Our kids understood that we all had to “stay the blazes home”. They understood that only Dad went to the store or picked up take-out. They understood that if someone stopped by our house, we stood on the porch and talked to them from a safe distance.
Now, everything is a bit wishy-washy.
Most Fridays during the province’s update, our world changes a little. As more restrictions loosen, there’s more room for interpretation. Some of us are gun-shy while others are eager to push the new limits, especially as the province’s number of COVID-19 cases dips even lower.
It’s hard for all us to keep up with the updates, but it’s especially confusing for kids.
We can hug those in our bubble, but no one else. We can see other people, but not up close and not too many at once. We can go into someone’s house, but also we shouldn’t. We can go to public places, but not touch anything or get too close to people.
The gathering limit is currently 10 people. We are a family of four. In theory, we could invite six non-bubble people into our home as long as we’re social distancing and don’t share food or dishes.
But … can we?
We just received a long, multi-page plan of how each student (or parent) will be picking up their belongings and dropping off any school property. It’s been organized with military-level precision.
It made me burst into tears.
Each class has its own time slot — two teachers at a time, one set up in the cafeteria, with another set up in the gym. You must arrive during your class’s designated hour. Only three people and two staff members can be inside at any given point (social distancing, of course). Enter through this door, exit through that one.
That’s how long our kids will be out of school, assuming things re-start in September — and a September start is the one true, beautiful thing I refuse to stop believing in, so don’t burst my bubble.
I wasn’t surprised when they made the announcement that our kids wouldn’t be going back to school this year. (Although I would have gladly sent them if I’d had the option.) I had already told myself, weeks ago, to expect absolutely nothing in order to prevent further crushing disappointments.
Even so, once it was official — that there would be no return to school this term, and homeschooling would end June 5 — it was pretty depressing.