Stories of COVID-19: A Hong Kong mum with two teens out of school | Liv

How has life changed for you in the past two months?

A lot has changed and a lot has also not changed. My children and husband are both at home a lot. We’re around each other way more now, and I find myself thinking about stuff on a daily basis that I wouldn’t normally have to. Things like ensuring my children have a daily structure, that they get out each day to exercise, that we have enough food in the fridge since they’re eating at home more – mundane stuff mostly. It’s amazing what schools do for us, really. 

Professionally, it has been a mixed bag; venues have shut down and clients have either had to leave for family reasons or are in self-isolation. A lot of my work has gone online but the studio I work at is still open, and I have a few small groups that still meet (though we wash our hands, clean the surfaces and take a lot more care than we used to). I am constantly amazed by how many are willing to show up for an online class. Teaching group classes online is new for me, so I’m actually learning some new skills.

Personally, it’s been up and down; everything changes daily but as the global scale has increased it has become harder to keep the anxious thoughts at bay. I am finding I need to hug my children a lot and speak openly about how I feel to my friends. Staying connected to those I love brings me back to the ground when I am spiralling out a little.

How are you managing homeschooling? 

I generally am letting them manage themselves; there’s a lot of trust involved as we all work in different ways. My children are teenagers and one was due to take her GCSEs this year. Now that they’re cancelled…we’re disappointed for them all, both teachers and students, but I think we have to accept that this is a global issue now. We’re doing OK and I think the schools will make a plan for students after Easter. Until then, I’m just offering my daughter a chance to pick up some projects that she would not normally have time to do.

I’m thankful to live on Lamma where they have space to go out for a walk and head to the beach when they need to clear their heads. We have got some tutors working with us as there are areas where extra support is needed but other than that, we’ll just have to see where we are once everything gets back to normal.

What has most surprised you about the whole experience? What have you learned?

I wish I could say the panic buying truly surprised me – although the loo roll thing was a bit weird. What I have learned is that as humans, we are adaptable and resilient and capable of so much kindness. I have learned that I have some really great friends and a wonderful family capable of good humour – even when it all feels a bit bleak.

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