My daughter, Millie, jumped out of the car, excitedly waving a piece of paper in the air without even closing the door.
“Dad, guess what?” She looked like Chamberlain brandishing his treaty.
“We have peace in our time?” I replied, shouting equally as loud across the leaf-covered garden.
“What? No-I’ve got to isolate! School have given me a letter saying I’ve been in contact with someone who has Coronavirus!” She was beaming.
I looked to my wife, playing Millie’s personal home-time chauffeur, who nodded in confirmation.
“They can’t say, but I DON’T HAVE TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL UNTIL THE 3RD OF NOVEMBER!!!” She was almost maniacal in her glee.
“The third . . . of . . . November?”
It turned out that there was indeed a confirmed case in Millie’s year, someone who she’d been in close contact with, and, taking in account the half term holiday, that’s another twenty one days off school. It has only been five minutes since the kids had had six months off.
Three of Millie’s close friends also received copies of this letter. Tonight, by phone, they’d form a quartet of sleuths wrapped up in their very own whodunnit.
It had only been a matter of time, with different years in different schools being forced into similar action over the last month. James’ school was surely overdue, too.
Later, for our Drama Queen, would come the expectant angst, but for now it was only holiday fever that Millie had.
It doesn’t affect the rest of us, yet. She has to isolate for fourteen days, the rest of us can continue as before unless Millie starts with symptoms and it’s at that point we would be impacted, having to also isolate and be tested.
A difficult winter has been predicted by the experts. Now, I’m no member of SAGE, but I’m predicting a difficult three weeks ahead for the Murray household. What with a housebound, paranoid, over-dramatic adolescent with a tendency to hit hyper-speed in 0.5 seconds, I may need to hold my own COBRA meeting.
In the meantime, little Miss Millie is on lockdown. For the rest of us – I’ll let you know.
Mr Chamberlain, where’s your face mask?