My Virtual School – another day, another nap

17 April 2020. Snoozing in the afternoon always seems like a good idea at the time. For the second time in a fortnight I just had to curl up after lunch and waste away the afternoon. Must be all the fresh air and exercise.

At school the sports staff are providing regular advice and training sessions. They have challenged everyone to a 5k etc activity, to virtual cricket, and had 400+ working away together yesterday afternoon via Teams. I’m with 99 year old Captain Tom – 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday – and with a 90 year old woman in Scotland who is climbing a mountain on her stairs. He has now raised over £20m for NHS charities. Astonishing achievement. I’ve challenged the dog to widths of the river. Unfortunately he keeps trying for lengths.

There is a general, collective moan about motivational videos, advice about craft activities, how to establish exciting morally up-lifting regimes for the children which will allow time for parents to work from home, and how many languages you can learn this week whilst recreating great masterpiece paintings in your own front room just with the props you keep lying around. ‘Wreck of the Medusa‘ anyone?A friend today pointed out that however much she wants to do all these things at the end of every day there is just a low-level depression brought on by constant anxiety about ill family members, about aged parents in care homes, about the state of mind of those who are used to working productively but are now furloughed. Even before the worries about financial matters. Let alone the underlying fear about the virus itself. So a lot of naps.

Some motivational talks are useful though. A very moving, personal talk broadcast to the school this evening by a colleague whose home and family are in New York. And a talk during the Chapel service by an OR who is a cancer surgeon at the Churchill Hospital. Very, very helpful for us as a family with decisions to make.

And I was very proud to hear about a boy in my form who made it into the Daily Telegraph for making PPE masks for the NHS at home on a 3-D printer.

This is my personal Mass Observation blog. I invite anyone, particularly members of Radley College community,  to join in to create a group record of this important period in our history as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.

© Clare Sargent