On one of the worst days of the lockdown, Kat says, she ended up “in the corner of the room sobbing. My workload was through the roof and I couldn’t do anything with the children because I couldn’t take a minute away from it. And they were upset because they were missing their school friends and not wanting to sit and do maths. It all got a bit too much.”
She works in customer services and had been doing her full-time job from home, as well as trying to home-school her two children, while her husband, a gardener, kept working (she also has a chronic pain condition, made worse by stress). There were several times, she says, when she would turn off her phone and go into the kitchen for a cry.
For Valeri, there have been multiple anxieties. She is 26 weeks pregnant and saw a midwife for the first time only last week.