Omicron came knocking on the Newlands' family door this week, this is their story. After two years of Covid knocking on our door, the cheeky fella finally snuck in the front door of the Newlands family at the end of last week. I was the first to go down with Symptoms on Thursday. I tested early in the morning, as I had a busy day, and tested negative. By Thursday evening I was feeling like I had just play openside flanker against the Kurow Red devils. After another negative test, I spent Friday in bed thinking I had skipped Covid and Man Flu was once again paying me a visit. With a busy Saturday morning and boys due to play cricket I was hoping to wake up refreshed and ready to go, only for William to wake us early in the morning feeling nauseous. Leaving Troy Sheridan in the lurch to coach ten 9-10 year old boys Cricket there was no way we were going to make Cricket. We tested William with a RAT test only for him to test positive, I followed with another test and tested positive. Finally, I could cast off the Man Flu shadow and claim I really was unwell to Bridget!With cases being identified in William’s class at school and knowing the school was needing to make decisions about staffing and classes, I realised the importance of letting the school know ASAP using the [email protected] email address. Luckily my symptoms were relatively mild and no worse than a normal flu. I experienced fevers and chills for around 24hrs before this abated and I felt exhausted, with headaches and a developing chesty cough. William experienced very similar symptoms but was nauseous and vomited at one stage. Of course, he rebounded quicker than I did. Bridget had been testing negative each time as she progressively got worse and by Sunday evening she too was quite unwell with flu like symptoms, but still no positive test. By Sunday night, Dominic thought his Christmases had come at once as he had reign of the house with the other 3 of us in bed. By Monday afternoon Dominic had also gone downhill and was unwell and both he and Bridget tested positive. Luckily by this stage I was starting to feel well. Again, an email was sent to school so that they were able to follow the processes that they are required to by the Ministry of Education. Running a school in normal times is challenging enough and with the added pressures of Covid, the decisions that are needed to be made by the Management Team at Twizel Area School are only compounded. We know that we are going into a period of possible escalation of Covid Cases and decisions around student health, classes and staffing will become more of a challenge. It is important that parents let the school know if their child has tested positive for Covid so that the Management team can make the best decision for the education of our Tamariki. For any business being behind the eight ball when making decisions is challenging and a school is no different. Schools are massive beasts, with many moving cogs and it is likely we will unfortunately see more disruptions and changes to the way schooling is provided in the coming weeks. To help Kate and her team make the right decision for students, staff, and the community, it is important they have the information they require. Please remember that decisions that have been made that may not suit you, are made for the safety and wellbeing of the students and staff. The Newlands family is now well and truly on the mend, the boys are back to fighting over trivial things, playing back-yard cricket and demanding their device time!- Bevan NewlandsP.S. The photo above is Dom, who for his home learning project has built a cat playground for the Newlands' new kitten. Awesome mahi, Dom!