The high point of the ban, when nothing was open anywhere and we were only allowed to train outdoors once a day, now seems like an eternity ago.
Some people seem to be back to work as usual, posting photos of family members and friends hugging each other. Others still stay at home as actively as possible. But for many of us, we are starting to resume normal activity at a comfortable pace. Everyone is in a slightly different boat, but we tick boxes as we temporarily restart activities that we took for granted before locking.
Monday July 13th
And off we go to Dorset. I’m a little nervous But only a little.
Friday July 17th
We are back from ours five days in Dorset. When I look back now, I wonder what all the fear was about. We visited Heather’s aunts, spent a few days on the beach, negotiated the (relatively light) crowds in Weymouth, Swanage and Sandbanks and generally had a blast.
It definitely helped that this was the week before most schools split up for the summer. But I definitely underestimated the restorative advantage of just being in a different place for a few days. I feel empowered and less anxious. We all do that. And for the first time since the ban, I can really imagine what a return to normal could look like.
I’m so glad Heather encouraged us to book this break. Even if our planned trip to France does not take place, we had a real vacation.
It feels like we ticked a huge box this week.
school is out
As the Alice Cooper song says, the school is out for summer. Toby and Kara ended up only returning to school for four days – short but useful. Isaac never returned and was finished a week earlier. In total, he has eight weeks off, while the other two have six weeks off.
Since there are no holiday clubs, this is quite a challenge for us and certainly for other parents in similar situations. Without the distraction of a few hours of schoolwork, these days could quickly become long and boring.
We want to give them all weekly projects so they can focus on them. This week we asked them to develop their own rounds for a family quiz that we’ll be holding over the weekend. Given that they all immediately rushed off to think about topics and questions, we sorted at least the first week.
Monday July 20th
I went to Reading this afternoon to have some tests done. I thought I might find it annoying to visit the same hospital – the Royal Berkshire – where the first publicly announced death of the Corona virus occurred in the UK. But it wasn’t, possibly because I was too busy annoying with the tests.
It was interesting to go through a high-risk environment in which employees continued to work with protective clothing and other measures throughout the curfew. They were all very factual and just kept going. No drama.
It is hard not to admire the way the NHS staff continued to work as if things were normal in circumstances that are anything but normal. And it’s not just doctors and nurses. Receptionists, caretakers, other non-medical professionals. A whole army of people is required for a hospital to run smoothly. It is a reminder of how easy the rest of us had things and how trivial some of our complaints are.
It was only a Monday, but it was also the first time since I closed that I walked through a large shopping area in the city. And it was fine. I still value maintaining social distance from people as I walk along. And I have a face mask in my pocket when I go to shops. But it feels … okay.
Friday July 24th
As of this morning, it is now mandatory to wear face masks in stores.
Some people have a real health reason not to wear a mask. That is fair enough. But I cannot believe the number of people who refuse to do this simple action and claim that it violates their civil liberties and is too uncomfortable. I just do not understand. Even if you don’t think you need to protect yourself, do so to protect others as this is the considerate thing.
If surgeons, doctors and nurses can wear masks and other protective equipment for hours every day, can surely everyone do this for 30 minutes when they drop by Tesco?
There was a campaign that encouraged people to post #NoMaskSelfies on social media to glorify the stance they took against oppression and tyranny. I imagine such people like to see themselves as heroic conscientious objectors. They really are not. It has never been so obvious to find someone who only cares about number one and hell with everyone else. And no matter what they think of themselves, for me they are all selfish idiots. End of.
Somewhat gorgeous, the hashtag was kidnapped by people wearing masks and calling out those who weren’t. At times like this, I remember why I like social media so much.
Saturday July 25th
Like many other fitness clubs, my local gym was reopened today. They have done a great job explaining all the measures they have taken to ensure the safety of their members. Still, I’m not quite ready to return. However, I am not far away. Maybe another week. The box remains open, but the pen is floating.
We did our family quiz tonight. Heather and I were seriously impressed with the effort and thought that each of the children had made their rounds. They were creative, played laps at the right level and enjoyed the challenge. You have already asked if we can make one again soon. I wonder if we can make this a weekly challenge for every week of vacation.
Resumption of normal operations
In the past few days, it felt like those first preliminary steps back towards normality had become a headless sprint. The streets are back to normal. Our regular weekly zoom calls fall by the wayside as people expand their social horizons. And the children’s activities will also be restarted, changing from a 2D screen to 3D playing fields and gyms.
Toby’s football club had its first training after the lockdown on Friday evening, but with a lot of distance and avoiding physical contact. He was so happy and relieved to be back.
Kara resumed training at the gym on Saturday afternoon, although we made the big decision to move her from a competitive squad to the “advanced hobbyist” group. We thought she would resist this step, but I think she can see the benefits of being less pressured and freeing up time for new activities and just doing simple things like game dates that she’s never had time for.
This will undoubtedly make it more difficult to maintain some of the family-oriented habits that we developed during the ban, such as: B. our long weekend walks. We just have to find a way to integrate some of these things so that the new normal does not simply revert to the old normal.
Sunday July 26th
It was five months since the last time I really set foot in someone else’s house. Visiting our friends for a barbecue was another big step on the way back to normal.
When it initially felt a little strange to see people in your home in three dimensions after talking to them on a laptop screen weekly for months, it didn’t take long. We all had a great afternoon and, even better, we go (fingers crossed) to France together in less than four weeks.
It really feels like summer now. It even started to rain while grilling. There is simply no “British summer” anymore, is there?
Another box checked.
Previous entries “Life under lock”
Our “new normal”: 15.-19. March
And this is how it starts: March 20-23
The informal monotony: 24.-26. March
Another life: 27-29 March
Hang there: March 30th – April 5th
A marathon, not a sprint: 6.-13. April
So it starts again: 14th-19th April
Not what I expected: 20-26 April
An endless pause ?: April 27 – May 3
Months, not weeks: 4th-10th May
The long way back to the “normal” 11th-17th May
The end of the beginning: 18.-24. May
Time to regain control: 25th-31st May
Back to normal: 1.-7. June
Preparation for the “Blip”: 8.-14. June
In the middle of nowhere: 15.-21. June
The way back to normality: 22.-28. June
Release the pause button: June 29th – July 12th
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