The new school term has started, and it is quite unlike anything we have known before. Teachers are working at home, writing all their lessons and linking them to the website so that children can carry on with their learning during this period when they cannot come into school. At school, the sun is shining, and there's nobody there to enjoy it.
In a very short space of time, the whole country, and indeed the whole world has adapted to new ways of doing things, in order to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. We've all learnt a lot more than we ever knew about viruses, what they are, how you catch them, how to avoid catching them. And we've all learnt a lot about what is really important in our lives. We've discovered that we can actually manage without getting into our cars and driving off across town or out into the country. We've learnt that there are things we can do at home to keep ourselves busy and entertained, and we've learnt that we can still keep in touch with our friends and family even when we can't get out to see them in person.
We've had to adjust to a world in which we are not allowed to shake hands or hug or get too close to people. That can be hard, but we know that this is helping to prevent disease from spreading from one person to another.
We've learnt a lot about the jobs that matter most. We know now that it is not just doctors and nurses that keep hospitals running; it is also the cleaners, and porters, and delivery drivers, and IT technicians, and the maintenance crews and the food providers and telephone answerers and makers of protective equipment. And in order to enable all of those people to go to work, someone has to take care of their children. That's where the teachers, and learning support teams and school caretakers and secretaries and lunchtime supervisors and cooks and cleaners come in.
It's been lovely to see everybody cheering and clapping outside their front doors or out of their windows every Tuesday evening to show their appreciation for the National Health Service, but make sure that you clap extra loud; loud enough to thank all the other workers without whom this lockdown would be a whole lot harder to cope with!