So, the UK has followed other countries and locked down for a month. Seemingly we do things at the last minute here and haven’t learned from the first peak that getting in early helps with keeping the numbers lower. First grade maths and simple exponentials seem to not be understood by our leaders. It’s NOT politics, it’s not even science or epidemiology. What it is though is simple mathematics! Oh well, maybe third wave lucky??
We like many families in England will be taking lockdown very seriously albeit there are unavoidable risks. Our children are still required to attend school and being a big exam year, they are getting hugely stressed. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have already cancelled sit down examinations for their age. England have delayed the exams by 3 weeks but seemingly crammed them together (fewer papers??) so apparently, they will end when they were due to. Last years students were given lots of sympathy at the time for not being able to show off their talent and learning. However, this year’s cohort have had their educational experience truncated and diminished and still are being asked to follow the old ways of assessment! (If indeed exams happen!? Knowing our government, they’ll decide last minute and will not have set up arrangements for course work and continuous assessment and again it will be guesswork and no doubt some schools will be better than others at playing the system!)
So less about me this week, less advice more questions – Why not share what worked or works for you now and maybe more importantly what doesn’t or didn’t work so we can avoid these pitfalls!
However here are some ‘generic’ evidenced based (albeit NOT lockdown proven!) activities that came from a wonderful BBC TV show. Maybe you don’t know Slough. It’s not necessarily the first place you’d think of as being happiness central, nor did John Betjeman!
Slough by John Betjeman (1906 – 1984)
John Betjeman published his poem about Slough in 1937 in the collected works Continual Dew. Slough was becoming increasingly industrial and some housing conditions were very cramped. In willing the destruction of Slough, Betjeman urges the bombs to pick out the vulgar profiteers but to spare the bald young clerks. He really was very fond of his fellow human beings. Slough is much improved nowadays and he might be pleasantly surprised by a stroll there.
Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn’t fit for humans now,
There isn’t grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!
It was filmed for the BBC and called “Making Slough Happy“. The basis of the programme was to test 10 simple measures (the Happiness Manifesto) on a group of volunteers:
- Plant something and nurture it
- Count your blessings – at least 5 – at the end of the day
- Take time to talk – have an hour-long conversation with a loved one each week
- Phone a friend whom you have not spoken to for a while and arrange to meet up
- Give yourself a treat every day and take the time to really enjoy it
- Have a good laugh at least once a day
- Get physical – exercise for half an hour three times a week
- Smile at and/or say hello to a stranger at least once a day
- Cut your TV viewing in half (Maybe Netflix is OK if you seek out the best movies you missed at the cinema!?)
- Spread some kindness – do a good turn for someone every day