With the increasing levels of cross contamination in the UK, following a similar trajectory to Italy, it is sensible to begin to self isolate. Schools are now shut across the UK and children are having to come to terms with not seeing their friends.
Buisnesses, pubs and restuarants have now closed.
What most people don’t realise is that this can potentially go on for months. Imagine that. Eeking out into September. Through Spring to the end of summer. Here’s the likely, but dismal, Trajectory from the FT.
Today I told my teenage daughter and son they couldn’t go out.
What to tell your teenagers
“You can’t go out”.
It’s then followed by a pick and mix of statements;
- No you can’t visit your friends
- No you can’t use public transport
- No you can’t peep through their letterbox and say hi
- No you can’t nip to the shops
- Yes you can go for a walk in the park- but maintain a distance of 1.5 m from anyone
- Yes you can go jogging
- Just no groups or hanging out in other peoples houses
Reality sets in some more
I then realised that I won’t be able to feed my sugar habit. I love chocolate and sugar and not going out means that I can’t pass by the shops and pick up a cheeky Kinder Bueno, or other confectionary. OOF. That was a bit of a body blow.
Then, when my 15 year old son told me he wanted to bake a cake for his friends birthday and drop it on his doorstep, not only did we have to have the conversation about avoiding public transport, but also not wasting the eggs. We currently have 10. We don’t know if there are any eggs in the shops so don’t start baking- yet- as otherwise those eggs have to last us a couple of weeks.
Luckily our neighbourhood has coordinated a group of people who can be contacted if you all go down with Covid-19 and need to self isolate and not go to the shops. The flier they put through the door is below. They are also on a whatsapp group. London may be big, but it is made up of wonderful small community pockets. They will get you food parcels and the like.
Checkout if you have similar groups near you.
What to do with your 6 year old
Luckily we have a garden. The tadpoles are out and we are following their development (for about 3 seconds) . Its funny how if you have to stay in , all you want to do is go out. So, in the blustery March wind, today I spent about 3 hours sawing up branches and sweeping leaves while my son played with his toys in the garden.
After areas of the house becoming a school, we try and avoid those like the plague on the weekened. It was weird . We were in any room but where the school stuff was.
My 6 year old goes to bed at 7pm. So a film (or two) before bed . TV is, I hate to say, a good babysitter but I’ll sit there with him and watch whatever it is. Unless my eyes are resting.
What to do with yourself
If you are in a household of 5 , and not only with adults but also with kids, you have to somehow hold it all together. Discussions today have at some level made me increasingly twitchy.
All I can recommend, that isn’t alcohol or a relaxing bath, is crafts. You know, like arts and crafts.
My old nan, lived by herself in a house in Brockley and wasn’t able to go out much. Born in 1915, she came from a generation bought up with the radio, and gaslight. She could knit, sew, crochet and turn her hand to whatever she needed to.
When she died at 98, 6 years ago, I began to crochet. I had kept all her sewing and knitting magaines from 1950 onwards. It made me feel closer to her. As I crocheted, all the disorder of the wool came into order. And actually, every time I have a garment, I weave in the memories of whatever I’m thinking or watching on TV or listening to on the radio.
Don’t get me wrong, I have about 1 thing I have ever made that I call passable. The rest is a bit crap to be honest. So I have decided to crochet a blanket. It seems to be keeping the stress at bay. I have downloaded a free pattern however there are great free sites such as Ravelry or Lovecrochet/Loveknitting/Lovecrafts . The wool is whatever I have. I’m going to call it my Corona Blanket. Its going to take ages to make, but I need a project. I need to fiddle with something.
Its not everyones cup of tea- but if you need a project that costs very little, is non-disruptive and is calming, its not a bad choice.
Tomorrow is a new day , but in the UK is Mothers day , and for the first time in forever I won’t get to see my mum.