I’ve started this post many times and kept it in draft. But today, I just feel like having my say. The schools in the UK have opened their doors to their pupils this week, but some are taking it as the end of lock down.
Back to School
My Little Man returned to his primary school on Monday. He’s in year six, his last year of primary and the last few months are so important and special. He was thrilled to be going back and seeing his friends. He’s worked every day on Microsoft Teams, logging into his lessons and doing his work. But the past few weeks have been a struggle and he was so ready to get back to a more normal school environment.
Of course it’s not really normal, they still have no mixing of classes, teacher’s with clear face coverings, lunch in their classrooms, lots of outdoor work, one way systems around the school, segregated break times etc. The school is taking the threat seriously and teachers have not been vaccinated as a priority so I’m glad they are taking precautions. Mostly, the children are taking it all in their stride. They are just happy to be back and the school is doing their best to make it good for them as well as safe.
It’s a different story with the parents though. I don’t go to the school because of my vulnerability, (or underlying health conditions.) I have had my first vaccination and so has Graham. He does the school run. The Little Man is dropped off at the gate straight from the car and goes into the school guided by teachers. Other parents queue up to drop their children off and most follow social distancing rules.
Then there are those who see the return to school as the end of lock down. They chat in groups, go to each others house for coffee etc. Exactly as they would normally. If their kids are going to be together all day, why can’t the parents? I can see their point. However, for this return to school to work we have to follow the government guidelines and practice safety for a while longer. We need to keep the teachers safe, the children safe, and prevent the Covid virus from getting out of control again. Yes, a lot of the vulnerable are now vaccinated but it doesn’t mean that everyone is not at risk.
It’s all Relative
I am chronically ill. A day out is a rare occurrence for me. Graham popped to the post box and came in complaining that it was raining. He couldn’t understand how much I envied him. Ok, he thought I was nuts for wishing I could pop over the shops in the rain, but honestly, it would be amazing. It’s a normal situation that I just can’t do anymore, and I miss it. I miss chatting with friends at the school gates, watching my kids run around with others in the playground, popping to the shops with friends, visiting other’s houses, going out whenever I felt like it, driving my car, going out alone, walking, just walking, along the pavement.
Under lock down everyone else has missed these things to some extent too (maybe not the walking because unless you are in a wheelchair like me then you won’t understand that freedom.) I understand how hard it must be, but you will get that back soon. And the more careful you are right now, the sooner your freedom will come.
For people like me, the freedom will never be the same, but at least we will be able to actually go out again without the fear of getting so ill we will probably die.
Let’s See it Through to the End of Lock Down
I know some people still deny the pandemic, I know that some don’t want the vaccination or to wear masks or social distance. I can’t tell anyone what to do, but it seems like the government can’t either. If only we could all be on the same page and understand that we can see this through to end if we just follow a few rules. I don’t believe in forcing people to be vaccinated but for those who do want it, then go ahead, it will help stop the spread and the most vulnerable will be more protected. The sooner we get this under control the sooner we get our freedom back.
You will be able to continue with life as normal. And those of us at more risk will be able to get on with our previous kind of permanent lock down, knowing that we can escape occasionally without the added risk of catching a deadly virus.
We can’t bring back those that have died, and there are so many of them my heart breaks for all the families. What we can do is help prevent any more deaths. There is a light at the end of this very long and dark tunnel I’m sure, the end of lock down can be near.