Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the classroom…
Is it me or are there two parallel universes we’re living in right now?
One consisting of rule makers, who dream stuff up on an almost daily basis and convince themselves everyone’s listening. And another, home to the rule breakers, who view all these new diktats with mild amusement and proceed to ignore them.
I only ask because wherever I go these days, the phrase “oh, don’t worry, it’s fine” seems to be a mantra for post-lockdown life.
We had the Sky man come the other day, to install a new satellite box that apparently records every programme currently being broadcast. And downloads every programme that’s ever been made. So we can watch them all. One day. (I know, but it was free).
“I don’t suppose I’m allowed to offer you a cup of tea,” I said to him. “No, you’re not,” he sighed, through his welding helmet or whatever it was he was wearing. “But I’d love one, thank-you very much. One sugar.”
Then we had a glazier visit, who proceeded to hand us an eight-page ‘Safe Guide for Home Improvement Companies Working in Domestic Homes During the Covid-19 Crisis’. Together with a document to be signed and handed over declaring we’ve read and understood the wonderful bedtime reading proffered.
“Really?!” said Mrs Sheep. “Oh, don’t worry. It’s fine,” said the bloke.
In between, we visited a cafe in England, where face masks are required AT ALL TIMES when ordering at the counter. Mrs Sheep duly donned her fetching muzzle to go and get the coffees while I stayed safe from the pit of infection and waited outside.
But just as she was about to muffle something about a defaf la-lay wiv soya mill, she noticed nobody else around her was suitably covered in the mush department. So she took hers off. “Do I have to wear this?” she enquired. “Nah! Don’t worry about it,” came the reply. “What can I get ya?”
The trouble with all this is, it’s the kids who are about to get it in the neck. Coz they’re the only ones the rule makers have got a hope in hell of controlling. The bullies.
As our next generation prepares for the annual horror show that is ‘Back To School’ (a phrase that brought on instant depression when I was a lamb), the measures being meted out make our schools sound more like leper colonies than places of learning.
Thermometer checks, thermal cameras, face masks, staggered starts, cleansing of school uniforms, classrooms in marquees, acrylic screens, no mixing outside of bubbles, zoned playgrounds, “no touching”, classroom windows open, lunch at 11am (or 2pm), cold food, no assemblies, no contact sports, no swimming (so presumably no running, jumping, bombing…), no music, no clubs…
They really have got it in for little Jonnie and Jemima haven’t they? And yet I can’t help thinking they’ve missed something.
Amid the desperate clamour to wrap our kids in cotton wool, they’ve gone and forgotten the one deadly thing that normally has health and safety types fearing for their careers every autumn.
Forget Covid. It’s the death stats for conker victims I want to know about.
A mutton for punishment, Black Sheep welcomes all comments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to air your points of view. You can also read Black Sheep in Welsh Border Life every month.
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