Thursday 19 March 2020

Corona Virus days 1-3 Social Distancing

On Tuesday I received the message that our weekly Forest School was cancelled due to Government advice regarding Corona Virus.  I cried.  Not long after this every single other of my home ed groups were cancelled and we were faced with the prospect of having no activities or meets and not seeing any friends.  For a person who is pretty heavily reliant on chatting with friends for my mental health, this was very very bad news. I quickly broke my Instagram lent fast in an effort to avoid feeling totally isolated and jumped online to feel part of a community. 

We have managed to pass the time pretty well over the past three days, one visit to some woods, packed lunch included, a morning at a local nature park with playground and today was our first day where we could be considered isolated as we didn't go out. We spent the day reading books, the boys played, we did some art activities, and a I spent a lot of time telling the boys they would have to wait for their next meal before more food (seriously are they never full up?).

I am trying to find some brain space to reflect on what is happening, but it is challenging as the boys seem to be picking up on a vibration or energy in their air of panic, anxiety and fear, even though hubs and I are trying to remain calm and not panicked (though inside I am pretty stressed out and have an aching jaw from clenching my teeth all night and half the day) and are therefore absolutely bonkers!

However I have been able to stretch my brain just enough to arrive at the following observations:

  • This whole thing would never have happened if people didn't eat animals,
  • The UK is in a particularly difficult situation as of the end of the week when schools close because we have a very strong culture of two working parent families, both by force of finances and social pressure.  This means either one half of the workforce is forced to stay off from work, or children will be looked after by at risk grandparents. 
  • We have a very strong individualistic culture, so people aren't automatically thinking of others by offering to do their neighbours shopping, or help generally.  Supermarket shelves are empty because people are over buying. I don't know who the people are who are buying more than they need (though I have my suspicions which I won't go into it here at risk of offending) but it most certainly isn't the large families like us, living in tiny houses as they do not have the storage space for stashing away hundreds of loo rolls and tins of baked beans. These people who are hoarding are selfish.  The same goes for the people who are continuing to visit pubs, restaurants and nightclubs etc.  These people are putting others at risk.  Now is not the time for Keep Calm and Carry On.  At times like this, the bravest and hardest thing to do might just be to stay home. 
  • A couple of weeks ago before this who thing really got serious in the UK the MPs gushed on Question Time about how we were all going to pull together and look out for each other, the "spirit of the blitz" and all that.  There are glimmers of this but overall my feeling is that no one remembers what the spirit of the Blitz is, sacrificing your own wants for the needs of others is a lost concept to most people these days. Our parents have lived through a long period of relative prosperity, peace and financial security, so there is no genetic memory of having to band together, we have inherited an attitude of expecting everything to turn out just fine and when faced with the prospect of it not all being fine, people are turning inwards not outwards. 
  • Maybe something good will come from this whole disaster, it is forcing some families to spend more time together, friends and family members are looking out for each other, there are neighbours sending notes round offering help, there are small cracks of light breaking through I have hope that there are still individuals out there who think of others.   I worry of course for those who are not able to get away from toxic or abusive family members, single working parents, those who have lost their job because of this and the myriad other people who are being so negatively effected by this. 
  • The world will be different afterwards.
  • I am incredibly thankful that I do not have to work, that my husband is able to work from home and that I feel safe an comfortable in my home. 
In my own small way I am trying to do something positive with this whole thing.  I am not in a position to be able to look after anyone's children, visit the elderly, do supermarket runs etc because  we are having to pretty much isolate ourselves because of some health conditions in my family which puts them at risk, but I am sharing poetry on Instagram and will be sharing a few of the activities we are doing to pass the time which I hope might inspire others and put some beauty into the world

I intend on updating this journal every few days, sharing how we are managing, the problems we encounter and tricks and tips on mentally and emotionally surviving this. 

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