Flying From the U.K. to the U.S. During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Well, we made it back across the pond and to Virginia on Sunday. Deciding whether or not to make the journey back to the States this summer to visit family was probably a harder decision than when we were offered the opportunity to uproot and move to London with a 3-year-old and another baby on the way. More complicated.

Obviously, flying during a pandemic is risky; however, at the current time, the only people allowed to enter the U.S. are U.S. citizens, and Americans entering the U.K. are required by law to quarantine for 14 days, so direct flights between the U.S. and the U.K. are practically empty.

(BTW, I’m looking into donating to a carbon-offset project, because I feel pretty guilty about flying on a nearly-empty plane.)

Non-essential businesses have only just started reopening in London this month, and for the time being, the U.K. has things relatively under control.

Sign: Please no hugs no handshakes during coronavirus season
A local bar’s new outdoor seating on our high street last weekend, which is now closed to vehicles on the weekends

The U.S., clearly, does not. But fortunately the area my in-laws live in is not a big crowded city, and we are pretty much just staying put at their house. We recognized that this could be our only window for the rest of 2020 for flying to America to see our family. And while being locked down and not able to get to each other, we realized just how far away we really are. We decided it was important to go while we have the chance. Continue reading

Day 80: The End of Our Captivity, Sort of / Black Lives Matter

In our America, black lives matter poster

And on the 80th day (which was this past Tuesday), R went back to nursery school, effectively marking the end of this period of isolation for our family.

79 days in captivity chalkboard
Our count-up calendar is over, at least for now

She was so excited. We had talked about how things would be different there, and she seemed fine with it, as long as she got to go back and see her friends and her teacher. Hearing my 3-year-old ask about seeing her best friend again, “Can I touch her?” was just heart-wrenching. Continue reading

A Fun Quarantine Project

My kids and I have often walked past this house on our road and wondered about this curious little hole next to the front door.

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It’s not connected to a drain pipe or anything at all. Is it some sort of coal hole? The place the milkman left the milk bottles? A Floo Network portal to the Ministry of Magic, house-elf service entrance?

The girls and I decided a while back that it must be a very fancy mouse hole, for a very posh mouse.

So last week, we made a mouse and some decorations and moved him in. (Free pattern and instructions for a hand-sewn felt mouse found here.)

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3a7c28ef-45c9-4d9e-8b7d-0c88b5eb6a17 Continue reading

Day 64 of Our Captivity

After Boris Johnson’s televised announcement last Sunday evening, restrictions have begun to ease a bit in the U.K.

stay alert control the virus save lives
We went from the messaging on the left, to the new one on the right

The prime minister was quite vague in his Sunday speech, and left a lot of people with more questions than answers. It wasn’t until Monday evening that the government published a 50-page document outlining the recommendations, and offering some clarification, and held a news briefing Q&A. Continue reading

VE Day

Last Friday was the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. What everyone needs right now is something to celebrate, so Londoners got pretty into the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and attempted a “social distancing street party.”

The girls and I got into it too, decorating the front of the house with bunting and both Union Jack and American flags. Continue reading