Today marks our so called ‘Freedom day’ but there is nothing freeing about today if I’m being truthful (or maybe I am just being grumpy?). Last week one in 20 children were out of school for Covid related absences. Getting the call from the school to say your childs class bubble has burst is the dreaded news all parents are praying not to receive. If I’m honest I’m all out of patience with home schooling and Zoom calls, thankfully I can almost sniff the summer holidays in the air so that’s one small saving grace.
My children are in the same class (being twins) and have had their class sent home this term on two occasions. The most recent when a child in their class tested positive over a weekend. My children haven’t had contact with this child yet PHE advise that they are still required to come home from school. The reality for me now as a parent is huge anxiety, having to juggle work calls and commitments with their constant demand for snacks and need for stimulus is exhausting.
I’m incredibly fortunate that my employer is really supportive but you can’t help, deep down feeling that people are judging you and truth be told, how many people will lose their jobs if employers keep having to deal with parents juggling in this way? (I know technically from a ER / discrimination angle they can’t but also know that not all employers care and would rather chance it…..). I cringe each time my children burst into a Zoom call now, yes it might have been cute the first few times 18 months ago but now, its starting to wear thin, although I always pull myself up that they are young and don’t really understand why it’s important to not interrupt. It still doesn’t help the 3:00am night time worrying when your employer has an expectation that you’ll devote yourself to your work. Sure, common sense prevails in these circumstances but is your employer as supportive as mine has been to date ? I’d love to hear what your experience has been so far?
A quick trip to our local high street this morning and I reckon more than 3/4s of folk I spotted were still wearing masks and there was a reluctance to go mask free. So, yes Boris may be loosening the rules but it’s clear many of us are nervous about this. Despite what I say above about being utterly frustrated with the school situation, I do think we need to start to think about how do we learn to live with the virus as part of our everyday reality. We’re not going to be free of this virus anytime soon but this continual approach to entire bubbles being sent home can’t be sustainable in to the Autumn term. Particularly for the sake of the mental health of parents and children, as well as teachers. I’m waiting with baited breath to hear what the Education Secretary proposes.
Freedom day also feels a stupid name for those in the travel and hospitality industry who’ve experienced more blows and knockbacks than Phil Mitchell on a bad night at the Queen Vic. Eighteen months of this and the desire to splurge on an incredible holiday when we truly can have real freedom will be wonderful but for me not in touching distance any time soon. What do you think? Different views? or agree?