The Lockdown Diaries | We’re breaking the shielding guidelines to see my parents this week, and I don’t even feel bad about it
I know it’s not like me to start one of these posts on a positive note, but I’m feeling just a little bit more hopeful than usual this week, and it’s all because of this little section from the Scottish government’s route map for moving out of lockdown:
These rules should (hopefully!) come into effect this Thursday, and, OMG, I’m going to be allowed to see my parents again, people! And, OK, only outdoors and from a distance, but still: after 10 weeks of making do with Facetime, it feels like a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, really.
We know, of course, that although these changes to the lockdown rules will soon make it legal for us to have a socially-distanced visit with another household, it will still be against the shielding guidelines, which instruct Terry not to leave the house AT ALL, or have face-to-face contact with another human being. So there’s that. Here’s the thing, though:
We’ve been isolating for 10 weeks now.
My parents have also been isolating for 10 weeks now.
With the exception of my little trip to the post box last week (Which literally involved me taking about five steps from the car to the postbox – which I was careful not to touch – and back again.), none of us have left our respective properties since before the lockdown started. We’ve all been diligently washing our groceries and quarantining our mail. We know there are no guarantees, obviously, but the chances of any of us having managed to catch COVID-19 under those circumstances must be vanishingly small: so small, in fact, that we really can’t see any logical reason to force ourselves to remain locked indoors while everyone else we know gets to see their families again.
It would basically just be a case of sticking to the guidelines purely for the sake of sticking to the guidelines, and, as I said in this post, while we’re happy to continue avoiding actual risks, we feel we’ve reached a stage now where logic has to prevail, and where we have to make our own assessment of just how much of our lives and sanity we’re willing to sacrifice, in order to mitigate a risk so small that it barely exists.
In this case, my parents live 5 minutes from us, have been isolating the entire time, and have a large garden which we can easily distance in (Or the adults can, anyway: we’re very aware that it’s not going to be tricky to keep Max away from his grandparents…), so we figure this is a better option than just resigning ourselves to remaining in complete isolation until there’s a vaccine. Which really isn’t much of an option AT ALL, is it?
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Week 1 of lockdown: We are absolutely not, under any circumstances, going to be tempted to start buying a bunch of random crap just to keep the toddler entertained for 5 minutes. Week 10 of lockdown: There is a tent in the living room and my child is dressed in a blanket ???? . . . . . . . . #realtalk #toddlerlife #momtruth #candidchildhood #momblogger #momwholovewine #toddlerhood #momlifebelike #toddlermom #parentinglife #dailyparenting #momproblems #parentblogger #momofboys #mumlife . . . . . #lockdowndiaries #lockdownvibes #isolationlife #stayinghome #lockdownuk #quarantinelife #lockdown2020 #lockdown #stayhome #lockdownlife #selfisolation
We’re not going to go crazy, though. We know the virus is still out there, and probably will be for the foreseeable future, and, because of that, we know we’re in this for the long haul. So, we feel we can safely see my parents again, because they’ve also been isolating, but we won’t be meeting anyone else (And neither will they), and while we may start going for some socially-distanced walks at some point, that’s basically ALL that’s going to change for us until the vaccine arrives. Which is a pretty sobering thought, really.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m SO excited to get to see my folks again, and I know this one little thing is going to make a huge difference to our lives right now, but I’m also very aware that this is pretty much IT for us: that sitting in my parents’ garden (And maybe at some point even the house itself: I mean, can you IMAGINE?!) really IS as good as it’s going to get for us this year, and that I’ve just felt the need to write almost 800 words justifying why we’re going to do it. I know I keep on coming back to this, but if you’d told me this time last year that I’d one day write a blog post attempting to explain why I feel it should be OK to see my parents – and would still worry that someone was going to judge me for it – I would NOT have believed you. Not even for a second.
Ordered a mango with the grocery shop. This was the substitution: pic.twitter.com/gFmfivXIHG
— Amber McNaught (@foreveramber) May 25, 2020
Still, here we are. Our lives have shrunk to a point where a socially distanced meeting with my parents will be the highlight of our year, and I don’t mind admitting, I’m pretty damn excited about it. Now, let’s just hope the weather is kind to us once the rules are finally relaxed: this is Scotland we’re talking about, after all…