The Gap: Part 3 – PANDEMIC – no one panic!

So after the burnout of the education and lack of support crisis, which lead to home education and lack respite, the fight for an appropriate school provision (which had only just been won for Caitlin, but Logan’s journey was still outstanding), and a safeguarding enquiry… We roll straight into a global pandemic! Wow! What can you say about that really? Impeccable timing!!!

But the impact on us was different to many families (a few examples to highlight):

  • “Educate from home”…. Ok well, we know how to do that, but at least someone else is in charge of curriculum now
  • “Find a reduce children’s anxiety triggers” – that’s a familiar one, so out come the usual but slightly tweaked to fit visual timetables and daily routines
  • “Stop seeing people – and stay distanced when you do” actually, we “see” people rarely and social distancing works quite well for us, especially Caitlin who has quite enjoyed it

But there were a few things that caused issue

  • Panic Buying angle one – these are kids who’ve “been without” seeing the supermarket so bare caused huge anxiety that they would not be able to have basics again – so I had to empty our cupboard of all non perishable goods and out them in the cellar (so they felt we had ample back up) and we lived purely on perishable stocks. And actually it meant I found the veg deliveries I’d been looking to get but not had time to arrange previously, and other avenues had opened up too (like meat deliveries).
  • Panic buying angle two – whilst we were buying toilet roll (I don’t mean panic buying, literally 2 rolls per toilet as we were on dregs and I’d have moved to rags if necessary) both children were quite literally grabbed and pushed out of the way but a panic buyer trying to stash. I didn’t physically harm the person who’d just been so physical with the children (despite an overwhelmingly strong desire to do so) but the look I gave the person was enough for them to down stash and walk away sheepishly.
  • Grief over loss – Logan had a new tutor, Caitlin a new school and both were now taken away (though going to remain in contact virtually, it took a while to convince them and help them to realise they were going to remain in these setups and that it wasn’t just them subject to new arrangements but rather the entirety of the children. But they still had a period of grief, these are children who’ve already lost 2 families, 2 schools and 3 home towns. So loss feels huge to them.
  • Freedom to explore – this is a coping strategy for us; when things are getting stressful at home, it can get very tense and we have learned to diffuse this by heading out for an adventure and an explore; a happy distraction. This is a lifeline and it was no longer viable.

Phil and I were really poorly at the beginning of lockdown 1, and we think that we may well have had covid except we were unable to get tested at that point as it was still very limited groups who could be tested. But we were more poorly than we had been in along time; 4 weeks later we called the docs and got antibiotics as things had shifted (was either covid or another virus, followed up with a secondary illness or what we now know to be long covid). I shall not outline how we’re were etc. Cause people have blogged that to max. Neither child showed any outward symptoms, though both complained of tight chested-ness.

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