“Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”Albert Einstein
Tuesday 31st March 2020
So today it’s been over a week of ‘lockdown’ and our second Tuesday of home-schooling. Originally, I was secretly looking forward to being at home full-time and almost excited at the prospect of being involved in a piece of unfolding history. But just eight days into this new way of life my head has already begun to feel overwhelmed and my emotions are difficult to contain.
I had read about the risks some children would face being in households deemed as vulnerable but I never for one moment thought that I would turn in to such a volatile parent so quickly into lockdown. God forbid, this pandemic had ever of happened in the 90’s with no internet or sophisticated communication tools such as WhatApp or Zoom to keep in touch with the outside world.
Today I just felt consumed with emotion, not to mention the constant up and down of worry and fear. I burnt my hand on an oven dish last night which hurt like hell but wasn’t serious. However, once I started to cry, I felt like I could not stop. I carried on and on, like a child. Once a month I get the same build up of emotion and feel like a ‘good cry’ and realise I’m due on my period in the next few days but this was completely different. This emotion was like being a child confronted with an alien situation that made you want to run home to your mum. The fear of not knowing what is coming and whether you could be impacted like the news tells you is crippling.
I used to watch films like ‘The Book of Eli’ or stories depicting the end of the world with scepticism and disbelief. But now, I watch films where human contact is so close, and many people stand together and find myself wondering when that will be me again and whether life will ever return to normal when this is over? The life we are currently experiencing is unimaginable, far-fetched and like something from a Netflix series. It’s not real-life. I now watch those films I once viewed cynically with an open mind, for now I am completely open to anything being possible in this life.
We are trying to keep routine for the children and our own mental sake. We are desperately trying to keep up with their education and follow direction from teachers online. Yet, today was the day the internet buckled with the sheer volume of people using the connection from home at once. The frustration was incredible. Trying to teach two children studying different key stages and squeeze in time for my own study, along with being mum, cook, cleaner and human being is beginning to feel impossible. I’m shocked how quick I am feeling like this.
Estimates from the government yesterday suggested that we could be experiencing social distancing until June. That is a further three months away or 12 weeks or 84 days or 2016 hours of living on top of one another along with a dog and two hamsters that are stinking the house out! Maybe it’s because the weather has changed. Last week, the first week of lockdown felt like the real start of spring. The sun was shining with a royal blue sky awaiting us each morning. The kids took breaks from their schoolwork to play football and bounce on the trampoline. This week it is cold and grey which I expect is taking its toll on my mood.
Si went out again this evening for a few staple fridge bits along with another crate of lager for the long evenings and recovery from another manic day. It feels like we are part of a movie when he returns wearing medical gloves and he begins to disinfect the groceries that he has bought. When I look at the kitchen worktops where the products have sat, I imagine the virus smeared all over it, waiting to pounce on us. Everything feels contaminated and our home has never felt as safe. The outside world presents such a massive threat, I’m not sure I will ever be able to trust it again. But I’m sure I will.
When I think about tomorrow it feels like a fresh slate and I feel confident about my plans with the children and I’m yearning for a success. We will have to wait and see.