Hi everyone. These are unprecedented and scary times indeed. It is the 19th March 2020 and we are in the middle of a Coronavirus pandemic here in the UK, and across the world. We were told yesterday that schools across Wales (and the UK) would close for the foreseeable future. We have been advised to socially distance ourselves from others and if one of the household is displaying symptoms the entire household should self isolate and not leave the house at all for 14 days.
As this all unfolds around us it feel very surreal. I have known nothing like this in my lifetime and I hope that we won't see anything like it again. I'm not really sure exactly what the children make of it all, it seems to me as if they are taking it very lightly and in their stride for now.
I thought seeing as this is such a massive time in history I would make the most of this blog as a space to write and set about recording a diary of life in the middle of a Coronavirus pandemic. I'm going to share what we are up to everyday and the things that are happening.
So today my eldest daughter and son were still at school so the morning started off pretty much normally. Miss J's school is closed so she stayed home which caused a bit of grumbling from her brother as you can imagine! Class numbers in both their schools are significantly reduced as parents choose to keep their children home. E states that there are only 13 in her form and Little Boy tells me that there are 8 missing in his class. After dropping him at school I head to Tesco with the baby as we are out of bread. The baby and I can't have soya so our bread choices are limited and we usually buy Tesco finest bread. Today there was none of that bread in Tesco, the bread shelves were completely bare except for a few loaves of Hovis white. I picked up some of that for the children. There is no flour, cleaning products, toilet roll, calpol or pasta either. I managed to buy the last bag of Pampers nappies. Staff were all wearing gloves and there were announcements on tannoys for people to follow social distancing measures. I spotted a fair few members of the public wearing latex gloves too. The lady in front of me at the till said it was like everyone has the lurgy. I guess we all might!
When we came home I took the two children out for a walk with the dog despite the fact that it was raining. It was quiet and we only saw one other person and we tried to stay a safe distance. We are going to be trying to go outside for exercise twice a day and we are lucky that we have a garden and we live in an area that is surrounded by quiet spaces to go so that we can do that. I can't imagine being stuck inside every day.
We are going to try to stick to a rough schooling routine while the children are being home schooled. Miss J's school have put together a home school pack which we picked up today. This is the rough timetable we hope to follow.
I'll be honest, it was a struggle to keep Miss J motivated or on track without sitting with her for the whole time, which is difficult with a baby to look after and will be nigh on impossible with another two children in the mix next week.
Quiet time in the afternoon went well though. The baby sleeps well for a couple of hours and it gave me the time to get focussed and get some head space back. The new situation means that I don't have any space or alone time and I can see that it might start to get me down after a while. I think we'll have to make a plan where I get some time to myself at weekends, to blog, to read or to just chill out.
In the evening the other children came home from school. Little Boy was upset that school is cancelled and his behaviour was shocking. I think he is tired and it's a lot of change and unrest for them. They pick up on unconscious signals no matter what sort of brave face we put on. Tomorrow will not only be his last day at school, but in all likelihood is last day at that school forever as we are looking to move him to a different school in September.
I didn't get up to much activity wise today. We made cookies, I played towers with the baby. I made the children cold brew echinacea tea to boost their immune systems and hid it in some squash. We bought a monthly subscription to Reading Eggs for the middle two. I'll be sharing the activities we get up to so do keep reading if you have children of similar ages (mine are 13, 9, 5 and 1). I have bought a few bits on Amazon (workbooks mainly). I'll share them when we've got started on home schooling properly!
I'm going to try to get the children to make a comment in this diary each day, I managed to grab Miss J before she went to bed and here's what she had to say...
It is a very sad time of life because we cannot go in spaces with other people, family, grandparents and older people. We can't go to parks in case we pass it on. It's really hard for you to stay calm about it because you are so worried that everyone else will get it from you.
In times like this when our social groups and gatherings are removed we will look to the online world for social support. Feel free to use the comments section below to chat to me and to others and know that you're not alone.