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I just can’t send my children back to school

(269 Posts)
Ijustcantcope Tue 27-Oct-20 21:59:03

I have always been anxious about Covid. I’m vulnerable, DH is older and I help take care of elderly parents. I took my children out of school just before lockdown as I was bloody petrified.

I managed to send them back for their week in June and then in September although my anxiety levels were high. When they broke up for half term it was a blessed relief. I could finally sleep well and eat. I felt relaxed and happy.

But now as going back to school is looming I’ve got the sick feeling back again. I couldn’t get to sleep last night and had a good cry.

I’ve always had health anxiety around the children which was caused by 10 miscarriages before I had them, then 1 of them having a lot of medical issues. I had just got better with it and now this.

One child is desperate to go to school, the other one isn’t bothered. I am a supply teacher (not working at the moment) so am happy to home school them and they did well over lockdown. But I feel guilty about them missing all the things they love about school.

I just feel that if I knew what was coming e.g. if we were going to lockdown again or there was going to be a vaccine I could make a more informed decision. I’m just so worried about making a wrong one. Either way, it’s going to be shit.

What if the vaccine doesnt work and this goes on for years. I can’t protect us all then. Some days I feel like just going out there and catching it. If I end up dying or my parents do well then that’s it. If we don’t we can move on without all this worry.

I don’t think I can take much more.

And I can’t seek help for my anxiety. I’ve tried. Apparently someone will contact me for talking therapy within 24 weeks.

OP’s posts: |
Ijustcantcope Tue 27-Oct-20 21:59:31

And to top it off our area in moving into Tier 2 now.

OP’s posts: |
Lazypuppy Tue 27-Oct-20 22:02:00

You can't let your health anxiety impact your children. They will be picking up on how you feel.

yarncakes Tue 27-Oct-20 22:09:23

The media is making you think this way. If you look at the proper data, even those with illnesses and comorbidities have a high chance of surviving this. Children need to have an education and covid cannot get in the way of that.

Lemons1571 Tue 27-Oct-20 22:14:02

I totally relate to the “might as well go out and catch it” vibe. I am fed up of the stress of the unknown, wondering when we’ll catch it, when we’ll get ill, how ill will we get. DH is a teacher so no ppe and hundreds of contacts. Kids each in bubbles of 200. The uncertainty of when is a killer, i’d rather just get it over with whatever happens.

I blame the government, the situation shouldn’t have been dealt with so hopelessly that people feel that catching the virus is now the least worst option.

Ijustcantcope Tue 27-Oct-20 22:15:04

I just see hospital cases rising. I don’t want any of my family to be in hospital in 3 weeks when surely things are going to look pretty bleak. And what if I am that one? I am terrified of leaving my children without a mother.

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herecomesthsun Tue 27-Oct-20 22:16:38

Re feeling anxious, many areas have self-referral to a CBT type service.

Otherwise, you could look up books on prescription, that will recommend some really good books to read about anxiety, along the same lines of thought as CBT. Managing Anxiety by Helen Kennerley is good.

As far as impacting your children, it sounds as though you are doing your absolute best! Don't make that another thing to worry about, you have enough on your plate making you anxious right now.

If you feel you can't send your children back to school, well, there will be a lot of people doing the same. It is more of a consideration in some years, especially with transitions and exams.

You are very well placed to make sure they are keeping up, as a teacher, and to assess their needs academically.

Of course, we can't know what is coming, and we can only do our best- but that is enough.

And if you do decide to take them out of school, you can link up with BRTUS (Boycott Return To Unsafe Schools) on Facebook, lots of support there. Your concerns aren't unreasonable and you sound very sensible.

Good luck and take care.

Quartz2208 Tue 27-Oct-20 22:19:23

life is not knowing what is coming, all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and hope

Your child is desperate to go back - listen to that

essexmum777 Tue 27-Oct-20 22:20:47

this is about your anxiety and to a certain extent distorted thinking - are you able to have a chat with your GP to discuss the risks?

herecomesthsun Tue 27-Oct-20 22:20:53

Also

- children do need an education but you are very well placed to give them that education at home, at least temporarily

- further to that, there should be no need to de-register (and BRTUS will support parents on that)

- and the idea that we might as well all just get the virus is misguided on a number of counts. I think you are quite right to be cautious.

Starlightstarbright1 Tue 27-Oct-20 22:21:16

Can i suggest step away from media.. it isn't helping.

