Post-confinement Day 3

Wednesday, 13th May

Les Saints de Glace

It is raining cats and dogs and I have put the heating back on. Belle-maman assures me it’s because this is the dreaded time of year when the “Saints de Glace” (the ice saints) bring a sudden return of cold weather in May. No serious gardener would dream of planting his pansies or primroses before this date!

It is cosy and my 10-year old daughter and I are not that bothered: we are free! It is just the two of us as Otherhalf and little brother took advantage of an incredible legal loophole on Monday to head down South: the Senate took a little too long to approve the deconfinement bill – which meant that the law stating we can’t go beyond a 100-kilometre radius from our home didn’t come into effect until Monday night. I had several work appointments this week, and my daughter goes back to school tomorrow, so we told the boys: “Go! It will be good for you, for Grandaddy, and for us all to have a bit of time apart after spending two months on top of each other.”

Celebrating deconfinement

We are very much enjoying each other’s company and the peace and quiet. The first thing we did on Monday was to head to our friends who live in the Mont d’Or hills just outside of Lyon for what was meant to be a walk. It turned into a mighty fun – if a bit boozy – evening. We didn’t return home until the next morning!

I have voice-over jobs this week so my daughter has been coming along with me to the studios and keeping busy while I work. As a long-standing colleague said today, “It’s nice to see people again!” I am also preparing moderation work for June – it’s good that things are picking up again.

Going back to school

The big deal for my daughter this week is that she will be going back to school tomorrow. Just for a day, but she is delighted to see her friends and teacher again. She is a very sociable girl and has been missing them a lot. There will be two groups of around 10 kids who will go to school for a half week each. The rest of the time, they will continue doing school work from home.

The teachers have sent emails warning parents to warn their kids that the school they are returning to will be very different to the one they left. The very stringent measures put in place include duct tape on the floor to make sure the kids maintain social distancing. There will also be compulsory hand-washing throughout the day. Despite all of this, however, they want to “keep it human”, and will invite children to ask questions, and think together about ways of showing affection to a friend without touching each other (!!). They will also invite them to think about new playground games that allow them to keep a distance. Gulp – what a strange world we are putting our children into!!!

Social interaction vs. stress

For teachers, this is a super stressful time. My downstairs neighbours are both teachers and he was telling me the other day that some of his colleagues are terrified by the idea of being held responsible for a child falling ill. The “sanitary protocol” is dozens of pages long and nigh on impossible to uphold. Many believe schools shouldn’t have been reopened at all. Others take the example of Denmark where schools reopened two weeks ago, which hasn’t led to a growing number of infections.

As a mother, I just hope the pleasure of social interaction will counter the possible stress linked to these draconian rules. She can tell me all about it when she comes home for lunch tomorrow, but I trust she will cope just fine.

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