Chai And A Chat #76 #ChaiAndAChat #CoronaDiaries

Well, hello there everyone! It feels like it is a very different world I am living in, as I type this, compared to last week. Still filled with uncertainty and worry, but more… stark. That is the only way I can describe it.

From this week, I will still be sharing my Chai with you, but these will be my #CoronaDiaries. A view from the eyes of a teacher as well as what is happening in life.

But let’s start with a recap of last week!

  • On Monday, my colleague and I had a course to go to, so off we trotted, and the course was about changes in the curriculum, but each section was peppered with comments basically saying “If we’re still in school,” or “if we finish this year…”. It was hard to think about changes in next year, when this years education was so up in the air. We got confirmation from our colleagues that the class numbers were 20 and 17 respectively, in our two reception classes, out of a posible 30 in each. This was as a result of people self-isolating, if there were symptoms, as directed by the government. The next day a message was sent to confirm that if you as a parent were concerned, then it was up to you if you wanted to keep your children off. That meant a further drop in numbers. Tuesday mine was 19 the others 13. Wednesday was 12 and 8. Thursday was 7 and 5. Friday was 6 and 5… Whether these were scared parents, or self isolators, it remains to be seen, but if I was a parent, I’d have been trying to send them in, knowing that a closure for a LONG TIME was due…
  • We did our best, as a team, to keep upbeat. You know me. I’m always up for silliness. We amalgamated the two classes and really let them do fun stuff, alongside learning, then on Wednesday good old BoJo (don’t know why, I always seem to say Bozo, instead of BoJo, and have to correct myself!) announced blanket school closures as of the end of the school day, on Friday. Even more reason to keep the kids we had in, smiling. So on Thursday, some decided they wanted to go trick or treating. They dressed up from my home corner, and went knocking at the tables in the classroom, shouting “Trick or Treat!”. That wasn’t sufficient so the next stage was them asking us teachers to dress up , in costumes designed for kids… well, you have to indulge in these sillinesses, for the kids, don’t you?
I think I make a great Spidey carrying Goldilocks!
  • We have been using the Pirates theme to base our learning around and had things been normal, this Friday coming was to be our dress up as Pirates day. Well that was obviously not happening, so I talked to my team and we decided we would dress up to entertain the kids who turned up at least, on their last day. Kudos to the ladies who work in my class. They know the lengths I would go to and they heartily joined in. The other class, not so much, but at least the children were all going to be together, so they all benefitted from our silliness!
Meet my crew! That is me, Captain Stinky Jo, the Lady Buccaneer, on the left!
  • But what of these school closures? What was going to happen to us all? Despite the announcements made to the nation on Wednesday, the government still hadn’t cleared up a huge amount of niggly information needed for these closures to take place. He told the world that school was closed for everyone, except the children of keyworkers (detailing only three examples; front line NHS workers, delivery drivers and police), vulnerable children, and those with EHCP plans (children with complex educational needs, who have an agreed plan.) this brought up a quagmire of questions from parents and schools alike; Am I a key worker? If this is social distancing, why are teachers not allowed to stay at home? What are we going to do with our children? Who needs to be in school and who doesn’t? Well, there were no real clear answers until Friday morning, by which time, so many rumours and theories had been thrown around, that no one really knew what was real and what was suggested. To cut a long story short (ish) we are all still going to be in, in our school, as I write this (plans could change at any moment) and four teachers will be with the children who will be allowed to come in. They will be split into two age groups, and there is to be no official curriculum learning happening, more a childcare facility, with more arts, crafts, music, story, PE, creativity. How many children we have will change daily, depending on the shifts people work. It has been made clear that if you have the chance to keep your child at home, it is safer for them, rather than sending them to school, but we are here to support. We will be using the Joe Wicks live streaming PE at 9am every morning, to get the kids going, and I have even got a friend who will be doing three live Learn Bhangra sessions for an alternative physical activity too. May get the kids up and dancing.
  • As for the rest of the weekend, I was nervously excited because I had my radio interview, didn’t I? But no, it was postponed because the virus talk went on and on. The editor didn’t want to just squeeze me in, so we will be rescheduling. Disappointing, but it makes sense. I comfort ate cake instead!
  • Right, enough of that… So, the weekend was also Mother’s Day here. The kids hadn’t bought me cards, but Lil Princess painted me a picture, and Lil Man wrote me a card with some of his loose change taped to the back! 😂Then we popped over to see Mum in law to drop off some flowers for her, and came back home, after finally locating some beer for Hubby Dearest (this panic buying led to NO BEER! Tragedy!) We even squeezed a rather windy, brisk family walk to the prom, in the afternoon too! I had a lovely chat with my own mummy too.
  • I have to be honest. Yesterday was the first time I allowed everything that is happening to get to me. Maybe it was because it was Mother’s Day and I wasn’t able to see my mum. Maybe it was hearing that my best friend’s husband is unwell, suspected Covid-19 and he’s a paramedic. Maybe it’s because I’m scared because I am going to work tomorrow, while my family are safe at home… But I cried. A little. I am going to have to be so much more stringent with everything. We have told my in-laws, categorically, that we won’t be coming round now, unless an absolute emergency. There are two diabetics in that house, a heart patient, an asthma sufferer and one with a weak chest. We’d rather video call them, and see them healthy, rather than risk passing the virus on to them as we are more out than them, especially me. I will have to get in, shower and change my clothes before greeting my own family, with an el-bump, rather than a hug. I am going to miss hugs, from my babes at school, and my friends and family. I live for hugs. I want you all to start air hugging right now. Wrap your arm around yourself, and give yourself a huge squeeze. Imagine, me standing in front of you doing the same. That is my hug to you ALL!
My Hug to you ❤

My final words to you this week, as I prepare myself for what will be a scary, strange week, will be please stay safe, stay at home.

