Biggin Hill, England
Ever since schools shut, life has been completely different. The first two weeks were incredibly stressful. Trying to comprehend what was happening to us, and restrictions on our lives building by what seemed like every 24 hours. Luckily, we still have some freedom. Up to an hour exercise each day. We doubt, however, this will last past Easter if the weather is good and lots of people decide to flout the rules.
I feel much calmer than a couple of weeks ago, but stress remains in the background. The kids are also playing up. I imagine it’s a combination of them missing brand new friendships and, despite best efforts, our stress seeping through to them. We weren’t able to justify keeping them in school, as places were reserved for key workers. So we take it in turns to home-school. We are the lucky ones. We can lay low and have the best chance to shelter from this disease. My heart goes out to those putting their lives on the line – caring for the ill and working to keep the country going. Many have young kids and elderly parents. I have signed up to volunteer locally, it’s the least I can do.
Despite the desperation of the situation, I’ve learned that positivity is the only way forward. If I think about it, this has actually been a wonderful opportunity. Spending most of my week with my daughters who at are a lovely age (three and four years old). But it’s not easy. Anyone with small children will know it can be incredibly frustrating to say the least, with arguments and tantrums a way of life. We’ve taken to setting daily themes such as boats or minibeasts, dinosaurs or princesses. We’re also really lucky to have quite a large garden, so games and fun outside- including gardening, are a daily occurrence. I’ve also started baking – but flour and yeast seem to be flying off the shelves as fast as loo roll at the moment.
How do I think life is changed? It’s the unknown. Nobody knows where it’s going to take us. We are told millions of people will die around the world – with most people affected – either losing their lives or loved ones. Financially the world is on life-support. We are worried for our loved ones; our kids; our friends, and we don’t know how long it will go on for.
Covid-19 has actually gifted us a few silver linings. And I’m focussed on trying to find them. Hardly any traffic means the air is fresher and birdsong so audible. The opposite of Brexit, the disease is has brought us closer. Love, friendship, generosity, support – these are the things we are now talking about – rather than the spitefulness and anger Brexit heralded. We are united in our isolation.
Sending love and hope from Biggin Hill, Kent.