Anxiety is normal. We are in still in the middle of a pandemic and schools are re-opening. Some of us were lucky enough to get vaccinated, many others were not. This week, I have had many parents state they are scared, unsure, anxious and would like to keep their children at home doing virtual learning after learning schools are re-opening. It this is not business as usual for most of us, but for others it is. Some campuses are discussing lifting mask requirements. Remember, you have been practicing social distancing, mask wearing, and hand sanitizing for months now. These skills will now be applied to a new situation: commuting and the school environment. The key is to plan ahead and stay vigilant. To protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19, you must assume everyone around you may be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.
As we continue to navigate through this new normal, it is important to understand and connect with our feelings. It has been a challenging time for most and being kind to oneself is important.
I have had several parents ask what the recommendation is since there is no vaccine approved for children yet? This is a tough decision and I always encourage parents to weigh the pros and the cons. Does you child have a medical condition that makes them more susceptible to illness? Does your child do better in a peer environment? How did your child do with virtual learning? Did they regress or progress? How are they behaving at home? How is the stress level at home? Is taking them to school going to inflict more stress at home or would virtual be a better option? Some schools may offer a hybrid model and this may be something to consider if one does not feel fully ready to send their child back to school yet. Many parents are concerned children would be coming from unvaccinated homes and this would pose more risk to their child/children. Yes, this is a very valid concern as even though our teachers and staff are vaccinated, the children and some/many families are not so they may be carriers of the virus and not know it. Being asymptomatic is the biggest level of concern at this time for most parents. I have encouraged families to think about these questions. Mask wearing is encouraged even though one may be fully vaccinated. Studies indicate the vaccine gives around 93-95% immunity, however we can still be a carrier and/or be asymptomatic and expose others.
And remember “we will get through this”. The virus is subsiding and hopefully we will start to transition to what once was our ‘normal’. It may look different and emerging from this pandemic will be interesting to see how things will work. We have learnt a lot and realized we can do the impossible. Who would’ve thought parents can work from home with no child care and NTI everyday? Some of us had to navigate through that. The key is to always be respectful of each others’ burdens as each burden is equal, even though it may feel bigger than your neighbors.
We have officially hit our one year anniversary of this pandemic but Spring is on its way and this will brighten our days.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office if your child and/or family is in need of guidance and support during this time.