Cornwall – Why We Chose To Take Our Pandemic Holiday

Everyone has been affected by the worldwide pandemic this year, whether its directly by Covid-19 or indirectly. It hasn’t been an easy year, lots of people died, survivors lives changed forever, other people had to work from home, shops closed, kids told not to go to school and people panic bought toilet roll. Nobody would have predicted the events that were to unfold in 2020 this time last year.

At the beginning of the year we lost our beloved Grandad, he was one of the most important people in my life, housebound disabled we visited regularly to help him and my Nan who was his full time carer. We took her shopping every week and our eldest would sit with his Great-Grandad – Grandad-sitting. He never once complained. It hit us terribly, I’m in my late 30s and it’s the first death I’ve experienced of somebody close to me, and they didn’t come much closer. We weren’t even a week in to 2020 and I wondered how this year could possibly get any worse (I definitely tempted fate there!).

Me (in my mid teens) and my Grandad

Things spiralled again in February, our beautiful Siberian Husky – Spirit, who had been diagnosed just before christmas with Masticatory Muscle Myositis (MMM) was going downhill. Either his diagnosis was wrong, or the steroid medication he was on had allowed a pre-existing tumour behind his eye to grow uncontrollably. It put so much pressure on the back of his eye that it began protruding from the socket, I was terrified it would pop or come out (probably wouldn’t happen but you just never know). He eventually became blind in that eye. By the mid-end of February the tumour was starting to push past the eye ball and grow onto his face. He was obviously in discomfort and unhappy, it broke our hearts to have him put to sleep. To try give ourselves something to look forward to we booked a holiday to Newquay, Cornwall for the summer. We definitely deserved it.

Spirit before he got sick.

Unfortunately 2020 wasn’t finished with us just yet. We went into March still recovering from the loss of my Grandad and Spirit when my Dad was admitted into hospital, he was like a super-fighter. He’d been in hospital so many times and we’d had ‘the conversation’ about his chances, and every time he’d pull through. I believed this would be the same. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and I’d missed out on the last possible time I could’ve visited as I had a sore throat and had lost my voice. This was at the time we were being told that if you had a sore throat you should isolate for 14 days as we were learning how serious Covid-19 could be. I couldn’t risk passing it on if thats what I had so I stayed away, planning on going the following day if the ward allowed. Unfortunately he passed away the next morning. A week later we went into lockdown, the measures put in place meant we were robbed of giving our Dad a proper funeral. He was cremated alone, with a late service in August when it was safer. My anxiety was through the roof, I couldn’t imagine every leaving the house again, I ordered garden furniture ready for the summer, we planted fruit and veg and sorted the garden, we bought numerous pools, a swing set, and goodness knows what else. Everything that came through the door was washed to within an inch of its life. Luckily, working in school meant I was home most of the time now. I wasn’t timetabled to return until June, I believe a very nice thought from my senior management who knew I’d need time to recover. The time I spent at home gave me much needed family time, it was a difficult time but seeing my children whenever I needed to helped me to heal, they kept me busy. I would have nightmares, I was sure I was going to lose somebody else, especially going into April. So far we’d had a death a month.

An old pic of myself (aged around 1) and my Dad

Thankfully we’ve had no more deaths, I’m still terribly sad but I’m learning to deal with my losses. I returned to work, leading my own bubble in school, in June. I was terrified on my first day but once I’d done that day I was raring to go. That also helped me, it gave me other things to think about. We began to talk about our upcoming holiday. There’d been articles that some Cornish folk hadn’t wanted holidaymakers descending on them as they were rightly concerned about Covid. I get it, I really do, I live in a coastal town myself which quickly found itself in the same boat. We were fed up, we needed to get away and we’d done the right things up to that point, for everyone’s sanity we needed to take our holiday, Dad should’ve joined us on holiday which made things a little sad but he’d have wanted us to go, afterall he was looking forward to it himself. We social distanced as much as possible, we wore masks, we booked our slots in the pool, but most of all we relaxed and took in the beautiful sights of the Newquay coastline. It was good for the soul and my only regret was only booking for a week.

Some of my favourite pictures from Cornwall. There are more on my Instagram if you want to look.

This post was mostly for my own benefit but if you manage to read it all and don’t turn into a depressive mess I salute you. I hope it gives you a little insight into why it was important for us to take our holiday, everybody has an opinion on the right and wrong thing to do but we had to do what was best for us and we have no regrets. I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who took a holiday during the pandemic, or if you didn’t why not? Keep it nice. Wishing everyone a wonderful end to 2020

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