Tuesday 7 July 2020

Exiting the corona cocoon

It has been a confusing time. In some ways, I've found the last few weeks of relative freedom more challenging than full-on lockdown. As we emerge from our Covid chrysalis, we are coming to terms with a 'new normal'. There are different rules/guidelines to navigate and we are a still long way off from going to the theatre, throwing raucous parties, or even going on a foreign holidays (despite all the talk of air bridges).

A field at sunset, full of white and red poppies
Hoping for a sweet summer
From talking to friends, a fair few of us are questioning the lifestyles we had pre-lockdown and are hopeful of a fresh start. And there are people (like me) who are feeling unsettled and unsure about what the future holds. 

The summer holidays are about to kick off - my two kids broke up last week. Usually, this is a time of high emotion as final assemblies and various ceremonies mark the passing of another milestone in our children's lives. For the kids, the summer also offers six heady weeks of freedom. This year, however, we've barely noticed as we transitioned quietly from remote learning to remote holiday mode. 


It reminded me that pleasure is generally made sweeter when it exists alongside something else in relief (work and play; weekdays and weekends). Summer this year is an extension of what we've already had (kids at home) albeit with a little less schoolwork. And, if anything, the end of term has reminded me of what our children have missed out on recently - all those little observances of friendship, like arms interlinked in the playground, hugs at the end of term, a sense of shared endeavour on the sports field, on stage or in the classroom.

Perhaps that's the issue I have with our 'new normal'. There isn't enough definition between what we had during lockdown and what we have now. Everything feels a bit beige. The risk of catching the virus has decreased - thank goodness - although we remain alert to the possibility of a second wave. No one can flick a switch and send us back to life circa January 2020. The best we can hope for is that Covid 19 joins the hidden dangers that we unwittingly face everyday - car accidents, cancer, crime and other gremlins.

Despite all of this, I hope the summer will bring new freedoms, gatherings with friends and the odd hedonistic moment (we deserve a few of those - maybe July/August 2020 will be the summer we did something crazy 😜). By September, I hope the kids can go back to school, catch up on the learning they've missed and enjoy being embedded in their communities once more. Finally, I hope we all find a way to move forward with our lives, taking the best of what we've learnt from our months of enforced seclusion, and adapting to the challenges that lie ahead.

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I think I was feeling a bit sombre when I wrote this... Here are my hopes and fears for the summer hols. ❤️
Posted by Emma Clark Lam on Wednesday, 8 July 2020

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