If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last six months of dealing with new way of living because of Covid, it’s that people have a very hard time being considerate. These last several months have been challenging for everyone in many different ways. We’ve been very blessed in that my husband works from home and being a small business owner, I can arrange my schedule as needed. This has allowed us to stay pretty socially distanced from the outside world for a while. We really bunkered down for several months when everything first went into lockdown mode. It wasn’t fun, but at the time we figured it would be for just a short while. Well, here we are with the rest of the world about 7 months later and things seem to be getting worse not better.
We have decided to keep our kids home for the time being and do virtual school. This has been a real challenge with both Tim and I working and having 3 children on three different schedules. I currently have 12 alarms set on my phone, just to keep me reminded of who has a Zoom call next. We’ve still managed to miss some classes as well as assignments. Let’s not even talk about specials. My kids have really missed out on what a normal school year would be and it’s been really hard as a parent knowing the socialization, friendships, and experiences they are missing out by not being in person.
When Owen was just four years old he ended up staying in the hospital because of what we thought was asthma, but also he had pneumonia. It was very hard watching my baby being hooked up to several machines and on oxygen. At the time we didn’t really know what was causing him to be so sick but his oxygen levels kept dropping. I can remember driving him to the emergency room at the direction of his pediatrician since his oxygen levels were dropping throughout the day. He was falling asleep in the backseat as we drove and I remember shouting his name trying to wake him up as I drove because I didn’t know if he was passing out from lack of oxygen or if he was just falling asleep from the exhaustion of feeling sick all day. Those next three days were a bit of a whirlwind but thankfully he got better and we were able to go home. Having gone through the experience of my baby being so sick and not being able to breathe properly, I know that I never want any of my children to have to go through something so scary and unknown and I will do anything within reason to protect them.
Every family has decisions they have to make during these strange times. We are doing our best to make the safest decisions we can for our children, because I’d rather them miss out on some normal experiences than be stricken with a virus that could essentially kill them or cause damaging health issues for them the rest of their lives. The challenge is that we do have to find a balance. Six months of near isolation had started taking it’s toll on our family. Our kids hadn’t seen friends in months and rarely had left the house.
We recently decided to invite just a few friends over for outdoor playdates with masks. Our children were overjoyed to get to play with their friends. The masks weren’t even an issue for them. For the first time in months, Tim and I actually went on a few dates. We got a babysitter to come after the kids had already gone to bed so there really wasn’t any indoor interactions and we got to go out to dinner at a restaurant on a patio. It was wonderful.
I know to some people we sound crazy, but that’s ok. Our children are our responsibility and it is our duty to care for them the best we see fit. Now that this virus seems to not be going away anytime soon, we have slowly ventured out a little more with the kids. We want them to still be able to have a normal childhood, even though they are currently living through a historical pandemic. A couple of weeks ago we took them to a farm that also had a pumpkin patch. Our family wore masks pretty much the whole time we were there unless there were no other people anywhere around us. One thing that was pretty frustrating to me though was the amount of people who would get so close to us without a mask on. I don’t know why, but we seemed to be a magnet for other children. My kids would go to pet a goat that had no other children around it, and then all of the sudden we were swarmed with unmasked children right up next to our kids. I’m not sure how we gave off the vibe of “please come really, really close to us and invade our personal space,” but for some reason people couldn’t read the room. Our whole family is masked walking around with a bottle of spray hand sanitizer the whole time. Next time I need a shirt that just says “Back away.” I even asked a 10 year old kid to please step back a couple of feet while waiting in line because he was literally inches away from my youngest. He looked at me as if I were speaking another language. Some of these kids acted like they didn’t even know there was a pandemic going on.
We also took our kids trick or treating. It was nice to see that most people were actually trying to socially distance on the street and it was nice to see all the creative ways to socially distance giving out candy. My kids had a blast and just for a moment, even though they were all wearing masks, it seemed like a normal Halloween. Something normal for once.
The next day I saw a post on a mom’s group where a mom was upset because her child’s teacher saw her while out trick or treating and gave her a hug. She was unmasked, didn’t ask for permission, and then coughed while hugging the child. The mom was understandably upset as I also would have been. There were so many comments on her post and many of them telling them mom she should have just stayed home if she wanted to prevent such a thing from happening. This got me really upset. Just because other people choose to be inconsiderate does not mean that our children should not also get to enjoy normal childhood experiences.
This also goes back to the mentality that people who are sick or have health issues should just stay home if they are scared of getting the virus. It’s super frustrating that people feel so entitled that they should get to live their lives while others should just suck it up and stay home. If we could all be considerate of the people around us, it would make life more pleasant for everyone. Be considerate and wear a mask. Be considerate and stay 6 feet away from people that are obviously trying to social distance. Teach your kids to stay away from people who are trying to socially distance. Be considerate of the families that are trying desperately to give their kids a sense of normalcy in a world that is anything but normal right now. It’s hard for everyone right now and everyone is trying their best to live normal. A little inconvenience for you could mean the world to someone else. Just be considerate.