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NHS Test and Trace, you say?

This blog was first published in the January edition of the fantastic local lifestyle magazine ‘The Fens’, for which I write a monthly article about the life and times of a single Dad. It recounts an episode in our lives from late November – the dreaded call from NHS Test and Trace…

Life as a single parent certainly has its challenges, but I’ve learned that whenever I need help, my friends and family will be round in an instan….oh hold on, phone’s going. Just a sec…

”Yes hello?….NHS Test and Trace you say?…been in contact with someone who tested positive….need to self-isolate for two weeks, with three little people, whilst working…ok… thank you…”

Ah… er….mmmm [stares into distance]

[Several hours later] Right – where was I? Oh yes –surviving on your own as a single parent in self isolation? Piece of cake.

Day 1: Ooo how exciting, a little adventure for the Wicks boys. Can we survive two weeks? This is like ‘I’m a celebrity’ only if it were filmed in a moderately sized house in a small Fenland town, without bugs or snakes or celebrities or Ant & Dec.

Day 2: First day of working and entertaining kids simultaneously. 8.30am and 20 month old Jude has attempted to send an email whilst back is turned but only succeeds in coating letters ‘C’ ‘I’ and ‘D’ with sticky layer of jam. Think he was attempting to spell ‘COVID’. Reclaim laptop and retreat to safety of bedroom. Leave Rodney the cat in charge.

Day 3: No work today so I’ve planned a lovely day of educational material, ‘fun’ activities and delicious meals for all the family to enjoy. In practice this means watching 8 minutes of a Joe Wicks re-run; playing ‘Find the weed and pick it’ in the garden and making our way through 3 packs of Haribo. Each.

Days  4-7 Wake up. Prepare food. Wash dishes. Go to bed.

Day 8: The monotony starts to bite. To mix things up I decide Josh (4) and I (slightly older than 4) should change roles for the day. Josh elects to serve ice cream for breakfast, lets us stay in our pants all day and organises a game of water balloon battleships in the living room. Disappointed he couldn’t come up with anything original.

Day 10: Over half way through now. Days are beginning to blur into one. On a conference call at work, tell a colleague off for not finishing her pudding and ask another if he’s done a poo poo. He had not.

Day 12: Lack of adult company taking its toll. Though on a more positive note after lunch I did enjoy a thoroughly interesting conversation with Melvin the mop.

Day 14: This is it, last day of isolation! Tomorrow the boys can go to school and I’m free to see people! In the flesh! I’m going to go get a coffee, then do some shopping, then go for a slap up meal somewhere just to be with people!

Day 15: Eaten too much. In bed with tummy ache.

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