Well, here we go to the theme of the world; Covid-19. Besides some photos with stay-at-home hashtags, I haven’t written anything about this world phenomenon in social media but now I feel the need to write it here, on my blog, because I want to remember it. Yes, I want to make a memory, for myself and for my family especially for my daughter, which I expect to read this blog years later. Apart from how dangerous the disease itself (well some people said it’s indeed dangerous, some said not), the effect is extraordinary. It could even change the way we live forever and I want to remember how we cope with it. I want to write about how this disease affecting our daily life, some are miserable, some are fun, some are thoughtful…
IT STARTED ON 16 MARCH
On 16 March, the government in province North Rhine Westphalia closed all schools. At this point, I was glad that I don’t have a problem going to work because my husband started to work from home too, so he can watch Flipper. But then right after that, on 18 March, the shop where I work has to close their branches as well because furniture and interior decoration shops are not considered as an essential shop. My boss called me and said that he’s really sorry about this (even it’s not his fault, not even the fault from management board) and said that at 30 of March, the shop will open again and there’s no working from home except maybe for human resource and customers service department (the online shop is still open).
So far it’s announced that schools and any extracurricular courses will be closed until 3 April and after that is two weeks’ Easter holiday. So altogether Flipper will stay at home for five weeks, until 19 April. Apparently, the working from home phase for my husband is also extended until 19 April and so does the closure of non-essential shops. Now all of us stay at home together for 5 weeks! Yay or nay? No choice, it has to be a yay.
Flipper got learning materials from school and the parents now have to take over their children’s education. The teachers are available when we need them, though. We can call or e-mail them. To make it easier for us, we made the same routine every day. After breakfast and cleaning up, at 08:15 hubby starts to work, Flipper and I start to do homeschooling. For 1st grade, there are Math, writing, reading, English lesson and some basic arts.
At 11:00 homeschool is finished and Flipper can play with a tablet for 30 minutes. She’s allowed to choose, whether to watch a short movie, play games or continue learning with Anton App. I use this time to prepare easy lunch for two us (hubby always skips lunch). After lunch is free activity including making crafts, practice her piano lesson, baking or just role-play (I hate role-play, but…). When the weather nice, we go outside but only either in front yard or in the back yard of the house.
By the way, one annoying thing about Flipper being at home the whole time is about my ‘freedom’ to play music. Last Christmas I gave my self a Sonos One SL with voice control feature-Alexa as a present. Since I don’t have a private room for my self at home, of course, hubby and Flipper can use it as well, but mostly I’m the one who controls it. Now since all of us are at home, somehow Alexa has a closer relationship with Flipper which is actually good. With Alexa, Flipper has more choice of songs and audiobooks than what she can find in her CD collection or Tonies Box.
Flipper has a broad taste of music, from Paw Patrol’s soundtracks until Shawn Mendes, but she loves to play one or two songs repeatedly and that’s exactly the problem. She played Dance Monkey like a thousand times a day and another thousand times for Up Up Up from Bibi & Tina soundtrack. To avoid chronically earworm, I made a rule for the shake of three of us that we take turns controlling Alexa. Day 1 is Flipper day; she can listen to whatever she likes from Alexa. Day 2 is my day; I either play my list from Spotify or listen to the local radio. Day 3 is hubby’s turn which he rarely uses because he stays in the working room to work. Day 4 is back to Flipper’s turn and the circle continues. This way doesn’t stop Flipper to play one song repeatedly though, but at least not every day!
PLAYGROUNDS ARE CLOSED
More restrictions are to come gradually. In the first week Flipper was still allowed to play outside with the next-door sibling girls, even played on the public playground next to our house. On 18 April there’s a sign on the entrance of the playground: entry is prohibited. The girls and of course all the kids in the neighborhood were disappointed but yeah, it makes sense why the playgrounds are prohibited when the schools are closed. We don’t want the children to gather in a different place, and as a person who lives next to the playground, I often see grandmas and grandmas brought their grandchildren there were so many other pupils also there. Not good.
On 24 April, another announcement from the government came into force. Germany won’t do the Draconian lockdown, but something more than just social distancing which is called Kontaktverbot. It means, under the sky, gathering more than two people is prohibited except for family members who live in the same roof and work-related. House visit which has no correlation with healthcare is also prohibited. There are fines for people who don’t obey the rule so don’t try to call a hairdresser to come to cut your hair at home.
For us, it means that Flipper is not allowed to play with the girls next door anymore. As an only child, this is really sad to stay at home for 5 weeks, not allowed to go to public playground and no direct contact with her friends. Here I try my best to accompany her, do lots of stuff together to keep her busy even yeah doing role-play (did I mention that I hate role-play? 🤪).
Gladly Flipper sometimes also likes to have her own me-time which is good for me, so I can do some household chores or do my own stuff. By the way, this also explains why I rarely active in social media or WhatsApp group chat which surprisingly (or not?) gets more intense during stay-at-home period. I guess it’s easier for people who don’t have children, having teenage or adult children or have more than one child to have me-time or do cyber socializing in this stay-at-home period. When you only have one creature of a 6-year-old child and want to make the best of it, it’s rather difficult to be free doing your stuff as long as your child still awake. So yeah, forget Udemy or any online courses which at the moment give free lessons almost everywhere on the net!
