Monday, August 9, 2021

Last Minute Monday - Pt. 6

Sometimes I wish I could just shut everything out.

As a parent, though, I can't. I need to be informed and up-to-date to be able to make the best decisions for my kids. Because if we want to do better, we need to know better (and vice versa). Until they are old enough to make their own decisions and carve their own paths, I cannot bury my head in the sand. I can't ignorantly go on living my life as though nothing is amiss. (That's how we got HERE.)

But it's been really, really hard to be aware, lately.

I can't explain why things feel harder now than they did even a year ago. Maybe that's not a fair comparison - we always feel things with the most clarity in the moment, so I don't want to discredit the emotions I felt in all of 2020. I just think that...because I waited for my turn to get vaccinated, and gleefully celebrated my son with underlying health conditions getting his, and we've shared a mostly normal Summer with our family - current events are hurting extra-hard.

I was ready to send my kids back to school in September. I was ready to make holiday plans that were impossible last year. And instead, I've spent the last week emailing school board members and talking to other parents and keeping our distance outdoors "just in case". 

And I'm sad. Really sad.

I've been sad for a bit, but it really struck me yesterday.

Two weeks ago, we went swimming at my mom's house. It was like a small party. There were 11 us in and out of the pool, playing together, sharing snacks, taking pictures of the kids being kids. We even set a self-timer to take a group picture of all of us together. Yesterday, we took the boys back to my mom's to swim, and when we got there - everyone fled the pool like a bomb went off. We were alone. And I know it was for safety as the delta variant has made cases climb in our area. I know it was a smart move. But it was sad, and lonely, and a reminder of all that was stolen from us last year. 

If my younger kids (and my sister's kids) were old enough to get vaccinated, we wouldn't have to keep our distance. And I know that based on the studies and approvals, we should only be about 2-6 months away from having that rectified. That's such a short span of time compared to everything we've waited through already. But it still sucks.

It sucks to finally feel safe letting your kids hug their grandparents, and then cringe and wonder if you need to tell them not to do that anymore. (At least for now.)

And as the school year approaches and our governor is too wrapped up in scandal to provide guidance to our schools, I'm yet again at a loss for what to do with my kids. I wanted them to get back to their lives this school year. I wanted to have time for myself and my passions and projects. I wanted my dining room to stop doubling as a school room while we drown in papers and craft supplies. But with the data about delta emerging and reports from schools in the south coming out (example: a school district in Garland, TX has 31 staff members and 244 students testing positive for Covid after one week of school. 244 students!!! ONE WEEK!), I feel like I am starting at square one.

My district, as of this writing, isn't offering families anything other than traditional, in-person, 5 days a week school. We'd all love that in a perfect world, but that seems asinine to me in this climate. I can't believe that someone in power has yet to admit that in an uncontrolled pandemic world, education needs to take a back seat for a minute. Kids can catch up on nearly everything - if they're alive. 

On top of that, masks are in question?!

The only thing that has changed from the start of last school year until now is that the delta variant has made covid more contagious and dangerous to children. Why would we not do AT LEAST what we did last year? Why would our district take masks and virtual learning away when that's true?! This is not repeating last year or "winding back the clock" - delta is a brand new ball game that requires brand new mitigation efforts. They keep saying..."kids do better with in-person learning". DUH! But they also do better staying alive when they aren't stuffed in an overcrowded classroom full of their unvaccinated peers.

I am just...exasperated.

And look. This is my blog, so this is my space to vent about how I feel. And while I am always open for discussion, I won't entertain any thoughts that aren't following the science. So if you found your way here and don't trust the CDC, pediatricians, epidemiologists, or the covid vaccines, please take your thoughts elsewhere. They're not welcome in this space.

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