The C in Plan C stands for conservatory and not Covid-19 like you might have understandably assumed. For the next 4 weeks, as all of New Zealand goes into self-isolation, I need to survive entertaining two small children in our conservatory (the same one with the unfortunate odour which has returned but that’s a story for another day).
So why the conservatory?
My husband is moving over to the late shift to comply with social distancing, to avoid the risk of catching and spreading the dreaded Covid-19. As he will need to catch some zzz’s instead during the day, I need to keep the children as quiet as possible. One loves dinosaurs and imitating dinosaurs and being as loud as a dinosaur. The other is a baby, so even noisier. To cope, we have turned the conservatory into a makeshift classroom/playroom where we can spend a few hours each day.
Best laid plans
Plan A was to get a part-time job by Christmas 2019. After all, it seems such a shame to move to New Zealand only to rarely leave the house (the school run and weekly shop do not count). Of course, followers of my rather sporadic blog will know that didn’t pan out. That’s not to say I haven’t been busy working from home (hence my lackadaisical approach to blogging) but contact by email or WattsApp doesn’t cut it. I’m at very serious risk of turning into a hermit.
Roll on Plan B which was to get a job after Christmas instead following the massive failure that was Plan A. This time I fully researched how to prep for interviews, polished my CV until it was almost see-through and started applying for jobs. I even attended a couple of interviews where I managed to pass as a functioning adult (not enough to get a job but ‘practise is progress’).
Thanks for nothing Covid-19
However, the world has since been turned upside down and inside out thanks to Covid-19. I’ve questioned our decision so many times to move to New Zealand as we worry about our friends and family on the other side of the planet. It’s been difficult watching from afar but unable to help. However, with flights being cancelled and the world shutting down, the decision is now out of our hands. And in many ways, it’s a weight off my mind.
New Zealand hasn’t escaped Covid-19 and each day brings new cases despite imposing 14-days self-isolation for those with the symptoms and new arrivals to New Zealand. To prevent an outbreak running amok here, 4-weeks self-isolation is now being imposed across the country. Schools, libraries, pools and other public services, as well as non-essential businesses, are all going to close their doors. Non-essential travel is to be avoided. It’s all quite scary but also reassuring that positive steps are being taken for the good of the country.
I daresay I won’t notice too much of a difference. I’m going to stay positive for the sake of my family’s sanity. I get the novel experience of homeschooling Child A (can I put that on my CV?) and get to hug Child B as much as possible (Child A is going through a phase where hugs are uncool). My main goal is to keep things as normal as possible given the extraordinary situation.
No-one knows right now what the future holds. People are losing their jobs. Businesses are being forced to shut. There is likely to be suffering on a scale that this generation has never experienced before. All we can do is follow the measures that have been put in place and trust it is enough to halt Covid-19 in its tracks, or at least slow it down enough to make it manageable. So, for now, I am going to cherish each of the next 30 days in self-isolation with my family. I am going to look for the positive in the world. And I am going to document what we get up to each day so that when this is hopefully nothing more than a distant memory, I can share it with my children when they are much, much older and vaguely interested. By then, hopefully, hugs will be back in fashion too.
Check out the New Zeland Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience’s Real-time Resilience Coping With Covid-19 – that’s one hell of a mouthful but there is a webinar and PDF packed with easy to digest advice.