I think we can all safely say Coronavirus (aka COVID-19) has taken us by complete surprise. And not like a lovely surprise when you bump into an old friend, or receive a gift you weren’t expecting. Remember the fuss Storm Dennis caused? Walk in the park mate.
The arrival of Coronavirus has left us feeling like life as we once knew it has disappeared as the nation re-adjusts to a new kind of normal.
With the Government announcement of schools being closed for ‘the foreseeable’, businesses all working remotely from home and normal staple items being ransacked from supermarket shelves at the speed of light – it all feels like a really dramatic scene from Eastenders. Only, the Queen Vic is shut for the foreseeable too.
Never in the year 2020 did I foresee myself rationing out a can of beans. Y’see everyone’s working from home, the schools are shut and so for the average family that’s 84 meals a week to find. Which in usual life would not be ideal, but also wouldn’t be a huge problem. Except everyone is panic buying which leads me to worry how long our two cans of beans will last. Let’s not even get started on pasta, eggs, bread, hand soap or toilet roll.
Everything, or everywhere we’d usually visit are closed. So there’s no Marwell Zoo, no Paultons Park, no nipping to Matalan, Primark or Home Bargs. No nice meals out in restaurants. And worst news of all – no McDonald’s; not even the drive thru’s.
So the mood isn’t great.
I keep seeing posts about people seeing this as ‘amazing‘, ‘we’re loving this new way of life‘ and ‘loving spending all this extra quality time with our children‘. I’m not quite there yet.
I didn’t mind my old way of life, I certainly wouldn’t be choosing to have the kids at home 24/7 with nowhere to go, and no grandparents on hand, and it’s driving me insane being stuck inside the four walls of this house. For everyone that knows me, knows I cannot stay in for a day – I always have to ‘pop out’ somewhere for a change of scenery,
But I know it’s a necessity and I am so, so grateful for having a house with a garden, and the fact the sun chose this week to start shining.
It doesn’t stop every day feeling like Groundhog Day though. We’re currently both working from home too, which doesn’t help. All these statuses of people claiming ‘the kids will remember the times their mum and dad were home playing every day‘ – at the minute, our kids will remember us shouting at them to go out or be quiet as we’re trying to have a work call.
Which brings me to the point. I enjoy work. Not being able to get fully stuck into it is driving me insane. Perhaps that will change and I’ll realise what’s important. I’m not quite there yet.
This week hit me quite hard. It started with Mothers Day on the Sunday where we couldn’t see any of our family nor go out anywhere to celebrate the day for me. Then it was Arlo’s 3rd birthday on Thursday and it just went by like every other day we’d had this week. Us four. Stuck in a house. He kept asking when we were ‘going zoo’ but soon realised that wasn’t happening. We opened presents from grandparents via Facetime [thank god for modern technology], but it just wasn’t the same.
The kids behaviours have been like a rollercoaster; I guess they’re just trying to adjust to this new normal too – and that makes me feel guilty for perhaps not being as supportive as I probably could be. I feel unsettled, I can only imagine that’s amplified for them. I’m really mindful of how our actions at any time could affect them later down the line, this is an added pressure which is weighing heavily on my mind.
They’re both acting up because they’re bored and restless – they’re not crafters and they don’t want to sit and watch Disney+, which we brought naively praying it would be our movie saviour. Usually it would go by unnoticed but stuck indoors, it’s only highlighted. Arlo asks every morning ‘me go nursery today?’ and the other day he said to Nana on Facetime ‘you not see me for my birthday” – it’s so hard to explain to him just why we are stuck indoors and why we can’t go out to any of his favourite places or to see his friends. Sofia’s really matter of fact about ‘coronavirus’ as she was told about it at school and she hasn’t really said much more aside from the fact ‘when coronavirus is over, can I see my cousins?’. Arlo is like Stuart’s shadow and barely leaves his side and Sofia has a meltdown every evening before bed about ‘not being able to sleep without us’.
Personally I would feel a lot better if I knew when this was over, but I know that’s asking the impossible. I’m fully expecting Sofia to not go back to school until September, when she will be in Year 2. And if that’s the case, then she will have missed half of Year 1 – and that in itself is nerve wracking so we’re going for ‘learning is fun’ next week and attempt to keep her on track where we can.
So, week one of coronavirus lockdown. The mood seesaw is more down than up – but feeling positive to embrace the changes the new weeks brings… and it helps to remember that, we are all in this together.
The plan for tomorrow? Get up, showered, dressed and make up….after our workout with the nation’s newest PE teacher of course!