Inside: Reflecting back on our first week of self-isolation during the COVID-19 crisis.
This isn’t the type of post I ever imagined myself writing. The closest I’ve ever come to documenting anything has been my pregnancy with William. But in years to come, this will seem even more surreal than it does right now and I want to be able to remember it all – the good and the bad.
I am writing this for me, but if it helps to read it and know that you are not alone in the way you are feeling then I am glad to be a support. And of course, you are always welcome to message me – we can get through this together.
19th March – 29th March 2020
We have been in isolation for over a week now, with the girls having to be kept off from Thursday 19th because of Lily’s cough. In hindsight, it is clear that her cough was just that, a cough, but understandably she wasn’t allowed in school.
Thursday and Friday just seemed like a weekend really and so we played games and enjoyed the garden as we would any other time. But there was something niggling at me, knowing that this isn’t normal in any way.
Friday night saw the darkness come. The schools were officially closed and knowing that my girls may never go back into that year group with their teachers hit me hard. As a parent, I feel robbed of a wonderful school and as a teacher, I feel a sense of sadness on behalf of their teachers. Grace’s class, in particular, is a wonderful year group of children and I know I would feel robbed if I wasn’t going to be able to teach them for the final term.
I cried myself to sleep on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Mourning the loss of the life we knew. The grief that I wouldn’t see my friends or family for weeks. That my usual routine of seeing friends on a Tuesday morning for a cuppa and catchup wouldn’t happen for a long time. The government hadn’t said a lockdown was going to happen just yet but we all knew it was imminent.
And just like that, it was happening. Except with the reality actually happening it brought some sort of comfort. The not knowing had been worse and so at least now we knew the rules for sure. Whether anyone will do as they are told is anyone’s guess.
Our week went by in a blur really and compared to many families out there we are very lucky. Lucky that we are not key workers, lucky that our jobs are secure and lucky that all of us quite like being at home. We filled our days with fun in the garden and a few activities to ease us into full-time-home-life.
The anxiety didn’t lift completely as there was a niggle in the back of my head that kept reminding me that at one point our food will run out and that I would have to go out into the world. We were lucky to find a click and collect slot for 4th April so we just need to last until then. After that, I doubt we will be lucky enough to get another slot so will have to brave the outside.
On Wednesday night, William had a fever and honestly, the panic was unreal. Do we call 111? Is he going to be ok? What other symptoms do we need to worry about? I did not sleep at all that night for worrying.
By the morning he was back to his jolly self but by the next evening, it was me who was feeling rough. I rested throughout the next day and nothing seemed to come of it. In hindsight, I think it was my body’s response to this stressful situation.
By the end of the week, we were all a bit bored of each other, to be honest. As much as we love being home, it is very different when you are forced into the situation. We haven’t left the building in days and days because we just didn’t want to risk that we could spread anything if it was, in fact, Coronavirus that we’d had.
In an attempt to regain normality into our lives we decided that we’d ‘dress down’ for the weekend and be total slobs. So we stayed in our pyjamas a little longer and watched movies. Weirdly, it seemed to do the trick and although it wasn’t much different to the rest of the week, it sort of was.
After 11 days of being isolated it certainly doesn’t feel normal, but it isn’t too bad. The children are safe and really that is the main thing for me. We can’t control the future and so there is little point in worrying. For now, we have food and sunshine to keep us going and that is enough.