It is official. My youngest’s class is a so-called ‘cluster’. More than average, and with the latter aiming at pre-corona time, we receive updates from school. The GGD has now also given a name to the situation in group 4A. Which is great, because give something a name and we can get started.
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Fortunately, the mail from the school director also immediately contains an explanation of what a ‘cluster’ means. I myself had a vague suspicion, because in the distant past I once took a course in astronomy. A cluster is a group of galaxies held together by mutual gravity. Well, that’s how you could actually describe my youngest’s class without corona, but that aside.
So it all started with the teacher who received corona. “Now it’s getting really close,” echoed through the class app. For privacy (and corona shame), I do not call the following children by their real names. But the parents of Klaasje, Pietje and Annabella all came up with an update about their child rolled into the classroom app. Klaasje has been tested and is positive. Pietje has been tested and is positive. Annabella has been tested and is also positive.
We are sitting at the breakfast table when I also, slightly discouraged, pronounce the trite words ‘now it is getting very close’. Hatshu! It sounds from the right. I turn my head towards my little galaxy and look straight into some drowsy eyes.
That will be testing.
When do you get your child tested for corona? >
Until now, as a family, we still fell into the category we-test-only-when-it-is-really-necessary. We ranks among the so-called non-testers. I’ve talked to mothers who do en passant stated in a conversation that they had already taken a test four times. Four times negative. My thoughts immediately ran wild. Was I now too cool for school or were they just a bit too tense in the whole corona battle?
I made up my mind, already at the beginning of this pandemic, to really try to make it whole I Don’t Judge as a new and improved character trait. It is new for everyone and no one, not even Mr Gommers, can predict the future of something that has completely surprised us as a world. Yes, except for Bill Gates. He and Melinda had probably already bought shares in Pfizer.
Back to the breakfast table. I put my hand on the forehead of an increasingly sickening little star. That will be testing. Where do we actually have to be, I ask my husband. The GGD? In such a test street? A quick test? At location? It is also possible at home, right? Is it free? Didn’t I read somewhere that it costs 150 euros?
It is remarkable that you can be in the middle of something, but at the end of the day you really have no idea where to start. I had clearly never used the roadmap.
So I had to read back the hundreds of messages in the class app that I had, frankly, just casually scanned so far. Bingo! A 15-minute quick test costs money, the others take a day and are free. I look at my husband and then my eldest, who makes another TikTok movie, full of health, and says, laughing: “Then I don’t have to go to school!”
It will be the quick test. Then just one less gift for Christmas. A healthy child at school is worth it to me.
My little star and I drive to a test street fifteen minutes later. Unfortunately, a nice lady cannot calm her down. She hates it. My mother’s heart is breaking. Fucking corona. Fortunately, the test lady is bold and it will be over before we know it.
We wait in the car together. I am catching up when it comes to quarantine calculations. If she’s positive, then …
Knock Knock. I lower my window and the lady smiles behind her face mask and says: ‘negative!’
At that moment the sun starts to shine. The atmosphere, or in yip-en-yanneketal, the ‘edge’ of the sun is beautifully visible and is called – how ironically – the corona. I did learn something on that astronomy course. I look at my own star next to me and happily see that she is already doing a little better.
Patricia van Liemt is a radio host, writer and mother of 2 lab babies Maria (10) and Phaedra (7). She worked at Qmusic and 100% NL, among others. Her successful podcast series Let’s Talk About Sex (e) can now be heard on GoodLIFE Radio. Her husband lives in Switzerland during the week, when she tries to combine kids, work and girls nights as best as possible. In her debut novel ‘De Lab Baby’ she talks about her personal experiences with IVF.
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