“Things I wish I had known a week ago” – Covid tips for parents, by an LHM parent

 “So to set the scene, hubby is a key worker and has worked all through this pandemic. I am a school worker and returned 3 weeks ago. We have had a plan in place for where he could stay and how it would work if he was the one to come into direct contact with it. We had a vague plan for myself.”

“On Monday I was informed that I had been in contact with a case. Potentially more. I was informed I must go straight home and self isolate. I was then put in touch with public health guidance which advises you to remove anyone who is vulnerable in your home and they must stay elsewhere. This is a precautionary measure and best done within 48 hours of being in contact with the person testing positive. We have no family nearby and it wasn’t an option. So I am now in a separate room using a separate toilet area realising how privileged I am to have that luxury.”

“As my family at this time had not been in contact with anyone directly they were still able to go to school and work. Although we did pull our child with heart problems out of school, this was mainly because we had no way of getting them there without booking taxis.”

What I should have had in place – A separate part of the home to be able to isolate as well as possible. Bedroom, dining room, living room. Whatever you have the ability to separate off. A clear list of school and home itinerary for all the family so they wouldn’t feel like they didn’t know what was going on. This should include remote learning classroom codes and where to access the learning. A list of medications and the dates they need reordering. A list of contacts that are available to help should we then all be locked in. A supply of long-life milk and bread in the cupboard. A checked supply of pain relief medicines to cover the whole family. A dog walking plan. Basic meals that kids can put together themselves – cheese on toast, sandwiches, baked potatoes. How to use the microwave to heat premade meals from frozen. I should have had cash in the house to be able to pay those having to drop essentials off. Packed bags for everyone in the house, containing the basics – pants, socks, pyjamas, easy clothing, phone charger, toothbrush, book. For in case of emergency. Basic laundry skills for the kids. How to sort colours for the wash. How to peg out washing. How the machine works. Mostly I have needed the kids to know how to video call me if they need me.”

“What we have realised from this experience is that should this have been my husband having to isolate, it would not have had such a severe impact on our family dynamics as it has with me being the one exposed. Life lesson – share the household responsibilities. Not so that they are equal but so that both of you know where the water stopcock is and where the spare light bulbs are kept along with every other mundane task in the house.”

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