Thursday, March 19, 2020


Fostering, like life, is full of surprises. No-one saw the Covid-19 coming.

If you're reading this a considerable time after it was posted you'll know how the virus thing turned out.  

I suppose if you're reading this a considerable after it was posted that means that we got through it. It seems certain that we didn't get through it without the tragedy and tears of loss. Back in March 19th 2020 - today - we could only hope the loss of life will be minimal.

At the moment of writing this it's 6.30am in the morning and everyone else is asleep. It's a Thursday which would normally mean the house would be shifting about with hangdog people giving off theatrical lethargy and a controlled edginess pointed at the person cajoling them to get off on time.

Not this morning. Today is the day following the UK government's announcment that schools are to be closed from tomorrow until further notice. The announcement was made about 5.00pm yesterday afternoon after my brood had spent a tense time awaiting the news with hope in their hearts.

Eldest foster child was indignant;

"If Scotland and Wales can close their schools why can't we?"

To my surprise he listened to my attempt to answer that.

When the announcement was made the house experienced a new mood. A mood that can only be brought on by such news as this; no school for the foreseeable future!

I'm happy too. I love it when the house is full of life. But it's  not unmitigated joy, there are people in pain and fear, plus the person I love is living in our front garden.

What has happened is this;

My other half, who I've been with through thick and thin for three decades, has an old respiratory condition. When he was a child he was given a vaccine against polio but it backfired and he got polio. They thought he might never walk again, but he beat it and although he'll never run any marathons you wouldn't know his past from the spring in his step.

Polio, it turns out, often never fully leaves the victim. It's ghost can return in what they call post-polio syndrome. One of the symptoms can be respiratory problems. Which, should he contract Covid-19, could make him vulnerable.

In the middle of the night before last he felt hot, then went feverish. He had a headache, sore throat and achy limbs. His work takes him to a number of different workplaces, and one of them has an employee who tested positive about ten days ago.

We didn't panic, but he had to isolate.

We are VERY lucky in that we've got a little motor home, in fact we were due to go away for a couple of nights soon. But instead of being a holiday home on wheels, our motorhome has become an isolation unit on wheels.

He moved in straight away, about 6.30am yesterday. His temperature was 37.8C, a tad below the virus warning number.

I cleaned and sprayed everything he might have touched in the house and kept up a manic regime; every time I walked past the kitchen sink I washed my hands.

I texted the kids in their bedrooms and got a really nice reply from eldest foster child, a young man not famous for his kindness and consideration, but it's in there. He replied;

"I hope he's okay."

Doesn't sound much but it was. In fostering, no matter how crazy life gets, you are always looking for for fostering's many good moments.

Next thing I called Blue Sky (their offices open at 9.00am though you can get them any time of day or night if you need to). Their first words were the same as my foster son's. They said they'd inform my Blue Sky social worker who I'd met with three days before. She was going on leave that very morning however her holiday of a lifetime to Thailand was called off at the last minute.

Everyone's lives are all over the place.

I didn't get much rest with him in the van, me passing him things he needed (paracetamol, a fresh battery for the thermometer) through the drivers side window, then coming inside and…washing my hands. His temperature crept down, his headache softened. All day I was geared up and ready to call our surgery to see if they had any test kits, but he never reached a point of distress.

This morning I opened the bedroom curtains and looked down. He saw me from the motorhome and waved. We texted. He was on his first cuppa. His temperature was 37.3C, still a bit high for him. Headache a bit better, still pounding. Most of all; no dry cough - or at least no more of a dry cough than he's had a long time now.

I made him a sausage sandwich and passed it in through the window without touching his hand.

Got to go, the downstairs is filled with children claiming there's no point going to school today as half the staff are off and tomorrow - the last day - will be a short day anyway. 

Take care.


Post a Comment