This post may offend some people. But I have been upset, hurt and offended by people not following the guidelines or interpreting them for their own means, so if this post does offend, so be it.

I was really upset at the announcements yesterday. We haven’t been to my parents house for three months now. I desperately want to see them and give them a cuddle and for the boys to do the same. But we can’t. Because we are following the guidelines.

The guidelines state that although you can visit people in their homes from the 4th July, you must still socially distance.

Before the pandemic we used to see my parents every week. And every week without fail the first thing Little does is launch himself at my Dad for a cuddle. He does the same to my Mum too. If my Dad sits on the sofa my kids are climbing all over him. They are grabbing Nana’s hand to show her stuff or lead her to the snack cupboard!

I cannot trust that Little would be able to be socially distant, and that’s a lot to put on a 6 year old. To be honest my 10 year old would find it hard and upsetting. If your kids are good with the whole social distance thing, then that’s great. But I know that mine aren’t. Restraint is definitely not something my 6 year old shows very often!

During this pandemic the husband has been working all hours for a company making no money with a very real threat to his job. I have been working and juggling some form of home school. All the while it has been a balance between the risk to our health and the risk to our wealth. He is now taking a pay cut until the end of November. A pay cut which I need to make up with my self employed income. An income that is by no means guaranteed. The effects of this virus are very real for us right now. Normal life still feels like a long way off for us.

The more people that don’t follow the guidelines, the greater the chance that there will be a second peak. A second peak means lives will be lost. Business will fold and jobs will be lost.

For us that could mean that my husband will lose his job. If he loses his job we stand to lose our home. So I think I have a right to feel pissed off when people make excuses for not following the guidelines. Excuses like…

I didn’t know…

Educate yourself. “Oh I don’t watch the news”. So then where are you getting your information? Relying on facebook are you?

The press are not much help. Headlines scream “We can now visit each other” and you would be fooled into thinking things were back to normal. If you make it to the end of the article it mentions that you must maintain social distance.

Watch the briefings. Read the government guidelines published on gov.uk. It is your responsibility to know the facts about what we can and can’t do and there is no excuse not to.

It makes no sense…

Maybe it doesn’t. But maybe it doesn’t make sense because we are not scientists, economists, or experts in disease control. There is science behind the decisions being made. And whilst those decisions may not always make sense, I have to trust in the science because right now it’s the only hope I have of getting out of this.

I trust science more that I trust Bob on facebook who says it’s ok to hug his mate because he watched a documentary about the flu. Quite frankly I wouldn’t trust Bob with watering my plants in real life.

I’m not listening to anything Boris says…

I didn’t vote for this government. And I do think mistakes have been made. I cringe when Borris bumbles his way through speeches. I prefer the more measured tones of Raab and Hancock. But I cannot say that any other government would have done things differently and not made mistakes. No one can.

I had teachers at school who I didn’t like, but I still had to follow the rules and do as I was told. It’s pretty basic stuff really.

There will be investigations when all of this is done. And all countries will have different outcomes. But can we all just do as we are told so we can get pack to normal please, and Borris can get a bloody haircut!

Just do what’s right for you…

Isn’t that just a caveat for do what you want. Go and let the kids hug the grandparents. But the more people with that attitude, the more chance the numbers start going up. I think it’s selfish.

Whilst we absolutely should respect that some people are happy to go for a mooch round the shops, and some aren’t. Some people are happy to have a socially distanced picnic whilst others still prefer to stay at home. That is everyone’s choice. But I don’t have to respect people not following the guidelines.

I will be doing what it right for everyone, not just me. I won’t be bending the guidelines to suit me, however much I want to hug my parents. I’m doing it because I am genuinely worried about what the future holds for my family if there is another lockdown.

It’s all just a big conspiracy…

Tell that to my friend who is a nurse and has put her life on the line and risked the health of her family to go to work and help people. To work long hours for little pay, and see things during this pandemic that will live with her forever.

Tell it to my friend who lost her Mum and didn’t get to say goodbye. Who couldn’t be comforted by family at the funeral. Who didn’t get to honour her Mother’s memory with a wake. Who has had to grieve alone.

Tell it to my friend who has lost his job, shortly followed by his wife loosing hers. Who have used their savings to keep their heads above water. Who have no idea when they will find new jobs.

Look them in the eyes and tell them it’s all just a conspiracy.

What’s the harm in bending the guidelines?

What’s the harm in letting your kids hug their grandparents. The harm is that if we all have that attitude then we are not following the guidelines. I’ll say it again, not following the guidelines increases the risk of transmission. If transmission goes up we will be in lockdown. In lockdown lives and jobs will be lost. I think that is the harm.

If the worst happens. If we go back into lockdown and my husband loses his job and we have to fight to keep a roof over our heads, I want to look back and say I did everything I could. I don’t want to look back and think, maybe if I had followed the guidelines I wouldn’t be part of the problem.

I’m ok, I’m not high risk…

Maybe there is no one in your family who would get seriously ill from this virus. Maybe your job is 100% safe and secure. But what about your brother or your sister? Your friend or your neighbour?

Follow the guidelines for those of us that are worried about our health or our jobs. Do it for the NHS staff who have put their lives on the line for us. Do it for the teachers who are trying to educate the kids who have been allowed back knowing that social distancing for 5 and 6 year olds is not possible.

I am desperate to see my parents and have a cuddle. But it’s not one rule for me and another for everyone else. I am not special. Neither are you.

We will not be visiting people, or having people in our home, because social distancing is not possible for my youngest child.

For now the best I can do is take my 10 year old to my parents garden whilst his brother is at school. We will sit 2 metres apart and he will not hug them. But he will desperately want to. He will tell me on the way home that he is both happy and sad, and my heart will break for him. I know my Mum will cry after we leave. And in the evening once the kids are in bed it will be my turn to cry for all the things we are missing. All the things that social distancing does not allow us to do.

But despite it being difficult and upsetting I will follow the guidelines. I am not prepared to bend the rules and risk everything we have.

And yes, those of you who are not following the guidelines and risking everything I have, are pissing me off.

Government Guidelines on meeting people from Gov.Uk

From 4 July, you will be able to meet indoors in groups of up to two households (your support bubble counts as one household). This includes inviting people from one household into your home or visiting the home of someone else with members of your own household. You should continue to maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble when doing so.

If you are in a support bubble you can continue to see each other without needing to maintain social distancing.

The more people you have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread. Therefore, try to limit the number of people you see – especially over short periods of time. The risk of transmission is also higher indoors, so you should take extra care to stay as safe as possible.

Gov.uk


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Claire Kirby

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