Monday 16th March 2020
Keep calm and carry on.
Due to my mistrust of the government’s advice, with regards to limiting (accelerating!) the spread of Coronavirus, I’m choosing to withdraw Non-Sick Sprog from school for the time being. But, if she thinks she can have a lie-in, she can think again. Three yells from me, and she’s up, and ready for home-school.
‘Just what subjects can you teach, Mum?’
‘English, Maths, History, Geography, RE, …..’
‘What about PE?’
‘We have a WiFit!’
Luckily, she doesn’t ask me about Science. This is as well, as I know very little about the subject, and fear (know) that this may (will) be a gap in the planned home-school curriculum.
Don’t be silly! The decision to home-school Non-Sick Sprog only happened yesterday. No time for planning; I’ll be making it up as I go along. No sweat!
First lesson: Write a Coronavirus diary.
‘What do I write about?’
‘Being home-schooled. And I want 500 words minimum.
The work gets done, amazingly – I had expected more resistance – and I give my feedback: Avoid starting too many paragraphs with ‘I’. Use the mnemonic EDINGLY – start with a word ending with -ed, -ing, or-ly.
‘What? Expect me to know that? I’m only in Key Stage 3. I’m not doing GCSEs!’
‘It’s basic Key Stage 2 stuff!’
But all is not lost. It turns out that said Sprog is quick on the uptake; I set her some History work about the slave trade – a recount about life on a slave plantation. I see some EDINGLY sentence starters and am chuffed to bits. A student who listens to advice and applies it. Wow!
Non-Sick Sprog is learning something; something more than she’s learnt in eight years of schooling. Now she just needs to get to work on eliminating my pet hate – the comma splice! And then …
All is well and good, except that in the school day, we only get through two subjects – English and History. I had hoped to do some Maths. Still, it’s all about quality not quantity. No matter that they do five subjects a day at school!
Tomorrow, we’ll do the Maths.
Overall, I reflect, this first day of home-schooling has been a massive success; whilst Sprog was writing about slavery, I was having a well-deserved nap. Paid, or not, this could be the best employment I’ve had to date!
But besides my new sense of worth and purpose, the highlight of the day has to be when I receive a call from Public Health England to inform me that Sick Sprog’s Coronavirus test was negative. That’s good, isn’t it? But, I’m told, he still needs isolating for 14 days. Oh well, at least I can now deliver meals to his room without having a heart attack every time I’m coughed upon.
But then I ponder: If one had Coronavirus and recovered, would one then be immune?
As things stand, Sick Sprog could still contract said virus, and then be sick – more dangerously sick – all over again. I click through various Google searches and find a news article claiming that some victims have contracted Coronavirus twice. ‘Herd immunity?’ Come on, Boris – what are you playing at by leaving our schools open? Close them down!
I watch BBC news. Fifty-five people in the UK have now died of Coronavirus. All people should now avoid social contact and any unnecessary travel. Families are to self-isolate if any member has a cough or high temperature. Everyone should work from home. Avoid clubs, pubs and theatres. Over 70s should self-isolate for three months. No-one should go shopping. But – DON’T STOCKPILE! AND, AS CHILDREN RARELY BECOME ILL WITH CORONAVIRUS, SCHOOLS ARE TO STAY OPEN!
When is Boris going to start talking any sense? What if the teachers become ill? Are the children expected to teach themselves?
I tell Hubby to get himself to Tesco and secure a supply of tinned tomatoes and red wine. Okay, so I’m not supposed to drink alcohol with my anti-depressant drugs, but the way things are going, there won’t be any more drugs available for me to take. ‘Get some wine too!’ I tell Hubby.
No tomatoes left – not even puree or passata! Hubby informs me. But I got the wine. I examine his purchases – just three bottles of wine and three cans of beer! What good is that going to do?
I just hope that Aldi’s shelfs aren’t empty. Tomorrow. Home-school can start a little later than usual. Tomorrow (I try not to think about the coughing customers), I must pay a visit to Aldi.
An early visit.
‘Life as we know it is changing forever!’ states an ITV newsreader.
Cheers, I think. Love you too!
I text Non-Sick Adult Sprog who, is some distance away from home – visiting a friend. ‘Cut the social contact. Come back home. No-one’s allowed to visit restaurants. You’re out of a job as far as the catering industry is concerned. You need to sign on for Jobseeker’s Allowance!’
‘Yes, Mum. I do watch the news.’
‘Good. Love you and see you soon. XX’
But it won’t be soon enough. It’s too late to catch a train back now and, in any case, she’s not due back until tomorrow.
Come home, Eldest Sprog. Youngest Sprog needs a Governess. You can teach Art and Music can’t you? And PE?
And, before you get on the train, grab some tinned tomatoes! And, once on the train, don’t sit anywhere near anyone else – and don’t touch your face, not even to pick your nose, and don’t sit down!
The seat might be contaminated.
And don’t ….
By The Silly-Savvy Salopian