Canal It Up

ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT

When the lockdown went into effect March the 15th, the daily life of my familly was turned upside down. My part-time job as an ICT-project manager became a fulltime job, my personal and commercial photo-projects drifted into the background. I can’t live without photography, that's why I started with the following visual story

LOCKDOWN

ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
Wannes talking to his grandmother, who is very sick and infected by corona.
An early morning self-portrait just after my second nervous breakdown, due to the immense workload and stress of not being a good father for my children.
Jolien, gives Wannes a scolding after he fought with his brother and sister. Of our three children he finds it the most difficult to adapt, presumably because he’s too young to understand this corona lockdown.
Sometimes when the photographer becomes part of the story, a magic moment happens.
Aino painted five glasses, with the name of every member of our family on it, to prevent infection.
Due to social distancing, a bicycle and footbridge has been blocked, forcing a detour for our daily bike ride.
Aino with her rabbit. I bought it years ago in a Swedish furniture shop. Since then both are inseparable. She lost the bunny. Totally heartbroken she went to bed. But the next morning her beloved animal simply turned up in the middle of the living room floor. The culprit is still at large.
Our regular evening walk with the love of my life and with our true wealth.

AT THE FRONT

ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
All is not quiet on home front. The ordinary certainties were wiped out and replaced by the all-encompassing corona-virus, and the omnipresent face-masks. De children were introduced to distance learning, Zoom-sessions with the teacher, preteaching and self-study. It left a very bitter aftertaste. Every day was was a high-wire act for us as inexperienced but tenacious acrobats. Depending on our schedule we had to wear different hats, teacher, coach, parent, playmate and employee.

ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
Here’s our chief-animator and supermom. In her previous life Jolien was a girl scout, which nowadays comes in handy.
Finally, I found some time to edit the photo-series. Photography is my first love and inextricably linked to my happiness.
Lenne and Aino talking and laughing with their grandmother. She was infected by the corona-virus and was very sick but is slowly recovering.<
My everything finding some peace and tranquility during a yoga-session with the kids. Her restless husband is the cause of a lot of stress in our household. I’m very happy the yoga helps her finding some much needed rest.
Lenne’s desk, filled with drawings and calculations. He’s easily drawn into an imaginary world which he creates to escape reality.
Kissing my love, the lockdown created a lot of arguments and tension between us, but we are still very much in love.
Jolien is correcting Lenne’s schoolwork. According to the directives of the ministry of education, children have to work 4 hours a day and parents should spend two hours a week with each child. In reality our kids work 5 to 6 hours a day and we spend up to 5 hours a day coaching, teaching and correcting.
Jolien during a videoconference-call with the management of the school where she teaches. They just decided to reopen in September and meanwhile continue with distance learning.
Aino and Jolien with a face mask, on their way to buy more... face masks.
Lenne, exhausted and totally fed up with homeschooling. Surely, it wasn’t always a walk in the park, but we are so proud of him. During the past 3 months he worked very hard and made the best of it.
The kids and Jolien, reading in ‘Monstrous microbes’ by well-known virologist Marc Van Ranst. In this book, he explains viruses and bacteria to children. Now Wannes finally starts to understand the strange world we live.

THE NEW NORMAL

ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
The lockdown went towards the exit and a new normal was imposed. The sums of the bubbles became a new movement with the mathematicians. It's no longer conceivable to see people in a street without a facemask. If someone wore one e couple of months ago they condescending looks. Today it's the opposite people wihout are seen as potential superspreaders.

ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
AALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
Getting ready for yet another videoconference-meeting. In the meantime, I realize my corona-hairstyle urgently needs a skilled cut from the hairdresser.
A waiter, very cautiously coming into our bubble.
Corona and lockdown inspired poetry by Lenne “Listen daddy, - Flying is a word - I want to be able to do - Bounce and oops? - r z Z”
Aino, on her way to a Scouts camp, for an entire week. Due to the lockdown, she did not see her Scout troop for more than 6 months, which made saying goodbye to mom and dad even harder
An early morning bus ride with Wannes, who was barely awake..

THE RIPPLE BECAME A WAVE

ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
With the summer the measures were less strict. A blind man could see the omens of the second wave. On a pebble beach in Normandy we received an ominous phonecall, someone of Lenne's scouts tested positive for the virus. We immediately had to find a hsoptial willing to test the whole family. Fortunately the testresults were negative but it was proof that the Corona wasn't something temporary.

ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
En route to our vacation spot in Normandy we stopped for a picknick.
A corona-proof self-portrait in the sanitary block of the camping.
While waiting for the result of the test, we went into quarantine. Suddenly a heavy thunderstorm passed over our heads and we sheltered in our tent. Jolien offered some sweets to the kids, to get their minds off the seemingly endless lightning-strikes and their fear of the corona-virus.
Visiting an Atlantic Wall bunker complex near Fécamp.
A new corona-influenced trend: the 'pick up your kid' drive-in
The corona-game; Aino and her niece fooling around with their napkin/facemask.

BALOONS AND HAND SANITiZER

ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
After the summerbreak the schools reopen. The children are welcomed by masked teachers with disinfectant gel and balloons. The number of infections is rising fast and the future looks uncertain.
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
Back to school
Someone in Aino's class tested positive. They could only play on a closed off section of the playground to avoid close contact with kids from the rest of the school.
It's not easy to fit clothes with a face mask and a very annoying photographer.
Our oldest son discovered different uses of a face mask. The pandemic indeed influenced our daily life in different ways.
Although face masks became commonplace and according to virologists they're a necessity, we may never get used to them.
Because children below the age of 12 are not seen as the the driving force behind the pandemic they're not required to wear a face mask.
Like father, like son… “Look dad I made a self-portrait with a face mask.”

MOUTH FULL OF MASKS

ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
The memory of a pre-corona era faded like a yellowed picture from a dusty family photo album. Everybody yearns for a world withour social distance and antibacterial hand gel.
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
ALL IS NOT QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT © Bram Penninckx
Lenne is very angry at people who are not respecting the necessary measures (face mask, social distance,..). They probably infected a lot of other people and contributed to the second wave of infections. Thus punishing others who do respect the rules. “It is so unfair, daddy!”
Feeling worried and insecure on the eve of the second lockdown. The ‘together we can beat corona’ spirit of the first wave has slowly ebbed away, replaced by conspiracy theories and corona fatigue.
Wannes showing off his mandarine to his grandfather. Although the kids fully understand that being too close, sneeze or cough could infect their beloved grandparents, the idea that they pose a real danger is hard to grasp. Since the beginning of March they haven’t been able to give them a kiss or cuddle. Luckily an outdoor playdate is still possible.
Just another day at the home office
Jolien with a rather annoying problem, wearing a face masks in cold and damp weather results in fogged up glasses.
Our kids are genuine bookworms and were therefore lucky that the local library did not close during the second lockdown.
Everything is set for a corona-proof nightly visit of St. Nicholas. Aino, our daughter, was scared that we could infect the 1700 year old saint. Therefore we placed hand sanitizer and a face mask next to the carrots.
Wearing a face mask in public places is required in Brussels, even when you are constructing a hut in the park. Although we abide by the rules, covering up when no one else is around, seems a bit overkill.

TO BE CONTINUED...