A new year, a new start, and a new lockdown? It feels like we’ve already done this.

Shouldn’t we be further on? And yet we are back home schooling, with limited chances to see anyone beyond the four of us, and most shops shut. Now, while I understand and completely support the need to limit the spread of the virus so that the healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed, I can’t help but feel like this is a step back. What have we achieved in this ten months if we are again housebound? Not that we actually have to stay in our house all the time, but it is cold outside and nearly all of the places we might want to visit are closed. 

This is a post written completely from the place of privilege, and I know that. So far, touch wood, we haven’t been directly impacted by this illness. We have stayed healthy, and beyond needing to be tested a handful of times (mainly me) we have not been ill. We also don’t know that we have been exposed. So we are lucky, and there are plenty of people who haven’t been anywhere near as lucky as we have. And it is for all of them that we stay home. For all the people who are vulnerable and the carers and healthcare workers. 

Like many others, the last twelve months haven’t been what we had planned. It has been over a year since we saw any of our wider family in person. That is a problem with living abroad when something like this happens. Not that we would necessarily have seen much of them if we had been in the UK for the last 12 months given the restrictions that have been in place there and where all our families live. Also, over the summer we made the decision to stay in the Netherlands, rather than taking the opportunity of the more relaxed rules to return. But right now the English Channel seems almost impassable, especially when you throw Brexit and all that related travel chaos into the mix as well. 

The lockdown here is likely extended three more weeks, but then will it be extended again? It’s going to take months for everyone to be vaccinated, and then how much will things go back to normal? How long will it be before the next strain emerges? And what will we be able to do against that? The more interdependent we are as nations the more at risk we are to the spread of diseases, and yet the more we close ourselves of the more at risk of war and unrest we are. Either way there is a risk, and either way there is a type of safety. With technology we can mitigate some of this and make contact with others across the world and learn more about others, but it isn’t the same as visiting and meeting the people in real life.

I’m not sure where I am really going with this other than that I am tired, and worried and struggling to do everything. At least the children are doing OK and we have successfully finished week one of homeschooling. This time with far more video calls, but at least I no longer need to do the dictation! 

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