Staying Home, Saving Lives - A Covid19 Diary, Week One

How quickly situations change. A month ago we were out and about, visiting Warwick Castle and juggling the school run with numerous requests for play dates and activities.

Today, marks the first full week spent at home full time, restricted to the home and avoiding all face-to-face contact with friends and family.

It's been a mixed week, I've been tracking little bits in my bullet journal, something to look back on when my grand children are studying this in their history lessons. Because it is a unique (dare I use the word 'unprecedented') situation for our modern world, that so many of us are sat in our homes in the hope of keeping ourselves and others safe. And in the future, it'll be good for historians to know exactly what so many ordinary people were thinking and doing amidst the fear and eerie quiet.

However, I've quickly realised that a bullet journal isn't enough for me to explain, or work my way through, the emotions and anxiety I'm feeling. So I'll be publishing my thoughts on my blog, my space on the internet for writing about the things that interest and effect me, as a geeky mum who would rather be swanning around in a pretty dress and reading a book about knights and fae.

To curtail my rambling, I have tried to sort my thoughts into categories: School, Skills, Screentime, Supplies, Socialising and Stress Levels... I'm hoping the reasoning behind these becomes clear as you read!


The children left school at 3:15 on Friday 20th March and don't know when they'll return. It might be a few weeks, it could be a few months, and it was the uncertainty of it all that really got to Lily. Her class were dismissed in tears at the end of the day after receiving a message from their class teacher (who I think may be self-isolating, but I'm not sure). Lily and her best friends walked home in tears and I couldn't even tease a happy picture from them.

It hit home to me just how important it would be to make this time enjoyable for her and Ollie, and made me think about the ways in which I want to protect them from the stress as much as possible.

With that in mind, we started Monday full of optimism. It felt like playing schools at first, Ollie asked to line up in the living room at the start of the day and we have a loose routine to follow, we covered a lot that day and finished a lot of the work sent home by the school. Whoops.

I was inspired on Sunday evening by our current chapter book - The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan and decided that our weekly project would be to create our own fantasy worlds, characters and stories. With that in mind we did some 'research' in books we had around the home and made maps for our magical lands on Monday. Just as we were finishing I saw that Jenny on Twitter had shared a tutorial on how to make your own maps and it was great for helping us with the last few ideas.

Since then we've also researched and created a Coat of Arms, designed our magical portal and instructions on how to get there and have started writing about our characters and plot.

Personally, I love it, mainly because it's something that I love to do and it includes lots of reading, writing and imagination. It's something that has worked out great for me as well as the kids as I'm not particularly good at fractions!


No matter how much I enjoy 'playing teacher', I knew from the start that it just wouldn't be feasible to recreate a school day here at home. I wanted to balance, or at least attempt to balance, some school work and learning with other skills and fun. We've dedicated the first bit of time each day to chores, with the kids jumping at the chance to dust and help with hoovering.

Towards the end of the day, Lily and Ollie have been taking it in turns to help with the cooking, our menu might seem limited but they've been enjoying helping out and I'm hoping it will help them with skills they're going to need later in life. So far, it's going well!


Realistically, I don't think I could have survived this far without a little screentime. Both Lily and Ollie have taken part in PE with Joe Wicks and Lily has also enjoyed dancing with Oti Mabuse. We've also been saved by the new series of Malory Towers on BBC iPlayer and the launch of Disney+

When things have got a bit much, I've also found online teaching tools to be immensely helpful. We've been doing a lot of Reading Eggs this week and hope to start the Maths Factor from Monday.

For me? I've finished two books and have today started Hold Back The Tide by Melinda Salisbury. Reading is the escape I need to maintain my sanity right now.


Luckily, I booked a slot a couple of weeks ago for this Wednesday... but unluckily I now have no further slots booked and fresh supplies and snacks are starting to dwindle. There seems to be a ridiculous amounts of selfish people still panic buying and the queues outside the supermarkets are scarily long.

For now, we have enough in the freezer and cupboard for just over a week and I'm working hard to make it last. The hardest thing is having four people at home during the day wanting lunch and snacks all the time, I'm actually debating hiding the biscuits...

And I can confirm that we're doing OK for loo roll despite not stockpiling 100s of rolls. A friend managed to grab some for us at the beginning of the week and I'm rationing it.


It's hit me today just how long it could be until I see my friends and I cried. I miss the simplicity of popping into the local cafe after the school run, chatting at school pick up and all the times I see my friends during the week at toddler groups and kids clubs.

Most of my conversations now happen on WhatsApp and is mainly a cavalier attempt at humour when we're all struggling slightly in our own ways. As well as a fair few conversations about how busy the shops are and whether it's possible to get everything you need!

Stress Levels

Honestly? My stress and anxiety are through the roof but I've been trying to stay optimistic as much as possible. It's been hard because last week I had a traumatic emergency dentist appointment after getting an abscess in my tooth... it still hurts and the swelling has only just gone down, which has had a huge effect on my mood and physical well being this week.

When I'm not feeling sorry for myself for having toothache I'm worrying. Worrying and stressing about everybody and everything. Will I get ill? Will someone I love get ill? What if someone I love dies? How long is this going to last? How bad is it going to get? What about my friends and family, are they doing OK?

Over the last two days I have stepped back from checking the news in an attempt to avoid triggering panic attacks that were looming. It's still hard with navigating social media but I find it a little easier when I'm not obsessing over rising statistics and pictures of makeshift mortuaries outside of hospitals.

And so am I still optimistic? Perhaps not as much as I was on Monday, but I'm still feeling hopeful that something good can come from all this. So far, we are all well and reasonably happy, Matt is able to work from home and the kids are adjusting to the new way of things.

It's also helped to be able to go for a short walk or sit in the garden, the weather is beautiful and so we're making the most of it, even if it is strange just waving to our friends from the windows of our homes!

Let's see how next week goes! Let me know in the comments or on Facebook how you've been finding things. Are you optimistic?
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