In a mere 10 days, Bear will be returning to school and two weeks after that, Bunni will be starting in the nursery class.
I realise that for many people, this is an exciting prospect and I get it, I really do. Being in Manchester means that we never really left lockdown. We could briefly meet friends/family outside in gardens but that didn’t really last long and so, for little Mini-Mancs, it’s been hard and in turn, hard on parents. So I get why so many adults are ready for their little ones to go back to school. There’s only so many times you can play ‘you be a lady and I’ll be a dog’, before you start to lose touch with reality.
For me, much as I am excited for Teddy to be back in the school he loves so dearly, it brings with it many worries. I worry the kids will get ill or bring back the virus to our home. As an asthmatic, I’m slightly higher risk.
Whilst I recognise and understand there are very clear benefits to our children socialising and continuing their educational journey- for some children (or their family) it is absolutely crucial that they go back to school – I worry about everything else.
I worry that my beautiful, sensitive Posey will have to start in the nursery class with no induction of settling-in period. Walking in on her own, to a room full of strangers from day one. I know this will unnerve her. I know she will likely cry and it seems unfair but that is how it has to be.
I worry that the reopening of schools will, inevitably, be the start of a second wave and that’s a daunting prospect. The peak of the virus was scary and I worry about being back in the grip of constant fear that the virus is waiting for us around every corner, lurking, waiting to pounce.
I worry about the financial and social impact of a second wave. People losing their jobs, their homes, their families and drinking, overdosing or being harmed as a result of the impact of the Pandemic on the economy and the stresses of lockdown.
I try not to agonize and brood over the coming months and I can’t say that it consumes me. I’m a relatively calm and rational person, which helps to keep things under control in my mind.
I trust the school will do their best to mitigate the risks whilst also ensuring the children feel safe and have fun, which is just as important as all the health and safety stuff. I don’t want to turn my children into germaphobes or rob them of a happy childhood.
In terms of how we will be reducing risks, we will be implementing the following:
Clean uniform daily
Temperature check twice a day
Removal of school clothes as soon as we get home, along with hand washing.
If you too are worried about the return to school and it is keeping you awake at night, I’d recommend contacting your school. I’m sure they can help to assuage at least some of your concerns. Also think of the ways you can control the situation within your home/family, minimising risks where possible.
Life must go on, else what’s the point and our children deserve normal childhoods full of friends, magic, wonder and wild experience. Here’s to summer 2021.