Quite apart from the Coronatastrophe I’m long overdue for a blog post on Pink Tape. And I’ve tried to start one several times in recent days. But every time I conclude a sentence the start of it is out of date by the time I punctuate the last full stop, such is the pace of change.
So I paused.
And today, I conducted my last hearing for a while. An odd hearing, where, having received both children unexpectedly home and retreated to self isolation when one developed a suspicious cough, I was broadcast on the star phone to a distant court, the only person not present in the flesh. Tomorrow we will return for judgment and to case manage – by this time hopefully by phone, without the need for many hands to pass the star phone across the court room so the annoying one could piece together what on earth was going on.
Perhaps it was more acute for me today in that hearing, but we’ve all been trying to piece together what on earth is going on. We are all discombobulated, astonished, anxious…and in truth (if you are like me), quite distressed. We are all worried about our loved ones, our colleagues, our livelihoods, our clients and their kids, society as a whole. We are all spending huge amounts of energy trying to meet our normal daily responsibilities whilst also trying to work through assorted technical and logistical nightmares to keep things going and to try and ensure that justice is done somehow.
There is little that a stupid post on Pink Tape can add. I have no special wisdom.
But there are two things I can do.
Firstly, I can send love and solidarity to you all from my splendid self-isolation (we are well, thank you, and I hope you are too. Before you ask, a neighbour has delivered emergency cheddar – a staple in a house containing a 9 year old who eats little else – and my parents have promised that on their daily over 70s perambulation they will deposit a bottle of red on the doorstep).
Secondly, I can see from facebook groups and twitter that lots of parents are worried about breaching their child arrangements orders, enforcing their child arrangements orders,what on earth to do as separated parents whose arrangements might be disrupted by corona, and whether or not their forthcoming family court hearings will be going ahead. I’m going to try and do a separate post about that now for those people – though I am afraid have no magic answers. In the meantime see the guidance issued by the President of the Family Division today – addressed to professionals, but which gives you some basic information about the general state of play.
Thirdly (I know, I said two), I can say a big thank you to our leaders (at a local, regional and national level) for everything you are doing. I dare say we wish you were doing it with more seamless coordination and swifter results, but we know you are working extremely hard and with diligence with resources that were badly depleted before this particular health crisis even began. And although you cannot work miracles, we can see you are bloody well trying.
Sending you all (virtual) hugs x
Feature pic – our last Sunday ringing for a while… 🙁