As someone tweeted the other day, “Physically, im close to July. Mentally, im still processing March.”
No words could ring more true regarding the experience of the past few months. The initial announcement of school closures was met with scenes reminiscent of the world cup in 2018, only to be dashed away when the key worker list was released the following Monday. As a teacher it felt like ninety percent of the UK workforce was announced as a key worker, leaving us pondering over the effectiveness of school closures. It should also be noted that the key worker list- emphasis on the words ‘key worker’- encompassed many roles which the government had previously disregarded as being non essential; and scarily, this included nurses.
The next few weeks are what I can only describe as a blur. This isnt meant to be cliche- its simply the only way I can describe it. With little to differentiate between weekday and weekend, I often found myself partaking in drinking games on houseparty with friends on random weekdays. House party and zoom provided somewhat of a lifeline during those early weeks, allowing much needed social interaction. There was one small issue however. Conversation. All too quickly we realised how much conversation spawns and evolves from our daily lived experiences, and with little to none of that normal input, the output was even worse.
In terms of teaching, I continued creating resources for children, and planning for our eventual return- which was rumoured to be in September. It was extraordinary being a teacher from home, and something I will miss. The flexibility, efficiency, and comfortability of being at home made it a far easier and enjoyable job.
I have a common theme with disliking the conservative party, and at the start of this year my feelings were no different. However, on that day in March when Boris came out, armed with Chris Witty and Patrick Vallance, I was willing for the first time to believe and accept- almost hopefully- the conservative way. The encouragement, coupled with scientific facts and informed decision making gave me some semblance of hope in the darkness. I look back often to that night. Mainly because the weeks following saw a rapid abandonment and shunning of the ‘science’ as it was often quoted. “The science says”…”Only when the science allows.” I wished over and over to see this science myself, to help inform my own opinions instead of blindly following a government which has- as always- preferred capital over life.
Its hard really to illustrate the lived experience of lock-down. There are many dark moments I have and will forget, and many that will follow me until the grave. I have enjoyed parts like no other, and developed a new found love for running and cycling- which if you knew me before seems laughable. These few months feel like a lifetime in themselves, and yet, we are only in July. Strangely though they have also flown by? Perhaps there is a very long German word that may capture the essence of this feeling, but I have’nt discovered it yet.
Submitted 30 June 2020