just taking part.

I tried a Zoom meeting earlier this week and pretty much froze.  Lasted about 10 mins and then all my effort had been used and I could do no more but sit silently blaming my WiFi.  I downloaded House Party, we won’t even go into what happened there, suffice to say that 30 secs affected the rest of my day!

In my head, my grandchildren will read this and re-live history through a family members eyes.  Helping them get an A in History.

In reality, it’s the ramblings of a mad bitch who can’t spell, so somehow I doubt it!

Stay safe,

Fay x


Clap for Carers

Day 11 - Clap for Carers

Figures

UK Deaths: 578

UK Cases: 11,658

Worldwide Deaths: 23,670

Worldwide Cases: 524,007

It’s been a funny 48 hours – bad choice of words really. I have now officially finished ‘work’ for Easter, which takes some of the pressure off.  Likewise, the ‘monkey’ is now on Easter hols.  The older two still have a couple of weeks left yet, but homeschooling is a lot easier with these two, so we are finally getting somewhere.  And tonight sees our first Clap for Carers.

The weather has been glorious, meaning lots of families in their gardens.  Such a juxtaposition, the beautiful sound of families enjoying their gardens, whilst we all ensure that we practice #socialdistancing.  The sounds of the birds singing, whilst all the time knowing there is a silent killer out there.

Worrying Times

Death rates in Spain, the US and the UK continue to rise, even Italy has started to rise again after the South saw a sharp rise in cases.  People still aren’t quite getting the seriousness of this virus.  Yesterday saw the reported death of Chloe Middleton, 21, with no apparent underlying health conditions.  This virus does not discriminate.  The virus is not spreading, we are spreading the virus!

Clap for Carers

Tonight was the start of the UK showing their appreciation for all Key Workers. At 8pm everyone took to their windows or the street (at least 2m apart of course) and clapped and cheered their appreciation for all our NHS & Key Workers.  It was so moving to hear everyone out in force tonight.

#clapforcarers #clapforNHS

Fay x

Clap for Carers

Online Resources

Day 9 - Help

Figures

UK Deaths: 422

UK Cases: 8,077

Worldwide Deaths: 18,262

Worldwide Cases: 409,054

Help

Oh my god seriously, how the heck am I actually meant to homeschool 3 kids (14, 13 & 8 – who’s severly dsylexic) as well as work from home; deal with a dog who is barking all the time as not used to all being at home in her space; and a constant stream of online deliveries being left on the step.  Actually considering self-isolating in the garage with all the gin, my laptop, in my onesie!

But seriously, I need to figure something out as otherwise, my anxiety will be something else that needs help!  I swing from day to day. One day feeling invinsible and knowing that I can only do what I can do.  To the next feeling like I am the worst parent in the world who’s children will literally revert back to pre-school and lose the ability to read and write if I don’t ensure they are on a full timetable.

Online Resources

To be fair, with the older two, it is a fairly easy (well once I’d spent the best part of the day setting up their online access). Furthermore, it gives me something solid to keep them from spending the entire day in their room on the Xbox.

However I’ve spent the last few days being tagged into amazing free online classes of very talented friends, as well as being sent lots of great resources to share for my day job, and I wanted to share them all with you!

Free Classes / Resources

Archaeology – York University Online

Art – Hannah Ostapjuk

Dance – Oti Mabuse Kids Dance Class

Drama – York Stage School

English – Audio Books – David Walliams

Food Technology – Keep Cooking and Carry On

History – Lesson from WW2 Bunker

Maths – The Maths Factor – Carol Vorderman

PE – The Body Coach – Joe Wicks

Science – Sciencetots

Zoology – Edinburgh Zoo WebCams

 

Home Schooling – Twinkl

Today

On a day when the UK deaths reached an all-time high.  When it was announced that we would be turning a London conference centre into a temporary hospital.  When the call went out for the requirement of 250,000 volunteer NHS workers.  And when the whole country received an emergency ‘text’ from the government…

Well, most of us did as was asked.  There were still the ignorant, not social distancing.  The selfish, bulk buying.  The key workers, putting their lives on the line.  Life goes on, just not as we know it!

#stayathome

Fay x


Lockdown

Day 8 - Lockdown?

Figures

UK Deaths: 335

UK Cases: 6,650

Worldwide Deaths: 16,313

Worldwide Cases: 372,592

Lockdown

Boris Johnson is to address the nation at 8:30 pm, I guess we might be going on lockdown, or at the very least much tougher measures and closing our borders.  Definitely some stronger measures need to be taken after images of the tube in London still being busy.  People flocking to their ‘second’ homes for self-isolation breaks, as well as ignoring social distancing rules in parks and gardens all across the UK.

Yesterday was a difficult day.  A non-existent Mother’s Day as such.  The card bought in haste is still sitting in its wrapper next to my laptop, not seeming at all important in the grand scheme of things.

We are on Day 8 of our 14 day household isolation.  The ‘jock’ child has now passed his isolation period, so is allowed out from his room.  Thank god to be honest as I’m bored of being a glorified slave LOL.  We are all in good health (well unless you count my mental health which is in bits) and as they are not testing unless you are hospitalised then we will probably never know if he had or not.  Therefore still have to work on the assumption that we haven’t had and stay at home.

Homeschooling

Today was our first attempt at home school.  After initially really stressing about this concept, I have managed to tell myself that I can only do what I can do whilst also working from home; and it doesn’t matter what others are doing.

The ‘geek’ child was good and did as much work as he could remotely without much fuss.  The ‘monkey’ child was bored within about an hour.  Fort building, Joe Wicks PE lesson and football outside was the order of the day, along with an awful lot of lego building.  The ‘jock’ slept most of the day TBH, but he’s going to be my hardest to ‘school’.

Below is the timetable I’ve decided to go with, love it!

Addressing the Nation…

So we are on lockdown.  We are only allowed to leave for the following reasons:

  • To shop for basic necessities, as little as possible.
  • For one for of exercise a day
  • For medical need
  • To travel to and from work, when ‘absolutely necessary’

We have been warned not to meet friends or family members we don’t live with.. Gatherings of more than two are now banned.  All non essential business must shut.  All social events, including weddings and baptisms (bar funerals) are now banned.

These restrictions are under constant review and will be relaxed if the evidence shows they are able to.


Mothers Day

Day 7 - Mother's Day

Figures

UK Deaths: 281

UK Cases: 5,683

Worldwide Deaths: 14,456

Worldwide Cases: 338,092

Mother’s Day

Possibly the strangest Mother’s Day ever, where the best gift we can give is to not visit our Mothers.  Where Danish flower growers have asked their government to help, as with an unprecidented drop in sales, they will surely be ruined.  Where youngesters across the world flout the guidelines, high on youthful optimism and the incorrect assumption that they can’t get Coronavirus, and the ignorance of just how many people they are putting in danger.

Lockdown

Rumours are that we will be on lockdown before the week is out.  The message simply isn’t getting through.  Yorkshire police tweeted last night to warn parents who are allowing their children out to ‘play’ / hang out, that arrests may have to happen, unless they start to observe proper social distancing guidelines.

12 Weeks

It seems like such a long time to some people, but it’s nothing to others.  It’s nothing to cancer patients, to transplant patients, to NHS workers, to all those vulnerable people out there.

We need to act responsibly, we need to act selflessly, we need to act with thought and care for others.  It’s our duty!

Fay x


Day 5 - Schools Out!

Figures

UK Deaths: 184

UK Cases: 3983

Worldwide Deaths: 11,194

Worldwide Cases: 267,871

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

In news today, the virus is killing 1 person every 10 minutes in Iran.  The Olympic torch arrived in Japan, who are still insisting the Olympics will go ahead.  65,000 retired NHS workers are being urged to return to work.  627 Italians died from the virus in the last 24 hours.

Schools Out

As all schools in the UK shut today for the foreseeable future, a huge amount of children went to school for the very last time today, no prom, no exams, no proper goodbye!

Younger children have been inconsolable at the thought of not seeing their friends for what to them seems like forever.

The social and long-lasting mental implications of this are just unthinkable.

Context

I think what shocks me the most is the lack of responsibility around this virus.  The lack of regard for simple rules put in place regarding social distancing and self-isolation.  So many people (of ALL ages) are not taking this seriously and therefore we are now at the stage where all pubs, clubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, gyms etc. are now being officially closed.

We were given the chance to act ourselves, but we couldn’t.  We were given the chance to shop responsibly, but we couldn’t.

Take the time to think of those who have no choice but to socially distance or self isolate because of low immune systems, chemotherapy etc.  Think of those who have no choice when to shop, or cannot afford to bulk buy.  We have the choice, but we should take that choice seriously for those who have no choice!

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.

Jim Rohn

Please do what is right.

Fay x


Social Distancing

Day 4 - Stark Reality

Figures

UK Deaths: 144

UK Confirmed Cases: 3,269

Worldwide Deaths: 9,844

Worldwide Confirmed Cases: 237,912

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

We woke this morning to the news that 40 stations on the London Underground will close. 20,000 military staff are on standby to help Police and NHS.  Italy recorded it’s highest numbers of deaths in a day (higher than any country has recorded since the virus broke out) despite the restrictions put in place.

However in good news, China reported no new domestic cases for the very first time.

Daily Reality

Today has been about a lot of realities hitting home.

  • The reality that some people don’t quite get the self isolation / social distancing thing.  As a very good friend said “Avoiding unnecessary social contact in these COVID 19 times is NOT a sacrifice!  It is a gift to the most vulnerable who may not survive being infected…”
  • The reality that school life as we know it will change for the next few months.  The impact this will have on our children in such uncertain times.  Much respect to the teachers for trying to make this change as easy as possible.
  • The reality that many more will die over the coming months.  That our Health Service will be stretched to it’s very limit.  That we need to show respect for all our Keyworkers and the vulnerable and behave with kindness not selfishness!

Goodbye

I think the hardest thing today was having to say ‘goodbye’ to mum.  She is over 70 with several underlying health conditions.  She is being sensible and self-isolating for the next 12 weeks.  With us being under household isolation this had to be done 2 metres apart from the door.  We both held our nerve, but I broke down when she was out of sight, and am doing so again now writing this.  Pretty sure she will have done the same.  I hope that none of us will take for granted the time we get to spend together.

“The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.”

Joseph B. Wirthlin

Tonight’s Job

Type up the boys’ timetables and print out on A3 paper.  Confiscate iPads, phones, XBoxes, Wii U’s, and Nintendo Switch’s…

Schools in for Easter!

Fay x