“What can we do that is is in our sphere of influence, that is reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances?” she said.
“For a lot of people like me a plan mitigates anxiety and creates a new normal.”
Ms Loizou-Lake works full time and wants herself and her family to stay healthy to maintain their ability to work and not place further pressure on health services.
Her job allows her to work from home. Her husband is attending part-time work under diligent infection reduction guidelines.
Their children are aged five and seven and normally attend public school. Their parents are not living in WA.
‘You can’t just rip your kids out and watch Bluey all day’: The Family Continuity Plan
Ms Loizou-Lake has developed an eight-page plan template that can be used for 3-6 months.
The two families can visit each others’ homes but no one else can, to provide risk-managed social interaction. They will continue to support the local economy through still having tradespeople, gardeners, deliveries and so on outside the home and will reduce contact in the outside community to the absolutely essential. The second couple will continue to see their parents in a limited and controlled way until circumstances change.
The plan includes resources on explaining to children what is going on and teaching them about self-isolating and hand-washing through fun activities.
It considers grocery spending, meal planning, food sourcing, financial planning in case any parent loses work, keeping up to date with public health messaging, and how to manage supporting family, friends or neighbours in need.
The plan prioritises routine and includes leisure time, exercise in low-risk outdoor areas and tasks such as cooking and intensified cleaning, with a further home quarantine plan in case a family member falls ill.
The mothers will share the responsibility for a home-schooling program, Monday to Thursday 9am-12pm, setting up separate home office and schooling areas.
Ms Loizou-Lake advised her children’s principal.
“He wasn’t deterring me. He said teachers were working on what resources were out there they would recommend,” she said.
The mothers compiled a list of educational resources helped by a group of parents communicating digitally.
If you would like to see the plan template – bearing in mind it is not expert or official advice, is family-specific and will evolve – email email@example.com.
Going Green to beat the Isolation Blues: Other families’ plans
Many parents are finding creative ways to deal with a ‘new normal’.
One father took his teenage daughter out of a large public school to help depopulate the school. He is helping her continue tasks and daily routines with the help of a term plan.
“We can either spiral downwards and get angry and bitter and tear each other apart living in this house – the ex, my 13-year-old stepdaughter and my son with autism – or we can use this as a chance to grow,” he said.
“This is a garden in serious need of some help so we are going to launch a project … transform it, breaking no rules, and show how we can make a more resilient and wholesome place for us and the family.”
Cluey Learning, which delivers personalised online tutoring support for primary and secondary students mapped to the Australian National Curriculum, is releasing free guidance to help navigate online learning, focused on maintaining continuity, and is available on Cluey’s blog and via a webinar series which will commence next Monday, March 23.
Emma Young covers breaking news with a focus on science and environment, health and social justice for WAtoday.