My Virtual School – coronavirus changed it

26 May 2020. My photography group’s challenge for this week is ‘coronavirus changed it.’ So far there are photos of empty motorways, families holding hands on glass doors, shopping queues, the chains on a school gate, deserted beaches, neighbours sitting on their garden walls to chat, people learning new skills. I have two potential entries: a totally empty deep blue summer sky or a car parked on the verge, almost engulfed in un-mown grass and weeds.

Prompted by dire warnings from the AA I checked my own car. It has been parked at school since 20 March. A nearly flat tyre and low on engine coolant but  (just about) a live battery. A slow drive around and around campus to re-charge it and get the brakes working until I was pulled over by one of the gardeners to ask what I was doing. Then parked it again. Another thing the virus changed – the two car family.

The truthfulness of blogs has been in the news. An aspect of our virtual world – who knows where anybody is in reality? We meet and teach and work wherever we happen to be, and we can disguise that. Does it matter? Somehow if somebody says their blog is about life in one place is it less true if it was written somewhere else? Surely all bloggers self-censor? I know I do. Little omissions, gaps in the text, conscious of the reader. No blog is a personal, locked diary hidden under a pillow.

Today the hedgerows were full of wild roses. And the moon a perfect crescent. But I’m not saying which hedgerows or what time I saw the moon.

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