Kate aged 29

Yeah, I mean, I actually really enjoyed lockdown to an extent because I’m secretly an introvert and I actually quite like hiding. As soon as there was a child in the house that changed because I needed to get out with her as much as possible.

My thing is a nine year old child, Charlie.  She came to my alternative Sunday school and me and my partner fostered her during lockdown.  Her dad died from COVID, They’d found him dead and fallen out of bed. And then, I remember a second phone call eight days later, saying that Charlies’ mum had died of COVID. So yeah, a nine year old child lost both of her parents within eight days of each other. Me and my partner started having the conversation about fostering straightaway.  He was quite sure about it and I was quite frightened and making lists of pros and cons but it did feel that it was very much the right thing to do. I just wanted to be careful because I didn’t want to make her life any more difficult if it wasn’t the right thing to do but we just thought we can’t leave her and we can’t let her go into care.

Also my best friend is a midwife in London she didn’t have any PPE during the first wave. They didn’t have masks, they didn’t have anything. So she got COVID, she was so ill. She remembers forcing herself to stay awake because she couldn’t breathe for hours and days. She remembers looking in the mirror and looking at her lips and they were blue, she was terrified to sleep. I met up with her a few months after that had happened, I remember we were walking up a hill and she’s really gabby like me and she couldn’t talk. She’s still got it a year and a half later.

I had moments at the beginning where I’d wake up really really sick having really bad panic attacks because I thought the world was coming to an end.  My partner has emetophobia he is scared of people being sick. And I woke up throwing up in the first couple of weeks my ex was like, Oh, what are you doing?? He’s now my ex-partner but we got engaged during lockdown and it was lovely, we were spending so much time together, we we’re getting on so well.  It was lovely with the dogs and we were just hanging out every day and going for bike rides. Then we got engaged and it was really magical and lovely. I think lots of people have probably done that, like the wild engagement or the opposite, like the big breakup.  Right at the end of lockdown my partner broke up with me, it ended terribly.  Now, as a single foster mum I think the whole journey of COVID has just been a massive journey and realising what’s important, and who and what to prioritise. And yeah the exciting power of community. I just think it’s the coolest thing in the world, how much you can actually get help, if you find it in yourself to ask for help, especially if you’re the kind of person who will do it back. So I felt a lot of power in that and I’ve connected with people on much deeper levels. We’ve kind of learned the fragility of everything I think.

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