Sunday, April 11, 2021
HomeCOVID-19Diary of a sleepless mother in lockdown

Diary of a sleepless mother in lockdown

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IT’S 3am. I’m at the kitchen table. I’ve discovered that lockdowns mess up my sleep patterns. I’ve woken, mind racing with worry, again. I hope my children are oblivious to their mother’s concerns about their future.

Every parent is in my position. Juggling work commitments, supporting ‘school-from-the-screen’, scheduling exercise and managing the relationships between us all.

We’ve had our heads down. Got through crap January, freezing February. We’re doing ok, ‘this too shall pass’ ringing in my ears from our elders.

I made a point of arranging regular walks with friends to keep us all sane, including the children. Lockdowns have been the cruellest for their generation. I’ve heard too many personal stories of children developing tics, OCD-type behaviours and eating issues.

My eldest child announced during yesterday’s dinner, ‘It’s worse now that I know I only have to wait two weeks until school.’ True, that. This chink of light has changed our perspectives. It’s made us glance up from our daily grind and made us look further ahead than simply getting to the end of the day.

Except what I see coming on that horizon is only a dark shadow. Vaccine Passports.

The TV was switched off in our house around May 2020. I went and did my own research. I read and listened to eminent, highly-qualified scientists, those not necessarily favoured by the government’s own. I tuned to my own gut instincts. As a family, we even realised that we’d had the virus!

The government’s response to the threat of COV-SARS-2 was disproportionate and went against their original plan for a pandemic. I noted government goalposts constantly shifting and spoke to my MP about my worries but he wasn’t really concerned. Told me joyfully ‘a vaccine is our way out of this’.

Really? For a virus affecting such a small percentage of the population, and the younger the person the less likely to be a problem? There seemed to be less disastrous options available to take care of those most likely to be affected. These were ignored by Boris Johnson et al.

I have no issue with being offered a vaccine. Numerous relatives have received their first dose and I still have my children’s ‘red book’ records of their immunisations. So, what’s different this time?

Coercion. It’s what all totalitarian states thrive on.

It appears leading a meaningful life will rely on being bullied into accepting an injection that has not been tested for even 12 months. The side-effects are not fully explored but disturbing words such as ‘infertility’ and ‘cytokine storm’ have been muttered unnervingly on more than one occasion.

A children’s version of this ‘magic’ vaccine is already in development. The thought sends shivers down my spine.

I constantly ask myself what would mandatory vaccinations, in all but name, be required for? Concerts, restaurants, exercise classes, pubs, shops . . . perhaps factories, offices or even for medical treatment and attending formal education?

It’s not necessarily my liberty that I worry about, it’s that of my children’s – I’ve lived much of my life, and given them theirs. They should be able to enjoy it to the full.

Will I cope under this pressure to conform? Will I be able to resist consenting to a vaccine that we do not need? Will I be classed as a social outcast for being ‘selfish’ and ‘dangerous’ for using my own immune system to help towards herd immunity having already been ill?

My main worry, the one that claims my sleep, is that eventually I may cave in and ignore my moral and ethical principles. I presume that’s what both the unelected and elected officials are counting on.

What is a vaccine passport really for? I expect that will be tomorrow night’s worry.

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Eleanor Howard
Eleanor Howard is a mother.

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