Well the nurse counsellor did arrive. At the height of the storm. Due to working restrictions she was not allowed in the house. So it was plan b. Move my car next to the counsellor’s car. Windows down and you have a mobile meeting facility. The session went well. The counsellor seems really good. It’s a start. Start of a long road. But a start it is.

He will now get appointments every two weeks now. Let’s hope progress can be made. The counsellor is also going to write to the school to confirm that he is under health care at present and is not medically cleared to return. Hawklad has come to the conclusion that he just can’t go back to school at present. Even with professional help now, this could take many months before school might become a possibility for him. Until he can feel be reasonably comfortable being around people and ok to touch surfaces then school is but a pipe dream. Will he ever go back – just don’t know.

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer yesterday said that schools were perfectly safe. Apparently children are more at risk from road accidents than from catching the virus. I can’t think of many more insensitive ways of making a point – that’s going to really hurt those families who have lost loved ones on the road. I’m also not entirely reassured by her words. I remember a few other of her words over the last few months

  • The Government response to the pandemic has been exemplary……
  • The UK pandemic approach had been very successful……
  • Large Public Gatherings and Sporting events are perfectly safe, no need to stop attending them. That was at a time Europe had banned those and a few days later we did the same. She even encouraged people to attend the countries largest horse racing event just a couple of days before the country went into lockdown – the infection spread from that event has been scary.
  • People should be more adult when they discussed PPE shortages. It wasn’t such a big issue for healthcare and care workers…..
  • The UK didn’t need to test, test, test for the virus as we were a First World Country.

We all want to get schools open. But it has to be done correctly. Just grouping kids into giant year group bubbles then squeezing them back into cramped classrooms with at least 30 other people isn’t good enough. Asking kids to wear masks on buses, sometimes in corridors and not in classrooms is just a mess. Not exploiting online education to ease some of the space issues is a massive mistake. Only offering testing after the virus has been encountered just repeats the mistakes we have repeatedly made as a country. We’ve had months to get this school return right.

I really feel for those parents and children who are returning to schools. For some it is a easy decision and the return can’t come quick enough. For others it is not easy. For those with underlying health conditions it is a calculated risk. For us that decision has probably been kicked into touch for a while longer.

Don’t you just love 2020.

85 thoughts on “Line them up

  1. Gary, I felt a huge sense of relief for you upon reading this. I have been missing your pists, as they always come up way down in my emails in a morning. I wondered whay was happening. At least now, it seems, things are being taken care of in a much better way. When I first read of how Hawklad is so afraid of touching surfaces my heart bled for the both of you. I could foresee what was going to happen. I could feel his fear and your worry too. At least now it doesn’t have to be faced bya forced return to school. I know tis will bring its own problems, but SO SO glad he has now got. Coubsellir, who soubds really good. Many many hugs Gary. Xxxx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. If there was ever a time when I’d like to escape back to medieval England, it’s now. Glad the meeting with the counsellor did go ahead, although the setup for it sounds bizarre. Fingers crossed that you see more progress now.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Cutbacks are always a risk but if you are able to continue until 18 that’s a pretty decent amount of time to properly address things. Fingers crossed that you get the full amount.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel for you and Hawklad because of how schools will inevitably but understandably have entirely new, totally different and quite rigid routines in place when doors are opened again for all.  It’s not necessarily an issue or a bad thing for the average pupils but for kids like Hawk and my son when he was the same age, it’s possibly more detrimental in the longer term.

    Not sure if it would make any difference and I’m sure you’ve already considered this many times over but in a similar situation to you I would definitely be looking into alternative schooling preferably one for pupils on the ASD.

    The staff are far more clued up, have specific training, experience and are well equipped and familiar with pupils that have varying issues with things like anxiety and obsessive compulsions / specific behaviour that needs careful and sensitive handling.

    From your previous posts, Hawk’s school doesn’t instill much confidence anyway but it would be absurd to expect or even ask him to fall in line with everyone else.   

    One reason Sam was home schooled from leaving primary and remained out of full time education until he went to college at 16yrs was because the only school suitable for him refused him a place.  Tribunal appeal failed because the panel were dumber than a bucket of rocks and had no idea of the damage it would do to him in a huge secondary like the one they were insisting was fine.  

    He starts Uni next month and is already a bit worried about the rules and strict warnings the faculty keeps emailing but not because of any issue or reluctant to wear masks and carry sanitiser etc, it’s  remembering to do things almost religiously at certain points and set times of day and constantly maintain social distancing.  

    We don’t have any concerns that it’ll cause him the least bit of a problem but I made sure he added the long list of colourful conditions he has on the application and enrolment forms just so it’s down on paper that grown ass man or otherwise, he has hidden disabilities which doesn’t need special treatment or anything but will be there in case he’s ever accused of failing to follow rules and threatened with being booted off the course. 

    Hawklad will be OK of that I’m sure.  May not feel like that to either of you right now and more so given 2020 has been one giant pile of dog crap but you’ll find things start to turn and head onwards and upwards 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All of our grandchildren (including our college freshman) are doing remote learning, In Florida, the teachers sued the state and the judge ruled in favor of the teachers saying ‘safety was never considered in the decision to return students to the classroom’. Sad and scary.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Of course. Here parents and children are being asked to sign waivers in some states, saying they will not hold the school or its administration responsible if they contract Covid. Teachers and students alike.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. 2020 is hard. It’s been really difficult, but even with all it’s troubles, worries, and tears I still want to believe that bad days can lead to better things. We’re tired… but we’re not dead or defeated. Hmmm…. guess there’s still some hope in me yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So glad you had a positive meeting, and she intends to contact the school about Hawklad’s return (aka: not). I am glad I’m not a parent facing this dilemma. I do not believe schools are safe at the present time and personally I am not happy with groups of people now, period..

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Most places I know about are giving children and parents the choice by providing both. I don’t know how much more one can do. I do know when school is not in session, kids still gather at recreation centers, parks, swimming pools, etc.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. My best friend is under huge stress about all this. Her son had Cystic Fibrosis. He’s 15 and about to start final GCSE year. He doesn’t want to be ‘different’ and not go to school but the worry about him going is making her physically ill. If the school was more geared for a safe return and they used a flexible approach of some face to face and some online teaching, and a sensible decision was made re: masks, then she would at least have some reassurance. At the moment she feels like she is sending him to potentially pick up a virus that will kill him and she has no control. It’s devastating. I am actually really pleased the counselling went well and that your son has a letter to allow him some breathing space. I hope the school put something in place to support you and he learning at home. X

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I am sooo happy that the visit from the nurse was able to happen and that she will be back in two weeks. Fingers crossed that this helps Hawklad. Our systems here for schools etc are no better. It’s all a risk no matter what we do. If they would only admit that.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. YAY! A successful first meeting! A good start. The nurse immediately writing a letter to school shows that she has some sense and wants what is best for Hawklad!
    Oh, this could be the pivotal moment when things stop the downward tumble and start looking up again!
    And, whew! The pressure of the decision is gone for a while, that should help Hawklad too.
    I’m very, very happy about this good start!💃🏼😁💌💌

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I’m glad that you had a meeting with the nurse counsellor. I hope that it’s the start of a smooth journey. 2020 keeps getting worse and worse. I hope that this is rock bottom. I hope that it doesn’t get any worse than this!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. My husband started school last week (he is a special ed teacher). The kids actually return to school tomorrow. I think it is a horrible idea that they are starting the year at full capacity with no real protections. I worry about my husband, the other staff, the kids, and their families 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  13. So many Irish people went to that horse racing festival of yours. Really crazy.
    Your solution to the weather was ingenious. Kinda like drive-through counselling. Our son actually sat in the car for one second last week. It’s parked on the street so he had to actually go out the gate! One second later he’d run back into the house and was scrubbing his hands and face. Despite having gloves and mask and sunglasses on and hood pulled right up. But it’s still progress. Glad your son making progress too.
    And glad no rush for him back to school.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. So glad that things have worked out as far as finally having that appointment and that Hawklad will not be returning to school just yet. Baby steps are best right now. I am rather shocked that the school system is not including online learning alternates to reduce class sizes though. I would not be comfortable with sending my child to school under such a bungling government regime, but that’s only my opinion and I am a nervous Nelly.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No, it sure isn’t. Hopefully they will be sent packing after the next election. When is yours? Canada may be going back to the polls this fall, still waiting to see what transpires. Praying for good governance and responsible leadership around the world.

        Liked by 1 person

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