My daughter is really excited about school and I know being with her friends again will be good, even while I am angry that it is mandatory to send them back. I question the morality of trying to get us all “back to normal” with the virus still raging through the population.

Human Bean’s #MadCovidDiaries, Week 23: August 24th to August 30th 2020

This week we emerged a little more out of lockdown as we travelled to have an outdoor meet up with my family (socially distant) and we had a playdate with my 4 year old’s pal from school (adults socially distanced, kids didn’t). 

The day out with my family was really good. I was nervous when I organised it that the place would be very busy, or that my family would feel resentful at travelling a long way for essentially a picnic and a walk – but we all had a really good time and it definitely felt worth it. We were lucky with the weather (it didn’t rain!) and we were lucky that it wasn’t *too* busy, though the area around the playground and paddling pool was crowded. We didn’t go into that area other than to don masks and use the public toilets on arrival and before we left. We usually do a beach trip at the end of summer and although I was really sad that we couldn’t do that this year, this was a good second best and I’m so glad we got to see each other. My dad was pretty terrible at social distancing and my mum really wanted to hug the kids. It was hard but ultimately I just want to protect them. 

Having a playdate with my daughter’s preschool mate felt like the most high risk thing we have done; it was raining, so we were indoors. It was the first time we’ve had somebody else inside our house since March. However, my daughter and her playmate will be starting school together on Thursday, so they will be sitting indoors next to each other anyway. My partner and I and the playmate’s mum tried to keep our distance from each other and we also had a window open. 

It has also been a week of organisation and reflection before the new school year. My partner is going back to work in a secondary school, I am very worried about the level of risk but I also feel a big sense of resignation about it. We have no choice, we need the money so he has to go to work. I am also feeling very mixed about waving my daughter off to school for the first time in a pandemic. It is an emotional milestone as it is, and I’ve been thinking a lot about these 4.5 years we have had together and how grateful I am to have had this time with my little pal. I will be at home with her younger sister, who is 2, and I have started studying some maths in the hope of starting a course next September. I’m apprehensive but at the moment I am not feeling completely negative about the prospect of change. It’s kind of refreshing to have some change in our lives that is not the pandemic kind. 

My daughter is really excited about school and I know being with her friends again will be good, even while I am angry that it is mandatory to send them back. I question the morality of trying to get us all “back to normal” with the virus still raging through the population. COVID looms in the background and the increasing numbers of cases we are seeing. I find it wild that our government (and our society, to some extent) seems is happy to go ahead and let numbers increase until the point where we’ll likely need another national lockdown, and definitely local ones. Letting numbers increase means (in real terms) letting people die, so that the economy can keep going. Capitalism really is a death cult! 

I hold all these things in my head and my heart as I wave my little one off to school for the first time. It’s the only world she knows, and I can’t imagine what that’s like, I can only try to support her in it. 

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