It is 08.00 am on Friday 25 December 2020, one hundred and sixteen days from the start of the school year.
The cheery thing to report
Much as been said, and quite rightly so, about the negative impact of social isolation upon the kids when their primary schools were closed earlier this year. It was the primary reason that Mum and dad allowed child to return to school in September. The reward was to watch her blossoming very quickly as she interacted once more with her school peers for five days each week.
This included making no objection when we signed her up for school lunches and a couple of evenings of afterschool. She said, ‘yes that would be great’ to both ideas – but it wasn’t because of the food (she is very picky, so a waste of good food really), she immediately worked out that it would substantially extend her social time with her pals, so, hey, yes, it would be great.
The not-so-cheery things to report
She has just completed her first week of her Christmas break. Surprisingly, she has been suffering withdrawal symptoms from her school social calendar since day one of the hols! So, mum and dad have been fielding an avalanche of abreaction behaviour, as she tries incessantly to entertain herself in the peace and quiet of her own home, expressed as a chant of ‘I’m really bored, what can I do?’.
Going out for daily fresh air has quickly become a walking tour, checking out all the local playgrounds, and connecting (i.e. locking onto at close quarters!) with a new bunch of unsuspecting kids as they go about their own playground business with their parent minders!
So, for quite a few hours already this first holiday week, Child, obviously desperate to avoid a new bout of social isolation, has shared her space with large numbers of new kids, to the extent that she now has two social networks, her school and ‘her’ playgrounds. In September, Mum and dad had to come to terms with the increased Covid 19 risks from school. Now, they have had to accept that the school break generates a new on-going source of risk.
The cheery, and the not-so-cheery thing to report
The weather this Christmas week has been unusual, like an early summer – warm and dry – great for the uplifting of the human spirit in the depths of winter. The downside is that it brought everybody, and the joggers, out in droves, all with masks, but all riding roughshod over social distancing, as if deliberately putting two fingers up to all and sundry around them – not a respectful, friendly Christmas gesture at all.
The latest on the‘GRAND INTERNATIONAL PFIZER VACCINE – FEST ’
The Pfizer vaccine juggernaut rolls on into new territory and new countries, gathering pace. Several new vaccines are on the verge of ‘emergency approval’.
Mum and dad’s assessment: it feels like the vaccine’s first real clinical results are going in the right direction. The three unholy races …. 1. The race to develop the vaccine. 2. The race to get it approved, and 3. The race to ship it out next day to the clinical frontlines …. are now being pushed off the daily hyper headlines. This degree of urgency has been really unsettling, unhelpful, and AVOIDABLE.
The French situation? – it is now 56 days since lockdown started and 10 days since it was eased so that people could ‘enjoy’ their Christmas AND spread the virus around again
Now here are the latest summary numbers for the national picture for this year, and the daily new Covid 19 cases and deaths in week 8 from the start of lockdown, as at 25 December:
|Weekly national summary||Covid 19 cases||Covid 19 deaths|
|3 Jan to 27 Nov||2,131,376||50,259|
|3 Jan to 04 Dec||2,217,873||53,779|
|3 Jan to 11 Dec||2,283,752||56,280|
|3 Jan to 18 Dec||2,367,648||58,989|
|3 Jan to 25 Dec||2,484,875||61,892|
Mum and dad’s assessment of the numbers: The number of new cases and new deaths in France over the last 8 weeks is a stark testimony to the lack of commitment of the ‘men-in-charge’ to make health of its citizens its top priority. Easing the lockdown and giving permission to go out and spend and enjoy the family on Christmas day, it is entirely logical to assume that the resulting human behaviour will simply neutralise all the anticipated benefits of their November lockdown. Since Covid 19 does not take any time off, EVER, we will all enter a new round of Russian roulette next month.
Their conclusions remain the same as in last week’s blog, namely:
And meanwhile: Today is Christmas day! we are all set to enjoy it the very best we can! It is even more enjoyable when it is all over and we get back to our pseudo-normality. But, in the meanwhile, the day is already rolling out, driven by Child, wound up by the school’s force feeding of the joys of Christmas for the last two weeks of term, all ably aided and abetted and dominated by her material Disneyesque desires. (This totally baffles mum and dad, as Child is totally barred from accessing any of the myriad of indoctrinating, fast moving, mind-numbing, anthropomorphically suffocating commercials or their supposed related programmes). Maybe this is a real downside of socialising with her peers?
Finally, after 116 days of exposure to their primary school, are Mum and Dad still coping?:
We have achieved a satisfactory ‘steady state’ with regard to the Covid 19 risks. We are well able to ‘isolate’ all the frustrations and negative thinking that used to bubble up all the time. And making sure neither Covid 19 or Brexit is referred to during the holiday break has helped as well.
Are we satisfied that we are doing all we possibly can to stay safe and well? No, that is still the core objective. All that happens when we add or amend any of our existing practices is that a new search for a better solution begins. So, yes, that can get really overwhelming at times. We try our best to routinely make sure that the passion is not all consuming of our time and energy, that the hunt has its own ‘steady state’.
So, we repeat our Christmas message of last week and hope that all our readers have been able to achieve the same level of protection, coping mechanisms and reality check about the immediate future, namely:
‘Yes, we have real confidence in our range of protective mechanisms and a high degree of compliance, (despite the boring, mind-numbing daily grind of the precise, repetitive preparation and delivery of a large number of tasks). The satisfaction that it gives enables us to cope very well with all the ups and downs, particularly at this point when we predict that we are all heading for another post-Christmas and New Year downer.
By John Saunders
World Health Communication Associates (WHCA) & INSPIRIT Creatives UG NGO,
MediaWise and MediaFocusUK
News You Can Use
We are all vulnerable to this virus. This is a unique time for our communities all over the world as we work to combat this massive global threat. This blog aims to collect and share your stories and reflections that can help others to cope, thrive and build resilience…
Our communities are at different stages of response in different parts of the world. We can learn a lot from each other. Building on World Health Organization and other evidence-based guidance, this blog will gather and disseminate stories that inform, inspire and hopefully strengthen social connectiveness while we all practice physical distancing.
We invite you to contribute. At present we are looking for stories in the following areas:
May the force be with all of us.
Sabrina, Mike, Steve, Tuuli and Franklin for the Connecting Communities team
See: https://www.whcaonline.org | https://www.inspiritcreatives.com/humanity
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12385075/ | Twitter: @connecting_comm
|Disclaimer – We try to include stories that respect World Health Organisation COVID19 guidance. Links take you to full published stories. Our Connecting Communities team screens and selects stories but can not guarantee accuracy of reporting and mentions of any products does not indicate endorsement.|
While we grieve for the tremendous loss of lives in so many countries, we can see and feel that the need to connect communities and share learning grows everyday. Please attach your comments and stories to this blog or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or attach them to this blog. We welcome stories in all languages and from all countries. Here are some first examples of stories and links. Send us yours and make this blog useful.