The return to work after Christmas is always a difficult one. January is not the best of months anyway, what with all the obligatory self-improvement and cold weather, and having to work seems to just be adding insult to injury. January 2021 comes with some bonus challenges of course, thanks to the ongoing pandemic which, as it turns out, was not just a 2020 thing.
No-one was more surprised than me to discover that Covid 19 was still around on the 1st of January, but it was, and with a super extra contagious new variant, that has, in fact been around for ages, but that no-one really knew about until now. Except for all the people who did know, but it turns out that they didn’t tell anyone what they knew. Except the government. But what could the UK government be expected to do with information like that? Especially when it obviously meant that they would have to cancel Christmas. Which they did, but not until they had told everyone that Christmas would be fine and that they could go ahead and make plans and spend money because Christmas definitely wouldn’t be cancelled.
Anyway, the new variant has officially been launched, but it is still called Covid 19, even though it is an upgrade on the old Covid 19. Apparently the new design wasn’t quite radical enough to justify calling it Covid 20. I think I might call it Covid 19+ though. Anyway, regardless of its name, this is definitely the variant that you want to catch if you want to stay on trend. I’d be mortified if I got the old version of Covid 19. I wouldn’t be able to show my face in public.
So the promised land of 2021 looks like it might just be another 2020. But with a different name. We can’t just call it a ‘new variant of 2020’ because that isn’t how the calendar works, but we can still continue to use phrases like ‘the new normal’ which is a relief, because I would have been sorry to see that go.
Anyway, as of yesterday I was back at work. I work in a secondary school which, according to our Prime Minister, is actually the safest place in the entire universe but there was some uncertainty over what was actually supposed to be happening. This uncertainty was because some other people, some supposed ‘experts’ were saying that maybe schools aren’t that safe. So there weren’t any students there yesterday and there weren’t too many staff either. But there were plans for students and staff to be more or less all back within a fortnight because while a lack of staff and students does make a school safer, it does also make the other stuff that schools are supposed to do quite difficult.
The government has kept the original version of Covid 19 in a state of confusion by constantly changing their strategy towards schools, while simultaneously claiming to have adopted a clear and consistent approach. To be fair it was a brilliant plan that would have bamboozled most viruses but it seems that Covid 19+ is smarter than the average variant and is wise to this particular game. So, even though constantly changing the rules was amazingly successful before it appears that total ineptitude and incoherence is not going to work any more.
So the new plan is to go back to the old plan, which is to close all schools for an indefinite period of time, and fortunately, because very few lessons were learnt last time around, it should have exactly the same devastating impact on the most vulnerable children in our society and further widen the gap between the haves and the have nots.
Regardless of whether the school is open or closed, I do have plenty of work to do. It may well transpire in due course, and depending on the latest government advice, that some of that work won’t actually need to have been done. Which was very much the case for quite a lot of the work I did in 2020.
But whether my endeavours are futile or not, at least I have something to do. Which, in the current climate, is definitely better than nothing.