I think the damage to mh is far bigger risk in children

Bagelsandbrie Tue 27-Oct-20 22:22:03

I don’t know what the answer is op but I feel exactly the same. I’m in the clinically vulnerable group and was told to shield first time round. My dc are 8 and 17. Youngest one has special needs and attends complex needs school. My dh works full time in an office and cannot work from home due to data protection issues. Even if I keep the kids home dh still has to work. I still need to go out and get stuff / do things / attend regular hospital appointments. I think if I’m doing all those things I have no right to really keep the kids home - and both are desperate to see friends / do stuff. It’s a totally shit situation. I am terrified.

BlueBlancmange Tue 27-Oct-20 22:22:41

yarncakes

The media is making you think this way. If you look at the proper data, even those with illnesses and comorbidities have a high chance of surviving this. Children need to have an education and covid cannot get in the way of that.

She has said she is a teacher and can educate them at home though.

Pikachubaby Tue 27-Oct-20 22:24:51

Your anxiety makes sense

There is nothing wrong with you, or with having this worry. It’s normal

Your stress is caused by this set of events, and for feeling helpless

You will have to figure out what’s best for you and your family. I’d send my kids to school, but I’m not you, and yes it feels scary if your health is already compromised or you care for elderly relatives. Bloody tough stuff to decide!

But please don’t believe the problem is with you, the problem is with the situation

brew

BlueBlancmange Tue 27-Oct-20 22:25:30

essexmum777

this is about your anxiety and to a certain extent distorted thinking - are you able to have a chat with your GP to discuss the risks?

Is it or is it distorted to downplay the risk?

Pikachubaby Tue 27-Oct-20 22:26:59

Exactly, I don’t think the issue is “anxiety”

The issue is that this is a very tough call to make

Ijustcantcope Tue 27-Oct-20 22:27:16

I’m trying to weigh it up. One child thrives completely at home, works well and doesn’t need the social side. The other does well academically at home (actually made a year improvement over the 6 months at home) but loves the social side of school.

We live in a smallholding so lots of space outside and they have felt sad not being able to hug their grandparents as they are used to seeing them everyday - we live in attached houses on the smallholding in the middle of nowhere so obviously wouldn’t need to keep distancing if they didn’t go to school.

But then, if I did keep them off how long will it be for? The government seem determined to keep schools open come what may and I don’t think cases will lessen while they are still open.

It’s such a hard decision

OP’s posts: |
Ijustcantcope Tue 27-Oct-20 22:29:41

Pikachubaby

Your anxiety makes sense

There is nothing wrong with you, or with having this worry. It’s normal

Your stress is caused by this set of events, and for feeling helpless

You will have to figure out what’s best for you and your family. I’d send my kids to school, but I’m not you, and yes it feels scary if your health is already compromised or you care for elderly relatives. Bloody tough stuff to decide!

But please don’t believe the problem is with you, the problem is with the situation

brew

Thank you for saying this. I feel like it is me. Everywhere I see people carrying on as normal, children going to parties and on sleepovers etc. I feel like I’m going mad

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MrPickles73 Tue 27-Oct-20 22:32:08

Average age of covid fatality is 82. Something like 93 per cent of deaths have been in the over 60s.
Unless you are obese / over 60 / have diabetes you shouldn't be overly concerned. Yes socially distance but keeping your children out of school is likely to do more harm than good.

FredaFrogspawn Tue 27-Oct-20 22:34:06

I don’t think it’s a very hard decision. Keep them at home for another half term and review after Christmas. You are in the ideal situation to offer them a safe and comprehensive education - time will pass quickly and you can see where things are then. Pretty sure they’ll continue to do well with you at home. School is only one way to educate - home schooling is a valid alternative. This time will pass.

Ijustcantcope Tue 27-Oct-20 22:34:20

I am vulnerable sadly.

OP’s posts: |
Tiredeyesneedsleep Tue 27-Oct-20 22:36:40

Why not pay for a private antibody test? You will likely find they have had it and not noticed and that as a result there is nothing to worry about

Ijustcantcope Tue 27-Oct-20 22:37:53

I have paid for an antibody Test. Sadly that was negative as were my parents.

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herecomesthsun Tue 27-Oct-20 22:39:27

...except that we don't know enough about the virus and how long immunity lasts...

Redolent Tue 27-Oct-20 22:44:59

It’s not good telling OP to just go about as normal and ignore her living situation. 1000+ covid admissions every day in England, over 350 deaths today. The risk isn’t the death rate: it’s being able to guarantee prompt hospital treatment, which is necessary for a positive outcome, especially for vulnerable people. As the weeks pass, and hospitals continue filling up, we will undoubtedly start rationing care again in the same way we did in March-early May.

The ‘best’ time to have had covid was in August. Very few people in hospital, prompt treatment, much lower death rates. The next few months would be the worst time.

I personally don’t think we’ll make it though to the Christmas holidays without either: a) some kind of strong national restrictions or b) reintroduction of shielding.

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