Anyway, about 4pm hubby is done with the work and he takes over to play with Flipper. When I have nothing extravagant to cook, I usually join them. In the evening though, I have more time to catch up with friends or just watch movies or reading books.
To keep in touch with her friends, Flipper often does video chat with her friends. I find it cute how those kids nowadays doing video chat. Unlike adult, or at least me who just show face while talking and laughing through the video-chat, the kids often doing role-play or do gymnastics together via video-chat 😀
Besides video-chatting, Flippers and her friends send letters to each other. Even with the girl who lives next door who told Flipper how she loves her. Oh friendship ❤
Because of Covid-19 people now tend to contact old friends to say hi and wish that everything ok in their part of the world. Me too, got in touch again with long-lost friends in Jakarta and Jogjakarta. Now every mail (even the formal ones), text message and telephone greeting always end with ‘bleib gesund!‘ or ‘stay healthy!’
The bad thing though, I login into Facebook more often now, duh. I’ve been managing to stay away from FB for months, only online once or twice a month until now; back to almost every day again. FB is personally bad for me because in FB I tend to spend too much time, read some rubbish and post some rubbish too! For that, I’m enough with Instagram!
Yes, it’s no school, no normal lessons in the classroom but Flipper school tries their best to be there for the pupils. Besides sending everyday lesson materials, they also sent some useful links where the children can do online activities like sport, language courses or just some games. The school also encourages the children to share their home activities with other friends from their website. The children can send pictures, crafts or videos to the school and the director will upload it on the website of the school. Here are some crafts that Flipper made and featured in showcase school website:
On the open letter to the parents, the school team wrote something that really touches my heart and I guess every parent who reads it will feel the same. This is the letter (translated from German):
It is okay if your children do not complete all tasks and
It is okay if you can’t explain everything to your children.
Please don’t argue about the homework and exercises, don’t yell at each other for homework and homework.
Instead, be there for your children!
When the corona crisis is over, no child will remember what they did for school (except maybe some arts and activities they sent in showcase website, no more),
but every child will remember how it felt in this situation.
Hug your children, cuddle with them and listen to them.
This is important at this time!
Stay healthy and see you soon!
I’m not crying. Someone is just cutting onion near my eyes!
A week ago, the classroom teacher sent all of her pupils personal letters. In the letter, she wrote about her daily activities like cleaning the house, gardening, and reading. She also wished that all the children are doing well and also gave an early Easter greeting. Simple words but it shows how she really cares about her pupils. Well, someone was cutting onions (again) as I read the letter. Flipper was so happy about the letter and replied directly with her first-grade handwriting and draw some pictures.
Just like the schools, all courses outside schools are also closed. Flipper capoeira and swimming course are temporarily suspended. Fortunately she can continue doing her piano lesson online with her teacher via Zoom. It’s not optimal but better than nothing. Usually the teacher will fix the way she moves her fingers or the way she sits too but now I, who have no idea about playing the piano have to educate myself to help Flipper. The result is not bad though, now I can even play some simple music with piano too! So let say like this: we paid the music school fee for Flipper only but now I can do it too. It’s definitely a win!
NO MORE HOLIDAY TRIP
Yesterday actually we should drive to Austria for our 10 days Easter holiday. Our destination is the beautiful city Hallstatt, the city I always wanted to visit. In this condition, sadly we have to cancel the holiday house we booked. Even the place we book in fact has a non-refundable policy, I’m glad that because of this Covid-19 thing, the owner accepted our cancellation and sent all of our money back without any question. Now I’m waiting for the goodwill of Etihad Airlines. We book a flight to Singapore for the summer holiday and so far it doesn’t look good at all to travel even in June. At the moment Etihad only offer free rebooking or voucher for people who fly before 30 June, but we don’t want both of them, we want a refund. Let see, I hope they will change their policy since at this time there is so much pressure from media and related departments about Airlines cancel policy.
NICE PEOPLE SEEM LIKE EVERYWHERE
Being at home for 3 weeks so far, it sucks. The weather is getting nice but our move is limited. We even once had a problem with our car, the battery is dead because the car remained stationary too long! We can’t go shopping as free as we used to. Toilet papers, noodles, flour and yeast are nowhere to find. We can’t visit friends and friends can’t visit us. Grandma, grandpa can not see their grandchildren. No visit from/to extended family as well. Resto, café, beautiful decor shops, fashion shops are closed, some people got only 60% of salary, some even none because they can’t work. Not forget to mention how the essential workers like doctors, nurses, police officers, supermarkets workers are working more and harder than they usually do. I think nobody feels benefited in this situation BUT there’s a silver lining.
In every corner in the city I live, people trying their best to help each other. There are people who make shopping delivery service to the elderly and people in the quarantine. There are people who gather essential needs and food to give to people who need it. There are people who sew DIY masks and give it to other people for free. There are people who help the local shops with ordering food from them or buy books, toys, vouchers (which will be delivered to the buyer) to keep the local shop alive. There are people who share DIY activities for kids at home, etc…etc…Of course, there are also people who also just whining around but people with good deeds are more outstanding and this is beautiful.
I don’t know when the pandemic will end but I’m sure we will get through it! I am interested to know how you cope with Covid-19 restriction in your area? You know, each country has different rules. Care to share? And last but not least: stay healthy!