I woke up today, confused. It was the day after Gavin Williamson announced that GCSE’s were cancelled and schools were being shut indefinitely. I knew for a fact, that school was going to be in chaos. I was right.
I walked into my form room and everyone was hysterical. We were all: reminiscing about our time at this school; hugging people, knowing we’ll probably never see a lot of them again (because we are all moving on to different places post-16); and freaking out about how the hell we are going to get our GCSE grades.
When I entered English class, we all sat in a massive circle, talking and playing games, while the news was running in the background. Mrs James addressed us all, saying that she was proud of us, disappointed for us and that she has really enjoyed teaching us. I think everyone was on the verge of tears. My emotions were all over the place, I didn’t know how to feel or what I was feeling. This is a weird time for us all.
At 10:30, all Year 11’s and Year 13’s were called to an assembly with our headteacher’s. We were listening to them talking about how we are living in interesting times and that they knew no more than we did, when they swapped to the next slide. There, displayed on the board was the quote, “may he live in interesting times” and the question ‘A Chinese curse?’ There was outrage, none of the students understood that the two teachers were not being racist, but were simply trying to convey a message through a famous English literature concept. Two students actually stood up and started screaming at the 2 women standing, shocked, on the stage. Almost all of the other students in the room started laughing and cheering for these two girls. I did not.
I felt so bad for the pair of headteachers, I get where people could’ve misread what they were trying to say but they weren’t doing this assembly for their benefit, they were doing it to try and make us feel better. They probably had a lot of other things that they could’ve been doing, but instead they were here talking to us.
Later on that day, the two women made their way around every single Year 11 classroom and explained what they meant by a ‘Chinese curse’, apologised for any misunderstandings, and answered any questions that we had.
It has been a very eventful day. Honestly, I’m quite glad to be going to bed now.
When I was at school last week, it was all very real and I could tell from the atmosphere that there was something going on; however, now I’m not at school, I feel very secluded from the situation and can hardly tell that there is a global pandemic going on at all, other than the fact that when we go to the park to walk our dog, almost everybody stays 2 metres away from each other.
On Monday, the nation was told that the prime minister was going to make an announcement at 20:30. Everyone had speculations about the contents of this statement. Most people thought he would pronounce a lockdown, and they were right. We were told not to go out other than for essential work, food shopping and 1 exercise a day. Stay At Home, they said over and over again. To be honest, for me, it didn’t really feel like a lockdown as I hadn’t been leaving the house for anything else anyway.
Yesterday, Boris Johnson, the prime minister, tested positive for the virus. I was very shocked! Apparently he only has very mild symptoms, so it’s alright, but that still wasn’t something I expected to hear when I turned on the news.
My mum, who is a doctor and works in the NHS, is very stressed. She’s not getting very much sleep and has had to start putting her phone downstairs at night because she keeps checking it for news about Corona virus. I also think she is a bit worried about who would look after me and my sister if she got the virus. Three of her colleagues are self-isolating so it’s only her and a woman named Angela on the haemotology ward at the moment. However, Angela is not seeing patients as she is in a vulnerable group, therefore my mother is the only one seeing the patients. The NHS does not have enough ventilators and apparently doctors are going to have to choose who gets the life support based on who would have the best chances of survival.
Last night, at 8 o’clock, loads of people all over the country opened their windows and doors and clapped for all of the key workers. I didn’t think anyone would do it, but sure enough when the 20th hour of the day came around, our entire street was filled with the chorus of people clapping. It was amazing and so inspirational!
I got woken up this morning by a little puppy licking my face. My mum came in and said that Grandma had become sick overnight and that she was throwing up a lot. She said she doesn’t think it’s the Corona virus, just a side affect of the radiotherapy or worst case scenario a calcium deficiency. If that’s the case it would mean that she would have to go into the hospital to get treated, exposing her to COVID-19. I’m hoping that if it is that, they can treat her from home so she doesn’t have to come into contact with the virus.
Mum then went to Waitrose and when she came back she told us that grandma wasn’t picking up her phone and that no one could contact her. We went for a walk, all the while mum and Nicky ( my aunt ) phoning each other on updates about whether or not they had been able to contact her. I think mum was getting a little worried until finally Nicky called saying that she had contacted Ted ( grandmas friend/partner – I’m not 100% sure what their relationship is ) and that he said he’s pretty sure she’s fine because he had checked in with her yesterday and she wasn’t as bad as she thought she was but that he would check up on her a bit later anyway.
We wondered back home through the park, mum said she thinks grandma will probably pass away sometime this year, I asked if she would make it to Christmas and mum said maybe.
Later on that day, mums phone rang, it was grandma. Mum picked up the phone and started saying “hi mum…” when the voice on the other end of the phone spoke. It wasn’t grandma. “Hi” the voice said “This is Chris, Kate’s friend, I just came round to check up on your mum because she wasn’t answering her phone and I’m afraid she’s not in a good state, I’ve called 999 and the paramedics are on their way, she has been throwing up and when she came to the door she was extremely shaky and collapsed.” Mum talked to Chris for awhile and then ended the call, thanking her. Mum said she thinks grandma is fine and that she is probably just dehydrated and that the biggest worry is her having to go to the hospital because it would mean she would come very close to Corona virus. We were all hoping that the paramedics would be able to treat her at home and that she wouldn’t have to go to hospital.
In the end, she did have to go to the hospital and the rest of the day was really a waiting game. I think mum was finding it difficult not knowing what was going on. In normal circumstances she would have gone to the hospital to see grandma but because of the current situation she wasn’t allowed.
Finally, just as we were about to do some arts and crafts, the hospital called. They said that they thought she had COVID-19. We were all shocked. My sister nudged me and said something about the Corona virus to me but I just snapped at her. I felt kind of bad afterwards but I was too busy trying to listen to what the doctor was saying to apologise to her. He said that grandma had had another fall in the hospital when she was reaching for her shoes and that she wasn’t looking to good. I cant stop thinking about how that fall would have affected grandmas mental health. She has always been very proud about her fitness and adamant that she never wants to become one of those frail little old ladies, so I think that fall would have devastated her and made her feel old. They think it’s Corona virus because she had some lung changes on her chest x-ray and because she was on oxygen.
When mum came off the phone she immediately called Nicky to tell her what was going on, they talked about how grandma was not going to be resuscitated as she wouldn’t want it and because it’s very unlikely that it would be effective anyway. Mum told Nicky that if it came to the end they would be allowed to visit her but she wasn’t sure if us kids could. This really got to me as I really wanted to give grandma one last hug. They talked about if they should tell their brother- he lives in the United States. They decided they would in the end. It would be hard for him to come over due to travel restrictions and even harder for him to get back but it’s important that he at least knows what’s going on.
Mum then told me and Libby that we should try and prepare for the worst. We then all had a big group hug and just cried for a bit. I then decided I would go and have a bath and watch some friends to take my mind off things.
None of us expected it to be COVID-19 but mum said this might be for the best as grandma had been really suffering lately and the kindest thing might be to just let her go. I know she’s right but I really just want to spend some quality time with grandma before she leaves us.