Monthly Archives: July 2020

Going Back to School

Are you ok? I mean, really ok? Are you ready to go back to school?

I mean, let’s be honest. The lockdown has not been easy. Despite a garden, a bedroom of my own (if you don’t count the husband), (relatively) easy access to food and toilet roll (admittedly, it took us a while to get ourselves a supply of flour), a family who actually get on well with each other and kids who are (relatively) low maintenance, it’s been hard. And I’m in a relatively privileged position. I dread to think how it’s been for people who haven’t had the same access to resources we have.

And are you anxious? Speaking for myself, I never used to be so grey. I have the start of a silver streak that starts just to one side of my forehead that didn’t used to be there. Anxiety has been my constant companion since the messaging about underlying health conditions kicked in (you know, the one about how you don’t need to worry unless you have one). It might not dominate my so-called sleeping hours in quite the same way as it did in March and April, but it is still there, making me jumpy, driving my desire to stay away from pubs, to stay at a distance from my parents, to keep on washing the shopping.

The sudden loss of social support systems, friends, colleagues and family, for an extended period, has been… traumatic. We have had to adjust to a world in which the antibiotic-ed certainty has been whipped away, where suddenly post popping through the letter box has become suspicious and visits to the doctor are no longer comforting but frightening. I’ve grieved for the lack of hugs from my mother.

Honestly, if you haven’t been out, even if you’ve only been bored and you haven’t gorged on graphs of death and devastation, even if the losses in such numbers haven’t touched you and you think that you’re basically ok, you need to adjust to being back in school. You need time, time to plan, to settle, to visit and see that everything is safe and controlled, manageable, to get used to the ‘new normal’. You need time to say hello to colleagues missed, to laugh together over lockdown haircuts (or lack of) and realise how much you’ve missed each other.

You need it – and so do they.