Charles spent the day in Occulus Rift, Joe in Minecraft. I place a hand on periodically, come and have some lunch. I’ve run a bath. They comply. Same tomorrow and the next day and the next and the next.
What a beautiful day. Such bright sun. Birdsong easier to hear and squirrels taking total advantage. Isn’t that nice?
Last night, I saw the lockdown notification via friends on Facebook around 2047, almost as it happened, and I got my coat on and started walking out the door. I hadn’t even seen the press conference.
Totally stupid – but I yelled upstairs to the boys what treats they wanted because we don’t have much treaty stuff in. Oreos and Chocolate Digestives were the requests. I was conscious that I’d not perhaps factored in things like that because I was so focused on work or having basic provisions; soap, bleach and fucking rice that no one actually likes – what worksheets we had printed out, or what time we were going to do that Joe Wicks workout.
At that point I didn’t know if we could go anywhere imminently so it really was whatever I’ve forgotten to get – I need to get NOW. Wasn’t terribly rational.
I know it wouldn’t have mattered in the larger scheme – but basically it was one of those empathetic fathery/mothery things where you put yourself in someone elses’s shoes. Not you. What might they like? Or need? What might make things a bit less shite for them?
I wasn’t sure of the import of the message or the extent, hadn’t heard it – I wasn’t meaning to clear any shelves, or grab bog roll. Just getting in bits I’d not thought about, to improve morale. God bless Global there were still bogrolls available but I didn’t bother with that. Says something about the community that they hadn’t been taken even by “1 per customer.”
Got the treats and some milk and observed the new stickers on the floor in the shop to space us out. We, as consumers, jived and danced around each other a bit on the shop floor. Uncertain of the rules of this new dance. Went next door to Global Wine for some booze. Came back.
Thought about it then went again. Cat food. Had none.
Came home. Then locked the door.
When I got back I did make the boys watch Boris’s video. I need them to understand the context of what’s going on, understand why they can’t do a bunch of things, and, whilst both remain somewhat oblivious, it doesn’t mean they aren’t adjusting.
The day today today started with me in a cocoon of fear and I knew I needed help. I phoned for a doctor’s phone appointment. Then I made breakfast. Managed to check that my eldest was logging in to his online live lesson, they’d eaten, curtains were open, teeth brushed and they were clothed – and then just had to lie down and try to get my heart to stop thumping. It did.
J, my ex-husband, confirmed that his partner’s patient wasn’t infected. They can go around to his tomorrow.
That made a whole world of difference. They can go to his house tomorrow. They get to hug their dad. He gets to hug them. It’s allowed. Ongoing they can perhaps on and off. Change of scenery, for them still on lockdown, not many get that – mental health benefit, and let’s be honest, a break for me. Not everyone gets one. Not everyone gets one. I know.
Messaging my partner, who’s likely to be laid off and needs attention – I probably wasn’t the doom-mongering incomprehensible stilt that I have been. We had a laugh. That might mean I still have him come 2022 or whenever things change and I get to see him in person and have a hug.
Lifted by this all, I finished a script, sorted more work bits and managed to chat to relatives who are doing a planetary shite-load more than me to cope and to help others.
Boys bossed into the garden in the afternoon, then bath later, now they’re clean in bed, settling, seemingly content. Precarious these normal things are, and so dependent on such concessions, circumstance and kindness.
I could give back a tiny bit along the way, because somebody else was going to shoulder something of the strain or because a relative or friend said something nice. We don’t need much but that’s why morale and helping are so important.
There’s a seesaw of need and surplus – except it isn’t really surplus – I don’t even know the word. But if you have the energy for a kind word or the ability to take a burden off somebody else then do it.
How much we are learning.