Hey guys! I’m delivering you now with the ninth diary entry of this series. This one is from the perspective of Katie, a family member who lives in Canada. She wrote this towards the end of March. Here are her thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic.
March was an interesting month, to say the least. I was scheduled to chaperone the school trip over our March break to the UK, and it was cancelled for safety reasons in early March. We had lots of disappointed students who had been saving up for the trip all year, but we understood that it was for our safety. The week before our break, we held a “pity party” at lunch hour, and had lots of treats to celebrate the day that we should have been leaving, and to make ourselves feel better.
As we got closer to the beginning of our March break, we started to hear things that our government was putting into place. Knowing that a lot of families travel over March break (it is the only week break that we get between Christmas and the end of June), they decided that any students or teachers who were travelling internationally would have to undergo a mandatory 14 day isolation period upon their return. This was the news that we ended school with on Friday, March 13th. Knowing that my break was now going to look a bit different than what I had thought for months, I had made some plans to get together with my friends and family, and to relax over the break….that isn’t quite how it unfolded.
We received word from the government that weekend that all schools would be closed until April 6th, so that Covid-19 wouldn’t be spreading when people returned from their travel. Our government has been very proactive in trying to prevent the spread of the virus that we knew would reach us, inevitably. My March break ended up being the first part of our self-isolation and social distancing experience. My husband and I stayed home with the cats, and any plans that I had made to see friends, and to get together with my family, have been postponed indefinitely.
We were told that teachers will be responsible for facilitating online learning, and waited for a plan to be delivered to us last week (the first week back after break). We are still awaiting that plan…but the world today looks drastically different than it did just a few short weeks ago. Our province has enacted a state of emergency, such that there are no social gatherings including over 5 people, and you must remain at least 6 feet away from any person that doesn’t live with you. To limit the number of people in public places, provincial parks, beaches, and trails have been closed and you will be fined if they find your vehicle there. They have closed a lot of services that are not considered essential, and there are strict rules about going shopping for essentials – only one person per household is allowed to go, and they have the inside of stores set up to ensure social distancing is in place. They have essentially closed the borders, and demand that anyone who is entering the province by car or by plane must immediately self quarantine. There have been lots of supports put in place financially to aid workers whose workplaces have been closed down, or people who need to stay home for health reasons. We have been watching the numbers of infected people slowly rise on a daily basis, and there is a live press conference daily with updates from both our provincial and federal governments. We have just received an update today that our schools will remain closed until further notice.
I am surprised by how quickly the days seem to be passing by, even when the time feels like it is going by slowly. I am personally struggling to feel motivated to accomplish tasks that I “have so much time for” at the moment. There is a lot of information to take in from many different sources, and it is a lot to process. I have been passing my days by ensuring that I get outside for a walk, and continuing to prepare some lessons for whenever our learning plan is put into place. I have been trying to read more, and keeping in touch with people via online video chats. While I miss all of the important people in my life, and seeing my students, I am also not risking my own health, or the health of others, by going out in public or breaking the social distancing rules! 2020 has been an interesting year so far…it is my hope that we will continue to flatten the curve, and that this will all be over sooner rather than later!
Thank you for reading this post! There’ll be another part to the series out soon but until then bye for now!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull