On Isolation

By 15th June 2020 No Comments

Hi hi! Gosh, it’s been a while. We’ve been in isolation since mid-March (today is day 99 in isolation). I know our radio silence has bothered some people (thanks for checking in!) but we’re safe and sound.

We decided to take a step back from social media. Isolation has been quite tricky for us. Sam and I are both incredibly sleep deprived – we don’t have the privilege of our night nurses (we miss them!). Sam and I are sleeping in shifts (I get to sleep 10pm – 3am and a nap at lunch) but the risk of having people in and out of our home isn’t worth Mikaere’s health. Children his age with similar health needs have died, and next to that what’s 99 days (and counting!) in our little apartment?

Social media during this time has been really really intense. It hasn’t been the usual positive connection with the world. It’s become a platform for opinions we don’t share (#blackLivesMatter not #allLivesMatter, and it’s not #justTheFlu. We’ve unfollowed a significant number of accounts as a result) and watching others trade authenticity for glossy perfection #blessed highlight reels is the opposite of why we’re here.

We treasure genuine connection – sharing our reality in a way that’s authentic. We share a tiny segment of our reality, the ups and down, and this little break has really emphasised what kind of relationship we want to have with everyone here.

So I’m glad we stepped back, but I’m sorry to have worried so many of you! (Again, thanks for checking in, you guys are the best). But while we’re struggling, we’re doing okay. We’re safe.

Honestly, it hasn’t been an easy ride. If I’m being really honest, I’m still angry that we live the special needs life. That it’s riskier for us to be out and about than it is everyone else. That other kids get to go run around the park once a day, and we do little tours around our tiny apartment again and again and again. That others can go out without worrying whether their child will catch something that might kill them. Blah.

Isolation has mostly been a matter of keeping on keeping on. We’re very much about just getting through each day, and keeping our little guy entertained. Some days there’s therapy, a lot of days there isn’t. Sometimes there are fun sensory games with paint and shaving foam and ice cubes in a tray of warm water, sometimes Mikaere’s on the floor with a balloon and we call it good.

We’re managing. Our pharmacy delivers, as does our supermarket. We have a wonderful group of local friends who have been really great about supplying the gaps. For all the people asking, yes my hair has grown. I am no longer bald and have a respectable if unkempt pixie. Sam’s able to work from home (a privilege, I know!) and bar one unexpected a&e visit (oh seizures) we’ve been able to stay in.

Because here’s what I know: as long as we’re in our apartment and the rest of the world is outside, we’re safe.

We’re also in a position where we don’t trust that the government advice is whats best for our family. Our current government has shown repeatedly that they value the economy over the vulnerable, elderly and disabled. That they’re okay to risk their lives for everyone else, and we’re not okay with that. Every medical report that’s been released has been clear that lockdown is easing too soon, and we agree. So despite ‘shielding rules’ allowing outside walks – we’re not going out. And I know we’re not the only special needs family doing the same.

With schools coming back, and unessential shops opening, we’re going to continue to isolate for a few more weeks until we can see that the danger of a second peak has passed. Got my fingers crossed that a second peak doesn’t happen – I can’t tell you how much we miss the outside world.

Until then, what have we missed? How are you? What news???

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