Holiday dilemmas

Some time to recharge seems more vital than ever this year, with the next few months ahead likely to seem very long and uncertain.

Holiday entitlement


For parents who have been struggling with working and homeschooling or childcare, a break has never been more needed – or more risky for those fortunate enough to be able to take one.The recent quarantine rules put on Spain have made everyone nervous.

If you are working from home, it might not make much difference if you can’t go out for two weeks – although, during the summer holidays, that will be hard for many – but if you can’t it is really hard on both employees and employers. It’s not just holiday quarantine either. There are local lockdowns and the risk of someone you shared a pub or restaurant with coming down with symptoms.

It’s something we are all going to have to get used to. I was speaking to a teacher the other day. Her husband is a caretaker who has been shielding. He has been told that if any children in the school come down with symptoms, he will have to isolate until it is either proven that the child doesn’t have Covid or, if they do have it, he will have to stay home for two weeks. In winter, with colds and coughs commonplace, he could be at home more than he is in work.

When it comes to holidays, there’s quite a lot to weigh up, mainly is the holiday worth the risk, whatever the risk might be. We’re nearly half a year since the pandemic hit the UK and it has been a long few months staring at the same walls, worrying about health, education, long-term unemployment, conflict, social collapse and a myriad of other things all at the same time.

There’s little light at the end of the tunnel yet and winter could bring more awfulness. September is not going to be easy as we get our heads around new school and childcare timetables, which will – no doubt – themselves alter as the days go by. Work will go into even greater overdrive than it usually does in September. A week away to recharge seems mighty attractive – as long as it doesn’t lead to job loss or illness.

When children are little and having toddler tantrums or parents are feeling depressed and harassed, one of the first things that becomes clear is the power of a change of scenery. Just getting out, going for a walk, taking the bus, being somewhere different can lift everyone’s mood. A break in the routine – which is essentially what holidays are – can do wonders, however you choose to do that. We need to pace ourselves and find the inner resources we will need to get through the next months.

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