Opinion: 'Will we get through the last days of school without a 'ping'?'

Blogger Ruth Davies and her family

Parenting blogger Ruth Davies is praying she doesn't get a 'ping' from the Track and Trace app before her family's due to go on holiday - Credit: Ruth Davies

This week marks my eldest’s last few days of primary school and with the song slipping through my fingers running through my head I truly am feeling rather melancholy at the idea of her growing into a high school girl. I read advice about walking them one last time to school and holding their hand before we are no longer cool enough to be seen with. I have to say, I think that ship sailed some time ago as Florence rarely even says hello if I see her, gaggled up with gal pals, on the way to school. While it would be lovely if she’d walk with the little ones and I, I can’t dwell on it for unfortunately there are bigger things to be concerned about right now. The main point is getting through the last days without a ping! 

I want her to be able to enjoy her leavers' assembly and wear her hoodie with everyone’s name on and I want her to soak up time with friends she will be leaving when she goes to a different high school to them. I just want her to make it in, and home again, without drama and without a burst bubble. They have been popping all over the place where we live and currently a number of children at her school, indeed her own class, are isolating due to positive cases of Covid-19 in their homes. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before we find ourselves on a 10-day home-cation but if we can avoid it before the end of term (and a bit beyond – we have a UK holiday booked) I’d be ever so grateful! 

Yesterday was labelled “freedom day” as Johnson green lit to unmask and drop the rules even with the latest variant of the virus on the rampage. I have to wonder why now? When numbers are on the rise again and this time its mutated state is hitting children in a way it never has before? Children aren’t vaccinated of course but even some adults who have been are feeling poorly with a positive result. I know two people, both double jabbed, both feeling pretty awful and thank goodness they did have their vaccinations, think how much worse they may have felt had they not?! This still isn’t just getting a cold we can brush off even when we have a level of immunity. This is grim stuff. The rules may have gone but the virus hasn’t. 

The majority I think have followed all the rules, and I’m sure plan to continue being careful. The thing is though, when you make rules disappear and ask instead for everyone to just be considerate, even the best of us will drop things if they are not compulsory. If we don’t HAVE to wear a mask the inevitability is, at some point, we’ll make the call not to. We’ll arrive at the supermarket and instead of turning home when we realise we’ve forgotten one, we will think “oh… I’ll just nip in!” It’s the same with everything else. On the one hand why on earth would we not want to leave our name and address at a restaurant but… If we don’t have to and if we’re going on holiday in a week and it might, just might scupper our plans, will we think “oh, well, just this once I might delete the app – I’ll put it back on when I get home!” 

Talking to a friend who had a positive result last week she said: “It’s not really until you have it and you think about all the places you’ve been, all the people you’ve seen and quite how far this might have reached as a result of your very own actions that it becomes truly real." She’s right. I’m not sure I’d really sat down to think about where I’d been in one day and how many people I may have infected had I also been positive for the virus. This was in a week when we did have rules so now that we don’t, well…  

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I’m guessing lockdown number 4 is imminent and can’t help but disagree with the PM’s decision to relax at this point. I get he wants to win friends but I think it's absurd.

I hope we do remember to always take our masks and we do remember to tap in when we arrive somewhere so that we can isolate if we need to. I hope come September the kids will be in school and Florence will get a normal first day of her new one and for now, that they will get to see their last day of this term too. Once they break up and we’ve passed the finish line, we’re not going anywhere inside for 10 days in prep for our holiday. I’d rather isolate out of choice now than under force when we should be in Dorset.  

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Fingers crossed.

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