19th March 2020 update #COVID2019

Schools will be closing on Friday this week for the foreseeable future. It’s unlikely they will open again before the summer holidays which means they’ll be shut until August and potentially longer than that. Much depends on what happens in China when they lift their restrictions. Children of key workers and vulnerable children will still be able to go to school. Key workers are NHS staff, police, and supermarket delivery drivers.

Our kids are both in good spirits. Both of them have been anticipating this and hoping for schools to close but I’ve been trying to make them understand the reality of long-term school closures which will also mean no opportunity to see friends and months and months of potential boredom at home. I’ve told them that starting Monday they will need to create a schedule for themselves of how they’re going to manage their days and this schedule can include fun things but it must also include learning. Parents in my community have started a Facebook group specifically for sharing learning resources for children at home. It’s my understanding that schools will also be providing work for them to do.

The children in China were assigned regular homework to do through an app. However, they spammed it with 1-star reviews until it got booted from the app store. Apparently, the app’s rating went from 4.9 – 1.4 overnight.

I have been ordering my weekly groceries online for years and years but ironically, just when everyone else is doing it, I will now stop until supermarkets ramp up the number of available slots. I saw yesterday that Sainsbury’s is completely booked up for the next three weeks and we are all healthy here and able to visits stores so we’ll leave the slots for people self-isolating.

The need for home deliveries has opened up a gap in the market for new businesses. Bonobo Café have closed their café in favour of online groceries and delivery. They have cans of chickpeas for £0.49. Foodstory are launching a no-contact delivery service and also delivering lunch and dinner to people’s homes.

Nature’s Larder is also offering free home delivery for people who are self-isolating.

Another good place to get food online is Real Foods, an Edinburgh-based business. This is where I get my bulk orders of oats and lentils from.

For those experiencing financial difficulties due to the virus, the government has various assistance packages. See Support for those affected by COVID-19.