“Where is the life that late I led?
Where is it now? Totally dead.”
Kiss Me Kate
Whatever happened to joined up thinking?
Well, what do you know? As a response to public demand (I joke) cleaners are now allowed to go into people’s homes, which is great if you’re not able to cope with the work yourself. But many people who work as cleaners – ours included – don’t drive. They travel on the tube and buses to get to their destinations. They may come from homes where they are living with a large number of others. So, much as I would like not to have to clean our home any more, I will pass on that one. Yet, I cannot enter our children’s homes unless of course I decide to become their cleaner!
People can now meet up with a friend or a member of their family but only one person at a time and only as long as they practise social distancing – did that word ever exist in our language before this? So, I could meet up with one of our children – at a safe distance – and then OH (other half) could meet up with them. All of us have been in lockdown. None of us have gone anywhere except for walks. But we can only meet up with our children one at a time. What is the thinking behind that?
Yet, when we walk on the field near our home we see all the dog walkers gathering in groups together chatting away – a few feet apart from one another but certainly far more than one to one.
Our children cannot come inside our home and we cannot go into theirs. However, we are allowed to put our house on the market. Complete strangers can come and view it as long as they keep their distance. So, does that mean that if our children wanted to view our home that they could come inside it? And vice versa?
At very little notice for the teachers, small children are going to be allowed to return to school. How are young children going to practise social distancing? How are the children going to be kept apart at playtime?
Will the teachers and other workers at the school wear masks? Won’t the children find this a little scary and intimidating?
We are told that parents can choose whether or not to send their children to school. Won’t this create two different classes of school kids?
And what about the staff, the dinner ladies, the cleaners, the caretaker, the teaching assistants – are they all going to get PPE?
How are the parents going to return to work if they can’t turn to their parents (the children’s grandparents) for childcare as many of them did before?
Where is the joined up thinking in all this?
What’s the hurry? Why not wait till September for children to return to school? Or even January if necessary? And if children are to go back to school, why not start with the older children who will understand the need for social distancing? They are the ones who have been more affected by the lockdown. Many of them have exams. Surely it would make far more sense to start with them? And even if they were allowed to return to school, someone would need to still be at home to care for their younger siblings. So how can their parents return to work?
Maybe if there were a few more women in the Cabinet we would see a little more insight and understanding of what it means to be a parent.
I can cope with missing all the things we used to do. I don’t mind not having holidays, going out for meals, seeing friends, going to the theatre, the cinema, travelling on public transport and so on. But, like so many of our friends, I am missing spending time with our grandchildren. Touching them. Cuddling them. Holding them. Kissing them. No amount of telephone calls, Zoom, Face Time, WhatsApp or other screen time can replace this.
What do you think?
I’ll be back on Monday. Have a good weekend.
© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems