April 02, 2020
It's a weird world right now. My toddler told me that she thinks she's scared of Coronavirus. It was an innocent confession, fraught with concern, made during the second time my husband and I had discussed the topic several weeks ago before much of the pandemonium began. Much to my heart's dismay. It was the first big news coverage of the virus in the US. Being a sensitive family in this time is not easy, but there is a silver lining in this articulation of fear. The silver lining, I believe, is in voicing our thoughts, our ideas for living in this weird period of self-isolation.
I've read so many accounts from parents who are trying to make things work, to continue on with life now like it was pre-Covid-19. It cannot be done. In truth, we have come to another historical era deeply steeped in reality. With this pandemic, I believe we are unlearning our unproductive ways of thinking that revolved heavily on self-promotion and superficial social interaction and networking. The magic now lies in more introverted, sensitive ways of doing, of being. We are now teaching our children via how we manage daily life while physically sequestered away from others; learning is now hands-on and more spontaneous. In theory, at least. I like to think that in our boredom we find new ways of seeing. More empathy and compassion in that we are staying in to protect the most vulnerable in our population. And honestly, I'm loving it.
My husband sent me an article from The New York Times about how children don't need traditional academic instruction during this time, but rather, engaged and loving parents:
For those who are lucky enough to have a stable home life, this period won’t be easy — on them or on their children. Children who are prone to anxiety may find this period especially challenging. But all the experts I spoke to emphasized that routine and simple affection are important.
I want to add that parenting means different things to different people. We are just trying to survive and we will. We will and are trying our best in the eyes of fear. It terrifies me that the only tangible reference point we have to compare this worldwide upheaval to is: WWII. We need to remember that with this virus, we are at war with a virus - not with people. That, I think, is vital to our mindset as parents and as a collective society when it comes to raising our children during Covid-19 and beyond.
Awareness is our lifeline. Hate has no place here.