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I am experiencing what I believe to be the COVID-19 Funk. Surely not a formal diagnosis, but more of a yearning for something, but at the same time, unable to put my finger on what that something is. I find myself full of ideas, but yet, with nothing to write. It’s like the person looking through the over-packed closet, insisting there’s nothing to wear. (OK, that person is me and I was looking for more sweatpants).
It’s like a state of constant ‘meh’
I’ve always been a home body, and as a special needs family, we’ve always been a bit distanced from the mainstream anyhow – but COVID-19 takes it to a new level. Perhaps this feeling is mourning – for a time when real, live human interaction was part of everyday life. Whatever the feeling is – hit me all at once yesterday.
Gotta wash my hands!
My youngest burst into the house from the bus stop. Words pour out of her like a fire hose after she gets some actual, factual stimulation on her two days of in-person schooling. Or perhaps it’s the burst of energy after ripping the mask off, oxygen flowing while she runs from the bus to our front door. She zooms past me, talking incessantly while making her way to the kitchen sink.
“Gotta wash my hands!” she says, interrupting her own stream of consciousness. Without pause (or a breath) she continues on about how the bus was full, so she actually had to sit next to another kid, and that kid wasn’t wearing a mask remarking, “But don’t worry mom, only my butt touched the seat, I turned my head to look out the window and didn’t touch anything!”
I smile proudly, knowing my kiddo is an expert germ-avoiding ninja, until it occurs to me…. My 10 year old is a hand-washing expert who is afraid to sit next to her classmate. My heart sinks.
All that teaching and preparation about germs because in the moment I understood THIS to be of utmost importance, a matter of life or death. Kids have to be hand washing experts, lest they become sick or even worse – super spreaders who kill grandma and grandpa.
facts (and alternate facts) make it hard for parents
I am an analytical person who likes facts. When it comes to COVID-19, getting facts has proven challenging. To make matters worse, this illness has been horribly politicized. News and data can be quite different depending upon the source. I’ve read the fine print only to find that much of the news is not factual at all. To summarize:
[The following is to be read in the style of that rambling voice at the end of a car leasing commercial. You know the one, where they speed through the fine print? Explaining how the advertised low monthly payment is only when you put $25k down, and have a pristine credit rating.]
Tiny words beside the asterisk state that these are opinions. In fact, expressed opinions about news that actually reported on data from a reputable source. Should what we say prove to be untrue, we reserve the right to issue a half-assed apology three months later when the information is no longer important. All opinions and apologies come spewing forth from a pseudo-celebrity with a Colgate smile. Oh, and that official Opinionator may or may not have a political agenda. When opinions appear to be politicized, those opinions do not reflect that of this network, especially if you’re offended by them. Furthermore, do not confuse said opinions with actual facts. Rest assured, however that the information is news-adjacent, even if filled with hyperbole, so you can trust our highly rated news network. And, if you can’t understand the value of hyperbole as part of free speech, you are simply un-American.
Entertainment news at its finest. Anything for ratings I guess, but I digress… So, as I said, I try my best to follow the science – but exactly what science is the right science? Ugh.
Impact on kids
I’ve often hoped that my kids don’t feel my angst, wondering whether sending them back to school was the right decision, in light of fuzzy facts. Social and emotional health vs. risk of COVID-19. That’s the decision parents are forced to make.
My answer came loud and clear via a recent school project. Youngest had to write a poem in one of the many forms she’d learned, choosing limerick. I believe she sums it up perfectly:
Ode to COVID-19 There once was an illness named COVID To which scientists were devoted. They couldn’t agree, And that confused me. My confidence has been eroded.
Yep, Youngest gets the win. THIS is the feeling right here, in five simple lines. It also reminds me (loud and clear) that our kids are absorbing the news rhetoric from the TV in the background. I’ve started to shut it off, in favor of quiet.
I hope you all are staying healthy and grounded during these crazy times.
PS. Handwashing is really important, and here are (free) social stories to help young kids or those with learning difficulties understand how to wash hands, socially distance, wear a mask and practice cough etiquette to help keep them safe.
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