We’re now 35 days into our Covid-19 lockdown here in Spain. I saw a news headline earlier that at least half the world is in some kind of lockdown. I wonder if lockdown means the same everywhere? I know that the lockdown in Spain is different to the one in the UK. In Spain we’re still not allowed to leave the house other than for grocery shopping or medical needs or a few other reasons which we don’t qualify for. However, in the UK you are still allowed out to exercise once a day. Australia seems more similar to the UK.
But we had a glimmer of good news on Saturday evening. The Prime Minister, Sanchez, will be proposing a further 2 week extension to the lockdown taking us to 9 May. But he is also proposing that from Monday 27 April, children under the age of 12 be allowed out. We don’t know the details yet, but that fills us with a lot of enthusiasm!
Throughout this lockdown period I have tried to maintain a positive mental attitude, and have tried to be grateful for the situation we find ourselves in. Sure, nobody wants to be confined to their homes for this length of time, but we are fortunate to get on with each other and live in a house with plenty of space, both indoors and out. But the week after the Easter holidays was tough. Mr H wasn’t feeling well, so I had to do a lot more family-wise (and had a little less flexibility work wise). It was also the first week ‘back to school’, so we had to readjust our timetabling slightly and persevere bit more with the school work we were sent for the children. And we had more rain. But that week is over, and we have a bit more freedom to look forward to!
How does the school work get to us, I hear you ask? Well, it’s not very high tech. Before the Easter holidays it was all through Whatsapp. The teacher would take photos of the worksheets, send them to our class rep and she would forward it on through the parents’ group on Whatsapp. Other than the quality of the scanned worksheets being quite poor, the system worked well. Following Easter the school started using Dropbox, and also arranged access to the digital portal of the publisher of the school books. To cut a long story short, the parents have asked to carry on with the ‘old’ system – Whatsapp!
So most evenings I have to download the files sent through and print them all out for the next day. As well as collate all the video links (YouTube + Whatsapp files) so that we’re sorted for the next morning. I like to try to save paper, so print them all double sided – but that’s a manual process with our printer. If only we had managed to get all the school books from school before the strict lockdown was enforced! We’re fortunate that we have access to a printer, stationery to complete the worksheets with etc. Some parents are having to copy the worksheets out by hand every night. Some families didn’t even have blank paper at home.
The theme at school at the moment is Spring. It’s a lovely time of year, and the children are enjoying spotting new flowers budding and looking for bugs. We created bug houses in the garden, but sadly they haven’t attracted any bugs yet. The children did, however, find a colony of woodlouse so they’ve been enjoying watching them, picking them up, watching them curl into balls and then enjoy them crawling all over their hands. We also had a number of ladybirds arrive today. And we plan on planting some garlic and perhaps other seeds in some plant pots we decorated during the week.
We’ll look forward to news on Wednesday 22 April of what the rules will be for taking children out from next week.
Something else interesting from this week… I learnt how to sew a face mask. We have this ‘challenge’ going at work where a colleague accepts a challenge to show a hidden talent & then nominates another colleague. I was nominated, and as I grasped around for a very deeply hidden talent, I thought that doing something practical whilst showing a ‘talent’ (I’m not very talented at sewing really) would work. It was good fun. And I used it on Saturday whilst grocery shopping, so it was useful.