Lockdown Life: catch-up #1

How are you doing out there, dear reader?

Many of us are living alone.

Many of us are stuck inside with our families.

Many of us might have irritating housemates to deal with.

None of us have a choice about this.

Here in the UK, it’s been two weeks now since the lockdown and social isolation began.

I work in a college as a part-time Learning Support Assistant, so I am counted as a key worker. This means I have to keep working throughout this lockdown, but fortunately, the college has physically shut it’s doors so my colleagues and I are working from home.

I have never worked remotely before, so this is all new to me. There wasn’t time for any training at work. The decision to close the college was made on the Friday, and on the following Monday we were all at home.

My wife is also working from home. We have adapted the dining room the best we can to accommodate her needs, while I work at my laptop in the lounge.

Added into this mix are our two children. Their school is closed, too, so they are learning from home.

The past two weeks have been like a crazy experiment. I’m working on my laptop checking in with my students, while at the same time supervising my children and helping them with their school work, which gets set at the start of each week.

This is taking multitasking to a whole new level.

We have established a loose routine; “school” runs from 9 until noon, and the children more or less have free choice over which lesson activities they want to focus on, as long as they are all completed by the end of the week.

After lunch, they have free play until I finish my work at 2:30. I then spend as much time as I can with them in the garden; playing football, running around, playing with whatever toys they way, making dens or putting up a tent.

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Then they watch TV while we prepare dinner. We eat every meal together as a family, as usual. The children seemed to have adapted to this new way of life pretty well, but of course there are still tears and frustrations. They miss their friends, their teachers, their grandparents and relatives.

FaceTime, Zoom and Whatsapp video calls have made all the difference; I shudder to think how much worse this would all be if we didn’t have those technologies.

I have reduced my exposure to the news for the sake of my own sanity. I check headlines in the morning and then again in the evening. That’s it.

To all intents and purposes, the outside world has practically ceased to exist.

I’ve had a cough for the last week so I have not ventured further than our back garden.

School has ended now for the Easter holidays. My work has also ceased for the same reason. I am thankful for these two weeks off; trying to work while having the children bouncing off the walls would have been very stressful.

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So now we approach two weeks of nothing at all, which already tastes absolutely delicious.

But that’s enough about me.

How are you doing?

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