It is Mothering Sunday and yet for the first time in a very long time I am not on childminding duties. Both the kids had a fever over the last weekend and are now in isolation with their parents at home. I try to catch up on all the messages coming through on our senior doctors WhatsApp group. It is relentless. I ring Amma to see how she is coping at the other end of the world. She is also self isolating after her Nepal trip which has left her with a runny nose and itchy throat. She is more busier than normal after having to keep her distance with Alphonsa who normally helps her out. Alphonsa’s duties are now limited to just the outdoor work and apparently they communicate over the phone. Isn’t that taking things a little bit to the extreme, I wonder, but I’m happy that she is being sensible. If anything happens to her I won’t be able to be with her if the borders are closed. My kind friends have offered to visit her if needed and she has family around her.
I’m making myself useful and cleaning our spare fridge freezer, which we bought for Kavitha’s wedding. I thought it was a total waste of money at the time. I read the other day that one of the electrical stores has run out of fridges and freezers. People have to store all the food they’ve cleaned off from the supermarket shelves and are now hoarding. It has come in useful for us to store all the cooked food which is now being frozen for the coming weeks. This is safer than jostling with the crowds at the supermarket where things are getting a bit heated at the moment. Online shopping and delivery slots are also getting hard to book. What are we heading into?
The children come to visit bearing Mother’s Day gifts. They stand at the doorway and Lakshmi tells me that there is a card inside the bag. I thank her and give her a hug. Lavinia smiles at me. I give her a hug too and they say their goodbyes. I feel a little tug in my chest. I go back to cleaning the fridge. The phone rings. Lakshmi wants to come back to use the toilet. Soon they arrive and I take Lakshmi upstairs. She doesn’t look that desperate. I think she was just trying it on to come back and spend some time with me. I open the door to take Lakshmi to the car when Lavinia walks in and says “Bye Amma” to her mother. She thinks she is staying with me. Her mother tells her otherwise and they both make their way back to the car. As Lavinia walks down the steps, she stops, turns to me and says “Goodbye ammamma” after each step.
Once again I am trying to catch up on the Covid information. I haven’t even had time to read the Sunday papers. It was a lovely sunny spring day. A day I could have used taking the kids out but have ended up staying at home. The daffodils are at its peak and my pink crocuses are at budding phase. Colour is returning to the outside world but the atmosphere has a sinister edge to it. The beauty is marred. It is pollution in a different sense and we have to live with it for the foreseeable future.