the virus and us a year of the pandemic

The Virus and Us – A Year of the Pandemic

We have now passed the milestone of a year of the pandemic. I did want to write regular posts about the virus and us but it has been a very busy year for me. A mixed bag of both ups and downs. The pandemic started for us with me turning forty during the first week of lockdown. Our trip to Disneyland Paris to celebrate my birthday was cancelled. Now I am just days away from celebrating my second lockdown birthday.

the virus and us a year of the pandemic

My Year of the Pandemic

Weeks before we headed into the pandemic my work life changed. I have been working from home since Ethan got his autism diagnosis. My role was really as an overflow and I was called upon as and when I was needed. In February last year, I was officially added to one of the teams to work with a new client. I had to commit to a fixed working schedule for client availability. With both the children now being in school we felt it was a good role for me to accept. The discussions we had about this role’s commitment needs feel so silly now as just a few weeks later the schools were closed.

In those few weeks, we watched Cocid-19 make its way to England like an unstoppable wave. I’m not sure if it is because we have friends in Italy or it was because we knew we were going to Disneyland Paris soon but I felt more aware of the virus than others. It wasn’t long before our plans for the months ahead started to get cancelled along with our Disneyland Paris trip.

Then we were told to stay at home. The team I work with all moved to home working and we discovered Google Meets and Zoom chats. The work for our client exploded and it has been non-stop. No days of furlough for me to sort out our house or help the children with homeschooling.

Darren’s Year of the Pandemic

When the option of furlough was announced Darren put himself forward. We knew his job wouldn’t be safe with all the shops having to close and asking for furlough would make him a target. But with the thought of me having to work and look after the children for an unknown amount of time, the risk was worth it. During the summer months, Darren was made aware that the company would have to start making cutbacks. This meant assessments and interviews we knew his job was on the chopping block. Darren’s furlough lasted until October, the original furlough end date. At the end of October, he was made redundant.

Fate was on our side as Darren found himself another job and started work right away. To be honest we are unsure how long this job will last. Living in a pandemic we are embracing taking each day as it comes even more. I’m sure every employee at the moment is just going with the flow.

How Have The Children Handled This Year?

To be honest it has been surprising how Ethan has adjusted to the changes that have had to happen this year. Goggle Maps helped us as it showed him that places were closed in the opening hours section. He made routines out of our daily walks and the daily coronavirus briefings. This meant we have to stick to the times they happened and the routes we took. His sleep was terrible as he has to be worn out with activities. This meant we have all been running on lack of sleep for a year. Well, we always have a lack of sleep but this has been more continuous. Ethan really misses his grandparents and the worst moment of lockdown with him was when I told him he couldn’t visit them. He would stay with them every week and he broke his heart when we told him he couldn’t go.

Little E has been able to vocalise her fears and anxiety more than her brother. I had moments of her crying herself to sleep because she didn’t want to kill her nanny. These are things that a six-year-old shouldn’t need to worry about. We tried to limit watching the coronavirus briefings but it was hard as Ethan needed them for his routine. I’m really worried about her education. She is one of the youngest in her class and I failed terribly at the homeschooling. I feel like I have let her down. Let’s hope she has the time to catch up.

What About The Good Parts?

2020 definitely wasn’t the year that anyone was expecting. I get the impression that everyone thought 2021 would be better. I personally think that we might be more restricted this year. Last year they opened travel corridors and Darren declared he would drive us to Disneyland Paris. It was his first time driving in France and I’m so glad that he gave us the chance to go. Disneyland Paris was full of Covid-19 restrictions but we had an amazing time. We got to experience the magic in a different way and made some more great memories.

I also got an amazing deal on a stay at Butlin’s. We got to experience a Butlin’s family holiday for the very first time. Of course, Butlin’s had to put Covid-19 restrictions in place, we were just glad to get out of the house. Little E loved her time there and cried for a whole week on our return.

We only got to visit my brother and his family once last year. But we really appropriated our day with them. This past year of the pandemic has really taught us to appreciate the little things. Even with the lockdowns, we made some amazing memories with our children in 2020. When things open up again we have a list of local adventures we want to experience. I wonder where we will be in a year’s time?

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