The week it finally hit (October 2020)

I’ve set this up to publish in two year’s time in the hope that it will all be a distant memory by then.

It’s Sunday 25th October 2020. About 17 days ago I still lived in a green zone. Two Saturdays ago all of Poland became a yellow zone. 8 days ago all of the cities in Poland became red zones. Yesterday the rules became even stricter again and now the government’s recommending everybody stay at home as much as possible.

When we changed to a red zone all of the universities and high schools shifted online, so we changed our lessons from once a week in the classroom and once a week online to fully online for all adult and teen groups. Yesterday primary schools closed too. However, we have already shifted online due to events from last week.

On Sunday I got a phone call from a teacher saying they thought they had lost their sense of smell, one of the earliest signs of Coronavirus. Everybody he had been in contact with went into self-isolation. Obviously he did too and so did his flatmate, another teacher at our school, newly arrived in Poland. He had a test on Monday which came back positive on Tuesday, so we asked all of our teachers to start working from home. On Tuesday a teacher’s partner tested positive too so she also went into self isolation. At this point the count was 7 of 20 teachers in self isolation, plus another teacher off sick with something else. Thankfully we could continue teaching most of our lessons and the cases in school were mild.

On Wednesday and Thursday two more members of admin staff tested positive, although luckily I had not had contact with them for a few days before the first symptoms so I didn’t need to self isolate. I continued to work at school because it seemed easier to do that when I was the only person at school and could find things that the teachers needed and refer to a whole range of things in my office. Tomorrow I will be the only person at school, in what feels like a ghost town.

It’s been a real rollercoaster of a week, although I feel a lot better now I know that the teachers are all safer because they are working at home.

We’re lucky that it took so long for cases to arrive in the city and the school. As I write this numbers keep going up and up. I know that it will end at some point, hopefully before this post is published on the blog, but who knows? The important thing is to stay safe and wear masks, washing hands regularly to protect ourselves and others.

The world is already a very different place to this time last year, and who knows what it will be like in two years’ time. I hope this post finds you happy and healthy and lockdown and coronavirus are just a distant memory when you read this.

Here’s a nice picture of the forest where I’m sitting to write this and breathe a little before we see what next week throws at us…