When the world stood still | Coronavirus through a child’s eyes
by Emily Wensley
It didn’t just happen, all at once. The world took some time to stand still.
I knew it was coming. Mummy and Daddy spoke in mouse voices when I was around.
But at night, they used their BIG voices and I heard some of what they said from my favourite step.
When the world was getting ready to stand still, my big brother Jack got upset because “he DID NOT like brown bread!”
And Mummy shouted, “You’ll have to get used to it! There’s no white bread left on the shelves!”
A few days before the world stood still, our hens started laying again. Mummy said it was the best birthday present ever!
I thought that was strange, as Mamma had given her a necklace that was a lot prettier than an egg.
Mrs. Small keeps reminding us to wash our hands ALL the time. It’s really starting to get on my nerves. I know we need to wash away the germs, but my hands are beginning to get sore from all this washing!
Mummy said she’d put some magic cream on, but I think she forgot.
“When can I see Grandpa?” my little brother asked on Thursday.
“Not for a while,” Daddy said.
“But I miss Grandpa!” And Freddie cried for what felt like a day. Freddie cries a lot.
The last day of school before the world stood still, Mrs. Small gave us all a ‘work book’ to take home. She said, “You must do three activities every day.”
And I thought to myself, “that’s okay because my mummy is a teacher. She’ll know what to do.”
But later after lunch, I thought again. “I wonder what Holly will do about the three activities because her mummy works in a bank?”
The night before the world stood still, Daddy was super busy. He wanted Jack to help him move our craft table into the garage so he could work from there.
I didn’t mind because Freddie and I got to play on our bikes, whilst they moved the lawn mower and the tent.
There are some extra boxes of Rice Crispies and packets of cookies hidden behind a curtain in the garage too. I hope Daddy doesn’t eat them all when he’s supposed to be working.
I’m not worried at all about the world having to stand still for a while. I am excellent at entertaining myself. Everybody says so.
I do worry about Jack though. He’s going to really miss his friends.
So this is what happened in those days before. Lots of shopping, lots of work, lots of phone calls and then…
The world stood still.
It’s been a few weeks now, since the world stood still. Although some things have stopped, some other things have started.
For example, Mummy’s hair has gone back to its old, ginger colour. You can still see white on the tips when she stands in the sun, but I definitely like the ginger colour more.
Something else that has started happening is Jack and Freddie play football together on the back garden. This has NEVER EVER happened before.
I’ve learnt how to make friendship bracelets. I have thirteen now, climbing up my right arm in all the colours of the rainbow.
What’s more, Mummy spent a whole hour painting my toenails last week. I’ve always wanted them alternating purple and metallic green.
The girl next door, Alice, who I have always avoided at school, has become one of my best friends. We’ve even made our very own sign language up that we practise at three o’clock every day through the hole in the fence. When the world starts to move again, Mummy said Alice can come round for tea.
So you see, even though the world has stood still, it hasn’t stopped.
The daffodils have still sprouted, the sun has still shone and the monster we’ve all had to hide from is shrinking.
One day soon, it will be so small, we will forget it was ever here.
Until that day, I will make more friendship bracelets to give to all my friends, especially Alice.
A picture book by Emily Wensley.
If you’d like to find out more about Emily’s stories, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I can put you in touch with her.