So it’s official – for the first time in 24 years, I won’t see my parents on Christmas Day this year.
Though there are many perks of living on the beautiful island of Jersey, this year has highlighted its many challenges – namely, the practicality of travelling through an airport, getting on a plane, and moving between government jurisdictions in the midst of a global pandemic.
When it began back in March, I got stuck at home for over a month, which was actually a blessing. I’d travelled back at the last minute to say goodbye to both of my grandads who were very sick, and then the UK and the Channel Islands both went into lockdown, meaning I couldn’t return.
When I eventually got back on an flight, put on especially to get essential staff back to work, I had to isolate for two weeks, as this was one of Jersey’s original restrictions.
Since then, protocol has changed – the isolation period is different depending on where you’ve come from. However, due to the high number of cases in the North of England, a fortnight’s quarantine would still have to follow my trip home, and I just can’t afford to not be doing my job for that long.
If I’m looking for the positives, as I often try to, I’ve been very lucky this year. It seems life here has been vastly different from everywhere else, including the mainland. Of course we’ve had measures like social distancing and mask wearing, however most things have been able to carry on as ‘normal’; I’ve been back in the office for months, I can still go to the gym and dance classes, I can eat out, see friends, go shopping – the list goes on.
However, I’d be lying if I said the emotional impact of being this far from my family for this long isn’t getting to me.
But I know I’m not the only one. We’re all in this together, right? Unfortunately, it’s just something we have to go through. And, like the many holidays, parties, reunions, celebrations, and plenty of other events, Christmas is just going to have to be put on hold until all this is over.