It is 08.00 am on Friday 13 November 2020, seventy-four days from the start of the school year.
The cheery thing to report
Child has responded extremely well to school being her social centre as well as her education centre, more than justifying the need for mum and dad to accept the increased Covid 19 risks of letting her to back to school. She loves it so much, she now wants to go to school on Saturdays and Sundays as well! Not sure if this is a big vote of confidence in her teachers, or for the restoration of her social mental wellbeing.
AND, as for Mum and dad, they have now finally got their act together to handle all the additional ups and downs of the latest school regulations on masks, to protect themselves and Child from her schoolbag and contents on the assumption that it is an obvious hiding place for Covid 19; and to take comfort from the family decision to extend the in-house lockdown programme at least into the new year. Life feels stable again, pushing aside the fact that we are all living in a mad, mad, mad Covid 19 infested world.
The not-so-cheery thing to report
The new school year was launched 74 days ago. Time to ask Mr Google the question, ‘How many primary schools in France, and primary school classes, have had to close due to Covid 19?’ . What mum and dad thought would be straightforward to find out (easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, as Child would say) turned out to be anything but!
They could find no official updates on schools.
Neither of two dedicated government websites, education and health, mentioned anything at all about the impact, or lack of impact, on Covid 19 on primary schools or school classes. There appears to be a reliance on occasional short announcements on TV as if that is enough. Given that mum and dad stopped a long time ago to chase down all the Covid 19 ‘breaking news’ (just too stressful, irritating, and in particular, too demanding of their time channel hopping to track things down).
So, is there no significant Covid 19 impact on schools (in which case why is this good news not being trumpeted widely ????), or is the impact so bad they are just keeping schtum hoping to ride out the wave. So, toss a coin, is it good or is it bad? Further investigation is planned, watch this space.
è stay vigilant è stay on protection duty è stay secure è stay safe.
THE DAILY LOCKDOWN RESULTS FOR NEW CONFIRMED COVID 19
CASES AND DEATHS
|WEEK 1||Oct 31||Nov 1||Nov 2||Nov 3||Nov 4||Nov 5||Nov 6||TOTALS|
|WEEK 2||Nov 7||Nov 8||Nov 9||Nov 10||Nov 11||Nov 12||Nov 13||TOTALS|
So, for new cases, these figures feel like very big weekly increases over the first two weeks, with week 2 having a small reduction of some 18,000 cases, hopefully the start of a downturn, but too small a swing and too early to say. Nonetheless, the trend indicates that the pandemic is in full swing. AND, no surprise, the deaths continue to rise, 2,999 in week 1, and 3,910 in week 2 a total of 6,909 over the first two weeks.
Mum and dad’s prediction: the figures will never improve enough for the lockdown to be halted as proposed on 2nd December. Their decision to extend their own lockdown into the new year already looks like the correct one.
This gets really tough! The official line – no guests allowed, no house party, so no birthday party either – was instantly shredded by Child’s white hot scorn. It became the subject of long discussions, led by Child, who has been counting the days for the past two months, and resulted in an emotionally painful new source of stress for mum and dad.
After much toing and froing, and a lot of lateral thinking, it was agreed to acknowledge the special day with two separate events. The first, easy to organise, would be a hunt – she will hunt the house for the presents which mum and dad have to hide away the night before. The second, was to simply commandeer a bench in the local park to hold an outdoor, impromptu ‘party’ of one hour, disguised as the statutory daily hour of ‘exercise and fresh air’ with mum, dad and Child meeting up with her 3 best friends, each accompanied by one parent, for a little ‘pique-nique’ of a lot of chocolate and a big cake and some fizzy wine for the grown-ups.
So, this year’s birthday organisation is all very awkward, clumsy and weather dependent, thanks to Covid 19. Not to mention, she can’t blow out her candles and possibly cover the cake with Covid 19 droplets! It is all very, very unsatisfactory, but at least Child seems happy to have some event to acknowledge her personal passage of time.
We continue the programme as planned: good, healthy eating; daily exercise; reduce the chronic sleep deprivation (meditation and stay off/minimise the coffee and alcohol); twice daily hot water salt gargles and salt nasal spray; daily omega 3 and Vitamin D; and, tight chronic disease management control of the Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
BUT: further investigation of other options is now suspended until further notice. Mum and dad have drawn a line in the immunity sand which will not be crossed until the urge boils up again – they have enough to do and cope with for the moment.
Finally, after 74 days of exposure to school, what about Mum and Dad – are they coping?:
Yes and no as far as our experiences this week are concerned. YES, we have got used to living with the two fundamental sources of today’s daily stress points:
The constant background ‘noise’ of Covid 19 stress
(will we catch it because we are not doing the right thing?)
topped up by
the additional school related Covid 19 stress
(even if we are doing the right thing, is Child going to end up as the Trojan Horse who unknowingly introduces the virus into the home?)
And No, there was a point this week when we did not cope. The 11 November, armistice day, treated us all to a brilliant blue sky and warm temperatures that lasted most of the day. We had a great idea –‘Great’, we said, ‘let’s get out, enjoy the day, go for a long walk in the forest, take a picnic with us.’
(****), for a moment we had forgotten completely about the lockdown and the one hour limit on getting out the house for some fresh air and a bit of exercise. So, yes, mum and dad cursed, just a little more than average at the juxtaposition of a tempting opportunity and ‘no you can’t’.
By John Saunders
World Health Communication Associates (WHCA) & INSPIRIT Creatives UG NGO,
MediaWise and MediaFocusUK
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