May 11, 2020

Mama Life || Thoughts After This Week's Boris Speech

Like many, after seeing our Prime Minister's speech last night addressing the UK on the next stage of the lock down measures, I'm left feeling confused, anxious and a little bit useless. At first, I thought it was a good speech and his message was clear, but shortly after I realised it didn't really tell us much at all and is very likely to cause far more harm than good. We still can't really see family, yet we can return to work working shoulder to shoulder with other people unless we have kids who need looking after, then what? We can venture out to exercise as much as we want, two metres from other people, yet we can't see family. We can sit on grass in public spaces with people from our household, we can use pubic transport but bike or walk if we can, fair enough. We should stay home, but we should go out, we should go to work, but stay home. It's all a bit of a bloody mess isn't it? 

The bit that has me sick to my stomach though, the bit that's brought my anxiety flying back at speed is the possibility (and I know it's just that for now) that they will start letting primary kids back in starting with reception and year one children. The statement alone in a country with some of the worse figures when it comes from the effects of the virus is ludicrous at best, but as a parent of a year one child, the thought of sending my precious gorgeous baby back into a school with limited students but still in the hundreds to possible catch this virus, bring it home and spread it further has me quaking in my boots. 
There is absolutely no way that my child will be used as a guinea pig right now and whether this means leaving my job to care for them, facing fines or whatever else, it'll just have to be, because the health of my family is far more important than anything else. Other than allowing some parents with no other children to return to work, I can't see any benefit to them returning on June 1st? As far as I can see it put's them, their families and their wonderful teachers at risk, it's more traffic on the roads, it's more people having to buy petrol, visit shops, go shopping for uniform because all our children have doubled in size since they finished school and having to leave other siblings at home and head into a potentially infectious environment is surely worse for their mental health and learning than staying put at home?

Someone said earlier that if kids/schools/parents can't stop the spread of head lice and sick bugs in the normal way that spread like wildfire, how can we stop the spread of Covid-19? To children aged 4 or five, they depend on parents and teachers to help them wash hands, clean up snot, cough into their hand or a tissue, not lick each others faces, lick the floor or whatever else kids do. This is quite possibly the worst age group to send back and whilst I completely understand the struggles for some families right now, the fact is quite simply that people, and a lot of people too, are still dying each and every day. The numbers may be improving in terms of new cases, but it's still there, we haven't seen a decent decline in the statistics and I think we are a long way off chucking kids back into the germ fest that is a school setting.

I feel angry, stressed and anxious that the decision to keep my babies safe is potentially going to try and be taken out of my hands, but like most people I have seen today online, I won't be sending my kids in any time soon, whatever the repercussions. 

The whole speech when you really analyze it basically translates to the fact that there is no right answer. Boris is basically saying that nothings getting much better quickly, but fuck it the economy could do with a bit of help so let's shove some more poor people back at work, encourage people to venture out more, spread more germs and fuck it may as well send some kids back to see what happens while we're at it, but just the little ones mind as 4/5 years olds are renowned for their excellence in hygiene practises. I mean I get what he's saying and it is a struggle for many and it is terrifying how many businesses and families are suffering right now, but he doesn't really care about those people, he just needs to feel like he's doing something and pumping some money back around the country.

I can only imagine (but really hope I'm wrong!) that the 'new rules' which should technically just be saying 'still stay home to save lives unless you really can't' are just going to encourage people to mingle, see family at a distance (but who can really resist hugging their mum?), a tonne of people heading to the coast, which is fine because they'll stay two metres apart, except they can't because there's a thousand other people on the same strip of beach. People will be out picnicking more, so they'll be shopping more, meeting friends at a distance, head back to their jobs where they'll be fine because they can stay apart, only they can't because life just isn't always that easy. Then in a few weeks time, the numbers of people getting the virus will rocket, hundreds more will die needlessly and we'll be back into a stricter lock down because as a nation we are brilliant but also doused heavily with idiots that have no common sense. What exactly does 'stay alert' mean when it comes to a virus? It's all very vague, short notice for those told yep you can go back to work tomorrow and quite a bit distressing, especially for those with health issues. Doesn't all this just undo all the hard work we've done so far?

So I'm not really sure what's going on right now, whether I'll ever go back to my job because I can't leave the kids, whether I'll get some hefty fines in the future for wanting to keep them safe at home, whether we'll be at more risk now when we do head out because everyone else is living freely and spreading their wealth of germs. It's a strange weird time but I absolutely disagree with making any changes right now. It would be fine if everyone was sensible, but I think we've seen enough from the world to know that most people aren't and won't be sensible and will be out to please themselves. I'm aware that to an extent we will have to learn to live with it and be 'alert', sensible and keep doing what we can, I just don't think it's quite time just yet. Until we see a hefty decline on the arch of all those charts we've seen, I don't think we should be making any changes. 

How are you feeling right now? 

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