It is 08.00 am on Friday 30 October 2020, sixty days from the start of the school year.
The cheery thing to report
Mum and dad and Child – we all soldier on as usual, only one really cheery bit of news to report this week – mum and dad have now had their flu jabs, as advised by every physician, clinical expert in infectious diseases and epidemiologist.
The not-so-cheery thing to report
“It’s official, France is in lockdown again“
At last, the French authorities have reacted to the rapidly worsening explosion of new Covid 19 cases. As of midnight of Thursday 29 October, once more the whole of French citizenry is in confinement, until the end of November. The key measures:
All schools – from kindergartens to high schools – stay open this time, compared to the first lockdown. (Universities will continue to operate. They’ll stay physically shut – except for exams – and all lectures will be held online). For primary schools, the big new decisions:
Mum and dad’s humble view of the lockdown decision:
This is inevitable – (a) the schools are sitting in the midst of their communities, (b) these communities are rapidly filling up with new Covid 19 cases, and (c) young kids wearing masks cannot be expected to provide an effective additional barrier of protection.
Each week lost means many more lives lost = more avoidable deaths, simply because the politicians keep putting off the toughest decisions
Mum and dad’s appeal:
The new lockdown has further highlighted the critical importance and relevance of mum and dad’s appeal (placed in last week’s issue), to the new situation we all now have to face, viz:
Please, please, please, the first lockdown didn’t work, and we all know why! And we all know we are heading for another lockdown! Let’s not screw up this time around. Going forward from this point, if we do not all work as one, protecting ourselves and at the same time protecting everyone we have to come into closer contact with, the virus will run rings round us yet again.
Ugh! Who thought this one up? Will our Child of six, nearly seven, adhere to the instructions for use? Will any young child stick to the rules? Not very likely, is it?
Anyway, after rejecting disposable masks (not convinced they can protect anyone really?), the agreed mask plan is:
Mum has a new project: she must procure (or get her sewing machine out to make) a set of 6 new, child friendly, two-layer cotton, snug fitting, mouth and nose covering masks, with 3 on duty every other day, with each mask dried and sterilised with a hot iron after use, plus another 3 masks in reserve, to allow for losses (kids things are always going astray).
‘And can I have them fashionable too please’ adds Child – there’s always a sting in the tail of any project plan where she’s involved!)
The lockdown has thrown a spanner in the works. Mum and dad are now working a revised daily lockdown schedule that meets our needs and satisfies the confinement rules. Two key adjustments are already agreed:
Inevitably, the immunity programme, despite its critical importance, has had to be put on hold for at at least a couple of weeks.
Finally, after 60 days of exposure to school, what about Mum and Dad – are they coping?:
Hmm, the Covid 19 rollercoaster has finally triggered the rollercoaster lockdown response. Mum and dad, and practically everybody else, except the responsible authorities, knew it was coming.
Mum and dad came to terms long ago with Covid 19’s very own, very special type of ‘war-game’ stress – ‘if you don’t look out and behave, I’ll catch you and spin you on my roulette – will it be ‘kill’, will it be ‘cripple’, will it be ‘you win’, wouldn’t you like to know’. They take a lot of comfort from having designed a really strong protection plan, and from sticking to it throughout all the ups and downs – so far, so good, after more than eight months.
What they cannot come to terms with is how the role of the authorities, as expressed through their various disjointed actions or inactions, appears to be to dilly dally, reassure, procrastinate, obfuscate, panic; go on TV, dilly dally, reassure, procrastinate ……. you get the picture. There is nothing worse for your nerves or your blood pressure than clumsy, insincere communications, a melange of: no messages + mixed messages + wrong messages + unbelievable messages + (worst of all), the messages that insult your intelligence and own understanding of Covid 19.
The authorities do not know how to communicate properly. It comes across as indecision and inability to grasp the nettle. They should take a leaf out of the Covid 19 communication handbook: communications must be crisp, clear, to the point, and constantly repeated, so that there is no room for misinterpretation. Yes, Covid 19 drives us all up the wall, but not as much as the constant zigzagging of the authorities themselves. Mix the two sensations and you have the equation: Covid 19 stress + authorities stress = total numbing, mental constipation.
Hey, Mum and Dad have just woken up to the real power of this blog – yes, it contains their views of the good, bad and the ugly elements of school life under Covid 19 – for some strange, unknown reason, just putting what they feel down in print (= discharging all the bile!) has had a really uplifting effect on their moods.
So, yes they are coping well, all things considered. Their current mantra for their mental well-being is to just continue to plan carefully for yourselves and do your own thing, based upon:
accepting the nonsense of the authorities philosophically, waiting for them to grow up into adults, ignore the plain stupid things they say and do
By John Saunders
World Health Communication Associates (WHCA) & INSPIRIT Creatives UG NGO,
MediaWise and MediaFocusUK
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