Due to Covid-19 Christmas in the UK was again not the one we were all hoping for. With yet another new variant spreading, and positive test results many did not get to celebrate it how they wanted. This is what happened to us.
Covid-19 Christmas Cancellations
Many families will have been affected by Covid-19 cancelling their Christmas plans last year I am sure. It was very frustrating for us as we had hardly seen anyone when my husband tested positive for Covid-19. Worst still that not one of us had any symptoms!
Not Seeing Family due to Covid-19
We had arranged to see family but obviously couldn’t. Gutted as I had wrapped the present early November. In fact we hadn’t even done the Christmas food shop. Getting an online delivery slot that close to the big day was just not going to happen!
But more worrying than that was what would happen about the eldest. Isolation would not be over until the end of Boxing Day. This would result in the oldest either being home alone at Christmas or having my husband isolate alone. The thought of moving Christmas was there, but still would it feel right with the eldest being alone.
Boris saves Christmas with New Science
Then just like that our Prime Minister Boris Johnson saved the day with new science. He said that now if you tested negative on days 6 and 7, on a lateral flow test, you were no longer contagious and were free to stop self-isolating. He literally said this just in time as hubby was on day 6!
Now no-one really believed this new science if I am honest but it meant we could do things. You see mental health is important and covid-19 really has knocked a lot of people. Plus, there was an element of thinking this is how it is now, we need to just learn to live with it. We may have also been a little sceptical at the fact that we hardly went by anyone, no-one had symptoms and only hubby had it when it apparently spread so easily!
Covid-19 Christmas 2021 in the UK
With it believing to be spreading so much there was a new slogan and push for the booster, so I booked and took the eldest for his. We only saw our eldest on the 23rd, 24th and 25th. We saw 3 more members of family on the 26th. Then quite a few more on the 27th.
Positive with Covid-19 Symptoms
On the 29th unfortunately a family member messaged me to tell me that they had tested positive. Literally that moment my husband started to feel really ill. Just went really cold and started shivering. It sounded like an after-drop. But he felt really hot. A lateral flow test showed that he was positive.
This time he was scared, it was the worst feeling ever as I couldn’t comfort him due to the self-isolating. Plus self-isolating isn’t easy when you don’t have spare rooms and everyone shares a bathroom! We were cleaning surfaces all the time and wearing masks in the house.
Missing School and the Previous Covid-19 Dilemma
At first I wasn’t going to get the boys tested as they could just self-isolate – but of course it wasn’t that long until the boys were due back at school. The 14 year old’s 90 days after Covid-19 window ended on the day he was due back at school. Before that the guidance was not to test him with a lateral flow. This has since changed.
If the boys were positive and didn’t test until the LFT at school it would mean missing even more school! Therefore I decided it best we all had a PCR as the advice for being a close contact was to test. This included the teen as I didn’t realise that the teen was only meant to have a PCR if he had symptoms and so did get him booked in for one!
Lack of Covid-19 Tests in the UK
There was a lack of both PCR and lateral flow tests. This was probably due to the fact that Omicron was spreading faster. Also because those who were a close contact of someone who was positive should do lateral flow tests for 7 days. Not to mention those trying to get out of isolation early.
The nearest test site for a PCR was over 68 miles each way! It was also in Wales and we are in England! There were none available by post and, even though I got a code for lateral flow tests there weren’t any available anywhere.
The PCR Bookings
Thankfully my social media were very helpful and I got my husband and boys booked in for PCRs one evening and myself the next morning. Again I didn’t realise that my husband shouldn’t go to a test centre until after I had booked it. There was absolutely no way of changing or amending things!
Now we had to be in the same car as my husband to attend the testing. He drove with a mask on and the windows open. He had literally been in bed all day and only just managed to drive there. Sure enough he was positive. So were both of the youngest children.
The boys then isolated with their dad because they tested positive. This is the stupid thing about it all to me because they did not really have any symptoms. But we did not want to risk it spreading. There was no way three people could self-isolate in our house. Needless to say some symptoms did appear.
Luckily they were not as bad as my husband’s. He was out flat just staying in bed all day and night, taking pain relief for around 5 or 6 days.
The Difference in Schools
Of course the boys could return to school if they had negative lateral flow tests on days 6 and 7. Well if we ignore all the complications of the fact that the 14 year old had previous had Covid-19.
14 year old was negative on day 6. The school had video links to all his lessons. It was literally just for him, everyone else was in school. As he was negative on day 7 he was allowed to return to school. Due to Covid-19 he had not been to the shops to replace his school shoes. He went in his black trainers without a note and I heard nothing about it. We went to the shops straight after school and got school shoes.
The youngest, however, was not negative on day 6 or day 7. This resulted him missing days of school. The first day he sat in front of his screen all day checking Teams etc but nothing was organised. He has an EHCP and was just marked as absent. The next day there was just some work set by the Maths teacher. This was too difficult for him alone and so I had to help him.
Finally on days 8 and 9 both hubby and our youngest tested negative. Finally my husband could return to our room and we had our first kiss of the New Year. It was so good to hug the youngest. I knew we were a tactile family but it is even harder when you can’t do it and they are unwell.
Hubby is still not feeling 100%, especially getting tired. Luckily he can smell. Our teen still has problems with this since his Covid-19 in October.
Attitude towards Covid-19
Our attitudes towards Covid-19 have definitely changed and it is not to one of people need to learn to live with it. More children are being affected by it too now. No now I don’t not think is the time for compliancy.
Luckily our 18 year old did not get Covid-19 and is still yet to have his booster. Hubby needs to wait 28 days from his symptoms, but the youngest two it is 90 days! Although at one point I was getting daily text messages to book them in so I had to decline them. Fingers crossed it is easy to ask for them when their time comes.
I am really grateful things weren’t worse for our family and my thoughts are with those who were affected this Christmas time.