As we officially enter the Holiday season with schools coming to a close today, the usual feeling of excitement and Christmas spirit – as the kids run towards us when the bell finally rings – has been replaced with a feeling of doom.
Instead of feeling the relief of 2 weeks of no lunches to prepare, no homework, not even having to get out of our pjs, happily anticipating the much needed break we all need, parents are wondering if their children will even be going back.
2020 true to form, is ending with the same uncertainty and worry it began with.
The children who normally run out with a backpack of Christmas cards and crafts they’d made, came out with their indoor shoes, their desk supplies, and packages entitled “Virtual Learning – in case students do not return Jan 4th.”
I recognize fully that we are living amid a global pandemic, which is why everyone needs to stop f*cking around and stay the hell home when we can. Pardon my French.
I also however think that the schools have done an incredible job containing this virus – in my area anyway – and that keeping the children home for an extended amount of time does more damage than good.
Before you judge me, I will ask you this, have you ever had to witness or deal with the anxiety of a child in lockdown? I mean actual anxiety, not boredom. I mean borderline if not full on depression that comes with keeping children away from routine too long, and a proper social life. I sadly know of MANY children who suffered immensely during the last lockdown.
Never before has anyone living today had to navigate a pandemic with children, there is no real expert advice, there is not any statistics of the long term effects of isolation at a very pivotal age in a child’s development. It’s too new. It’s a shit show we are all just treading water in. The only thing proven so far is that since the last lockdown, depression and even suicide has dramatically gone up in children as young as TEN. My daughter is 10; this information is terrifying. Not to mention the children who go to school for a safe place, or a meal. Break my heart into a million pieces.
I am not here to beg schools to reopen, I will trust what the experts say. I am just here to express the backstory; the reality for parents whose children have been in-school learning, whose only true sense of normalcy since September has been going back to school. Back to a healthy routine, with their friends. That has been the one saving grace to having to cancel Birthday parties, avoid going out in public on the weekends, and missing family dinners. It’s been school. That has saved them.
So this Christmas isn’t only about the loss of seeing loved ones, it’s the loss of a sense of security. We cannot even tell our children that they will be back to seeing their friends in just 2 weeks.
So please, think of the innocent kids when you go out to that restaurant needlessly, or to that group gathering inside. Think of the trickle effect of being a contributor to the rising numbers of this mother f*cker of a disease. Catering to your social life means threatening a child’s social life.
Lets all stay home so the kids can stay in school.