Friday March 20th - Sunday March 22nd 2020
"It seems totally incredible to me now, that, everyone spent that evening as though it was just like any other."
The Journalist, from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
Friday started with dry, chapped hands. A symptom of the amount of hand washing I had completed over and over during the past week or so. It's something that we are All living through.
A new norm.
Routine was something that had to work more than ever in the house if it wasn't to implode on itself, devouring all in a wrath of frustration. It's difficult for the boys (the 2 eldest at least) to get their heads around the 'new norm' but that is expected. Rightly so, they should be shielded from the finer details of what is going on around them, around the world, but some things just need to be in place more than ever for the 'new norm' to work.
On our way back from our daily dose of socially-distanced fresh air, at our local and quiet nature reserve, I was astonished at how life was still happening, but in a way that it shouldn't. It reminded me of my favourite audio play, The War of the Worlds by H G Wells, adapted by Jeff Wayne, at the part where the deadly cylinder had landed, yet life just carried on. The calm before the storm at this point of the story is very much how life in the UK is now. There are many that understand the importance of social distancing and isolation but the few that don't are the ones that will bring about a storm none of us want nor need. We drove past a pub and people were obliviously conversing at its doors. Thankfully, hours later, PM Boris Johnson ordered them and other crowd magnets to shut. This 'new norm' isn't getting through and it's frustratingly worrying. COME ON PEOPLE, the folk from H G Well's novel can be forgiven for not having pre-warning about their alien visitation because technology didn't exist, let alone the wireless, but media for us saturates our lives.
There is no excuse for such ignorance or lack of compliance. Put simply, it's life or death.
The day ended with the putting away of school, Beavers, dance and Ju-Jitsu uniforms. Incredibly sad and a sorrowful consequence of the 'new norm.' But, we look forward to getting them out again soon.
Saturday was Mother's Day prep day. Cards were made and then the we embarked on the hard task of dropping them off at the family homes we know and love. The children stayed in the car and watched as flowers and cards were either place on door mats to be collected, once at safe distance or handed over wearing gloves to protect the valuable yet elderly recipients. It was sad and added to the surreal feeling that this time bares on us all. This wasn't easy and asking family to stand back so as not to get too close to the children, for everyone's safety, was difficult to instruct. But sticking to the rules is paramount. It seems that this is the new way of showing someone you love them. Dearly. However backwards it seems, it is a gesture that truly means it.
The day continued with thinking of elderly neighbours and how our main road is feeling more and more quiet like a Sunday. Everyday. It seems we are in for a month of Sundays. Science experiments and sounds of laughter; wolf whistles baring paper fangs and running feet around the ground floor makeshift running track all concluded before bed. The boys were tired yet hyper but smiles abounding.
And Mother's Day's main event was a walk out into our Secret Garden we call the allotment, just beyond our back garden. The sunshine was beautiful but in the back of my mind I couldn't help but think if the population really stuck to not meeting in family groups.
The boys loved being in our plot, making new friends with snails and worms, as we readied a bonfire to be set sometime this week during a nice evening. Social distancing is easy here, yet it is still good to talk and wave at other plot owners who inadvertently want you think to that they are 'All good' but have this air of precaution around them. This is our reality and this how is it done. If only the muppets in the world could see it and replicate.
I go to bed, this evening, thinking of my colleagues who go back to school tomorrow, my little brother and sister-in-laws in the Police, the NHS workers and the brave food delivery drivers who drop off food. We had a delivery today and I thanked him for what he was doing. It was appreciated and getting back into his van, I noticed the wedding ring on his finger. The people on the frontline of this crisis are heroes and that needs to be remembered daily during this season. And their families.
I'll make sure my boys know that.
Tomorrow starts with PE with Joe.