The UK has been on “lockdown” to protect it’s citizens from Covid-19 (caused by Coronavirus) for over a week now. My family have been in isolation for much longer. For us, week 3 is drawing to a close (week 4 for Bear). Let me explain…
A Cough and a Fever
Four weeks ago, Bear was struck down with an almighty fever, exhaustion and a cough, for five days. We called his preschool and let his toddler club know, that we were isolating him. He was far too poorly to go anywhere anyway. At the time, the government advice, was just to isolate the poorly child and the rest of the family, were to carry on as normal. Just as that week drew to an end, the government changed it’s tune. The new advice was to isolate the whole family. We spoke to 111 on four occasions and they told us that isolation wasn’t really necessary as it was “highly unlikely” that Bear had Covid-19. Advice was very conflicting. At the time, people were being told if they hadn’t been to China or Italy, they “didn’t have it”. Regardless of this, we decided to air on the side of caution and isolate to a cottage in the countryside. It was perfect because there was lots of open space for the children to play and get fresh air. Thankfully none of us developed any symptoms.
Lockdown begins in the UK
On returning home, the government, put us on “lockdown”. I say lockdown in inverted commas, because I very much believe we are about to be locked down further. I think this current spell is just stage 1 of lockdown, as the guidelines have not been at strict as other countries who are currently experiencing lockdown.
Lockdown was something I was advocating and wanting. As someone who has a weak immune system (as a result of two years of chemo and two different cancers), I didn’t feel safe knowing people were carrying on as usual. I’m classed as “vulnerable” and would be likely to be one of those hospitalised, should I catch Coronavirus. We as a family are on a 12 week isolation because of this. If one of us were to go out, they could bring the virus back into the house and that’s not a risk we can take. Before lockdown, social distancing was not something people were taking seriously. I’m not even convinced everyone is taking it seriously now! Lockdown was, and still is, necessary.
So how have we got on, with our first week of lockdown?
Well apart from a midnight visit from a paramedic, because I was having chest pains, a chest Xray at hospital and a course of antibiotics, for a chest infection I’ve had for 7 weeks… All has been good!
The weather was glorious for the first part of the week, so we spent much of Monday- Wednesday in the garden. We’ve mowed both lawns, weeded and dug flower beds, replanted flowers that were growing in the wrong place and planted some seeds. We reorganised the shed and we watched the children practice their gymnastics, ride their bikes, play ball games and of course they helped us with the gardening. They’ve been playing with their pet bunnies and we even had lunch outside. It felt like a summer holiday – without leaving our home.
The kids have been doing PE with Joe Wicks on YouTube Live every weekday morning, without fail. I’m a big fan of The Body Coach, as I met him once at a press event. He’s a real charmer. He even gave us a shoutout on the first session! They’ve also been doing ballet with The Ballet Coach on Facebook live at 4pm each weekday. All four children have painted rainbows to stick on our windows and to send to relatives. This is part of a global initiative to spread cheer and to show support to the world’s keyworkers; who are risking their lives to keep the rest of us safe. Check out The Rainbow Trail on Facebook. In between, at random times, we’ve scattered in a smattering of school work here and there. I’ve made them books, where I’m sticking in all their school work, plus a few photos of other things they’ve been doing. Hopefully one day, when life is normal, I’ll get to show the twin’s teacher all the things they’ve done whilst isolated and in lockdown.
Home Schooling during Lockdown
I didn’t create a rigid schedule or routine for the schoolwork. At the end of the day, I’m not a teacher and we all need to bear in mind, that there will be an adjustment period in all this. I want my children to understand why we are isolated, but without them living in fear or feeling anxious. Their home should be their safe space and it’s so so important that we continue to let kids be kids, and not just bog them down with work and worries. I feel happy that we’ve achieved a really good balance of educational activities and family fun so far. I hope that we can keep it up as all four children seem so full of smiles and laughter at the moment. It’s so heartwarming to see.
Whilst isolation is viewed by many as a time of restriction, I am choosing to see the blessings instead of the restrictions. How often do we get this much time together as a family, at home? Where we aren’t dashing out on school runs, food shops, gym runs, hockey runs, toddler club runs, trips to the cinema and packing our spare time with excursions. Whilst I love all those things and I love our regular family life, there’s something really special about spending so much time together at home. Time where we prevent boredom with creativity and silliness. We get to take an active interest in our children’s education and be partly responsible for it. All these moments, where they’re usually at school and growing independent without us, we are now getting to share with them.