Friday Flash Fiction – 555 – Remote Learning

Vivienne put the phone down with relief, she really needed that cup of tea she was about to make when her daughter phoned. She never liked to phone them, they were always so busy she never knew when was a good time.  As chief administrator at a large hospital her son-in-law Jack was now ridiculously busy. If he worked from home Julia found it impossible to keep everything calm and his OCD under control and if he was at the hospital she complained ( usually to Vivienne ) about being left alone to deal with the home schooling. Vivienne couldn’t understand why her daughter had decided to set up her own business from home. Being made redundant from Billings Department Store, early on in the pandemic was surely convenient for looking after the twins, but Julia had been over optimistic in the autumn when children at last went back to school and still optimistic when they started the new term on January 4th… until Boris closed all schools the next day.

Vivienne had been at home with Julia and James when they were young, so there would not have been the same panic all these modern parents had. Not that she would have been much use at home schooling, she couldn’t get James to do his homework let alone a whole curriculum.

Julia was now apparently wishing she had been a teacher or nurse, a key worker so she could have sent Jason and Jacintha to school. Vivienne smiled to herself; Julia had never shown any inclination to be either when she was doing her A levels. Neither profession ran in the family and Vivienne herself had never had any desire to be a nurse or anything medical, or any job that involved other people’s bodies. She had the utmost admiration for nurses, except for that bitch on the ward when she had James and that other one when she had her operation; there was one on every shift probably, but most of them were as wonderful as portrayed on the news and those hospital documentaries.

Julia’s mother-in-law was a nurse and had volunteered  to come out of retirement to do vaccinations. Of course she was much younger than Vivienne, having had Jack at some ridiculously young age. Being busy vaccinating didn’t stop her helping the twins with their home schooling via Facetime and writing them stories. She lived nearby so was missing being a hands on granny. Julia said that was the only good thing to come out of lockdown, they had a break from her, though she never said that to Jack. Jack’s mother, in her forty eight hour day, had also set up a zoom group and Facebook page for lonely grandparents, which had featured on the local news.

Vivienne sighed as she took her empty cup to the kitchen and looked out at the damp, dreary January garden; she felt so useless. Julia and James said she didn’t need to do anything except stay home and not catch Covid, or climb on stools and fall off and break bones. But that bloke volunteering at the food bank on the news looked older than her, how did these people do it? Her thoughts were interrupted by the phone ringing, her surgery were doing vaccinations, could she come in tomorrow? She wasn’t doing anything else, that was for sure, but she was rather miffed, she wasn’t old or vulnerable, why were they calling her? They should be doing the police and shop workers next…

If you want a glimpse into Julia’s life back in May, link in here.

Friday Flash Fiction – Home Schooling | Times and Tides of a Beachwriter (wordpress.com)https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/friday-flash-fiction-home-schooling/

6 thoughts on “Friday Flash Fiction – 555 – Remote Learning

  1. Not only that, but one might assume that anybody vaguely vulnerable would be known to their doctors’ surgery, even if not personally, by their regular prescriptions, So why were lists of people not being drawn up last March? Even if, at that stage, it was theoretical. There were enough people sitting around. And while surgeries would not know what jobs people do, people like police, hospitals, schools could have had an input into the process.
    When we finally get to the end of this, there are several questions that need to be addressed, this is one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went back to May to read the earlier episode too. Now I want to know who is ringing her. GP surgeries do not arrange vaccinations, the appointments come from a central base in the county. (My wife is a GP receptionist, and she tells me this every day.)
    I hope it’s not some kind of con! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My mother is 82 and she helps me a lot with my boys still, Janet. I think it is all about loving children. My mom had four of her own, helped me with mine and recently offered to look after Coco Rose (my 2-year old niece – I told my sister absolutely not). Home schooling is difficult when you work and if my life’s circumstances were different I would give up work in a flash.

    Liked by 1 person

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