The unknown is worse than the known, that’s for sure. Today is the 27th December and we are part way through one of our strangest Christmases yet.

Christmas is usually predicable for us, from August (!) onwards we plan when we will visit my family in Cornwall and then decide whether or not to invite Richard’s family for Christmas dinner. I think every year since the extension was done we have invited them over. I don’t like being anywhere other than here for Christmas Day- at least not since we had children. We have done two years travelling the Richard’s parents house on Christmas Day when his Gran was still alive- this must have been 8 or 9 years ago (Tamsin was in Year 3), other than that Christmas Day is pretty much the same every year.

And so was this Christmas, a flying visit and a family meal in Cornwall and then back to Reading to prepare for the inlaws on Christmas Day, Boxing Day with Richard’s extended family and then friends over on the 30th (although this had already moved to possibly the 3rd).

Then Richard has a positive lateral flow test, followed by a positive PCR (confirmed on his birthday). No one is able to come over for Christmas Day and he has to spend the next ten days self isolating. These are the known facts, and that is ok, easily done, we did the same just over a month ago for me.

The unknown is harder to cope with. It is wondering, if, or when the children will catch it, if it has been passed on to anyone else. As we speak, it appears he has not passed it on to anyone else. We are on our last day of 7 days of daily testing and hopefully that is it. We haven’t self isolated- we didn’t need to, but equally we have done a lot of going out or mixing- typical Christmas weather has stopped us feeling like we need to go anywhere. But Christmas has been a bit of a blur, going through the motions and judging the unknown risk of Richard spending time with us against the unknown effect of what happens if you spend ten days watching TV in bed and playing on your phone without speaking to anyone.

Through this all Richard hasn’t been feeling poorly, no more than a cold. I rushed out and bought calpol and lemsip (he seems unable to swallow any pills without making a huge fuss- luckily he’s not often ill) but he hasn’t needed any of it. However, there are more unknowns thrown in, the government announced last week that if you test negative on LFT on day 6 and 7 of isolation then you can stop early. With his ridiculously mild cold I assumed he would be testing negative today and tomorrow, so had started to plan accordingly. No such luck- he is still contagious apparently. And so it is looking like he is not allowed out until 2022.

Christmas has been fine really. I think for my 16 year old it is probably her best Christmas yet, no need to go out, no need to meet people and she got two sets of Lego. It might be ruined later when I insist on us going out in the rain to ‘do something’. The hardest thing at the moment is trying to summon up the enthusiasm and energy to get out with two reluctant teenagers.. it is much easier with two adults. Excuses, excuses.

I’m not sure this has really captured the feel of this Covid Christmas, it has been very subdued and pretty grey and everyone very much doing their own thing- maybe it was always going to be like this with two teenagers- maybe the Covid Christmas is the pattern for the next few years…. but to be honest I’ve quite enjoyed it.

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