Family in the corona crisis – personal impressions

by Renate Dünki

Due to my age, I am in a high risk group and therefore practice self-isolation, social distancing and spend a lot of time at home. I live in an environment where everyone talks about the corona pandemic, but it does not completely paralyse everyday life. Neighbours and a friend go grocery shopping for me, I can order other necessities by phone.
Because I live rurally, it is easy for me to go out for exercise and enjoy the beautiful spring. Because my family all live in neighbouring countries and due to travel restrictions we can’t meet each other, we maintain contact by writing and phone conversations. This is given opportunity to once again realise that conversations, interest in others are the elixir of life that everyone needs and that these can be established creatively.
One example that I recently experienced is based on this thought process: My daughter-in-law and her youngest daughter baked a sand birthday cake for me in the sandbox on the reopened playground. The “baking process” was precisely documented with photos, just like in a professional cookbook, and in the end not “En guete” (Enjoy your meal!) but “Good luck” was written in the sand. They sent me photos of this little art-project as a parcel, accompanied by a “cooking guide” – a healthy, sugar-free, vegan cake for my birthday!
The enclosed letter described all kinds of everyday experiences from the time of the lockdown – although the schools are only being opened in stages and the extra-curricular acticities have been cancelled, the children seemed neither depressed nor bored or impaired by isolation.
Of course, this lockdown will not continue forever in our society. As a grandmother I was very happy and touched to experience how contact and affection can be maintained creatively in such difficult times.
My family and friends have made similar observations:
Especially in young double income families, before the lockdown the small children were in daycare, so that the women could continue to pursue their professions. The pandemic has changed many things. For example, in one family, the father is on short-time work from home in a relatively small city apartment, a situation that requires night work and worries him. Nevertheless, the parents agree that their two boys make a calmer, but also more alert impression since the increased family time started. The parents come up with all sorts of creative ideas, for example simple experiments regarding air. These experiments are filmed and sent for sharing among the circle of friends with children. The time spent centred on the family, more peace and quiet, does the children noticeably good. And the parents experience that it doesn’t take fancy things to make living together – “only” more time for each other.
My impression of this positive development is the simplification of daily live combined with a less tightly packed schedule, which allows more togetherness and quiet relationships within the family. This corresponds with the findings of developmental psychology, which gave great importance on the family. It would be positive if many parents could take this with them from the isolation imposed by the lockdown. •
(Translation Current Concerns)

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