Love you lots, Peeps ❤

Seva is the Sikh principle of Serving Selflessly

#CoronaVerses

It seems the whole COVID-19 has got my poetic juices flowing, in a kind of stream of consciousness way…

#CoronaVerses

Self-isolating will be easy
If we ever need to, it seems
We tend to do it regularly
In a house of tweens and teens
 
Right now, I’m gracing the sofa,
Hubby’s upstairs, chilling in our room
Lil Man is on his laptop
Li Princess in her own little vacuum
 
The only difference, I think, will be
New supplies of anti-bac,
Regularly bleached surfaces
(By me - they don’t seem to have the knack)
 
The importance of handwashing
Has been truly hammered home
And cleaning down their electronics,
Especially their phones
 
If you’re going to cough, then I insist
Into your elbow or a tissue
And please make sure that when you’re done
Put it in the bin or I’ll take issue
 
Not quite sure what to say about
The necessity of toilet roll
Still, at least we have some
So I guess we shouldn’t moan
 
Every morning, recently, I’ve been
Greeted with one query
“Is today the day that schools are shut?”
My response makes them less cheery
 
“Not yet my loves, your school’s still on
No extended hols just yet”
They really don’t seem to realise
Just how fed up they’ll get
 
As panic ensues out in the shops
And crazed buyers empty shelves
They really should take stock
And be ashamed of themselves
 
For as they buy that extra pack
Of toilet roll, or wipes
That’s one less roll for someone else
Why are you buying all the hype?
 
Think sensibly, buy cautiously
Just make sure you have enough
And, maybe check on others
Who might be finding it tough
 
We’re all set, in case we’re told
To have a lengthy bunk-in
I’ve got my books and chocolate
And plenty of Pink Gin!
 
 Ritu 2020

Seriously, Peeps, I don’t wish to make light of this pandemic that is affecting us all out there.

Keep up the extra vigilant hygiene, be careful of where you are putting your hands, and cough into your elbow if you need to.

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Don’t go crazy with panic buying. Don’t worry, the shops should get better soon, the panic buyers should go into hibernation with all their extra stock.

Check up on the vulnerable that you are aware of, especially if they live alone.

And I found this graphic, which is a good basic indication of symptoms, in comparison to colds and flu. I hope it helps to keep people a little calmer.

Stay safe, all my beautiful warriors. We got this, we can fight it!

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Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 262 – Viral Positivity

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“What you think, you become.

What you feel, you attract.

What you imagine, you create.”

Buddha

Thank you, Spidey, for this. I think we all need to read, absorb and act upon this quote, especially right now.

So… heard of Covid-19, or Coronavirus? If you haven’t then where have you been the last couple of months???

For some it has become the biggest shadow in their lives.

And it looks like the panic is definitely setting in here, in the UK.

From people wanting to buy and wear masks when outside, to the supermarkets displaying empty shelves as people dive into panic buy mode, it is crazy.

It’s true. I went to do my normal shop last night, and thought I’d pick up some hand sanitizer whilst there so the kids could keep one in their pockets. But the shelves were BARE! There was no handwash, pasta was almost gone (Funny, even in panic buy mode, people won’t buy wholewheat pasta!) and the toilet roll was pretty much gone. ( I wasn’t aware that excessive tiolet going was a symptom?). And that is the picture that is being shown across pretty much all supermarkets at the moment.

If you so much as cough or clear your throat, you see people giving you a wide berth.

At school parents are asking if we are closing for some time.

It’s like no one is willing to think positively. Instead they grab the news and twist it into the worst picture possible.

It will be an EPIDEMIC!

We will all end up ill!

And Chinese Whispers don’t help, either. There was a rumour that a child in a local school had been sent home with the virus. My mother in law told me.

Really? I work in a school. We would be told of that immediately, and action plans set in motion, if that was the case.

But one of the local shop keepers had said it, so it must be true!

I checked online, and the story was that a child, displaying no symptoms of illness, was found to have been in contact with another friend, from outside our town, whose family member may have tested positive. The child was sent home to self isolate as a precaution, and get tested, but the school was not shutting, or going into deep clean.

Reassuring the in-laws that we were safe, I was then not surprised to hear others in the Indian community here, spreading the story. (Obviously the shopkeeper had been busy informing customers!) It had changed into there were two cases IN OUR SCHOOL! Someone asked me what the contingency plan was now.

I looked at this parent and had to stop myself from rolling my eyes, then told her that no, there was no cases in the school and if there were, it would be highly likely that the whole place would have been shut down for deep cleaning… so she would have known!

Seriously, it’s like people are just wishing for the worst to happen.

I am trying hard to stay positive about it all.

Yes, there is a chance that we will shut schools for a couple of weeks, if the Government advise it. But not at the moment. Things are just continuing as normal. We’re taking the opportunity to reiterate personal hygeine at school, in a roundabout way, without scaring the kids. Making handwashing a necessary fun activity.

I don’t plan to be ill, so I’ll do or not do all that we have been advised to do, or not do.

I’ll try to keep spreading positive messages to those around me, and quash feelings of fear as much as I can.

I’ll hope for a town that escapes the LURGY!

I know it’s scary.

It’s a new virus that is mutating regularly. But it still isn’t a worse killer than the flu.

In most cases, it is a mild cough or cold that clears up. Those at risk are the elderly and those with underlying health issues. They are also at risk from any other cold, flu or virus too.

The biggest things you can do are:

Not panic.

Wash your hands.

Don’t unnecessarily touch your face.

Live life as normal unless you have been told otherwise.

PLEASE!

So… tell me, how is the coronavirus affecting where you live?

Have a peaceful, healthy Sunday Peeps.  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

My interactive peeps!

Peeps are reading in…

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