With so much about school reopenings around the nation still unknown, one thing seems certain: If schools do reopen for in-person learning, many of those same schools will require children to wear masks. Even if your child has become accustomed to wearing a mask to enter a store or play on the playground, chances are even the most compliant best mask-wearers have yet to wear one for seven hours a day, as they may be expected to in school.
When this is over, we’ll go to your favorite playground, my baby. We’ll stay until the sun sets and I’ll push you on your favorite swing. Or I’ll teach you how to pump your legs like you were learning before this pandemic started and I’ll watch as your face lights up with joy and excitement as you swing yourself through the air. Delighted at how high you’re flying.
To be honest, it was the first time I had allowed myself to yield to the emotions bubbling beneath the surface these past few months as the world came to a screeching halt due to the coronavirus. I never cried when my daughter’s high school prom or graduation was canceled; I didn’t weep when all of our family vacation plans for the summer evaporated. I never shed a tear when I couldn’t celebrate with my 83-year-old mom on Mother’s Day for fear of making her ill. Nothing got to me—it was as if I had somehow hit the pause button on my heart, keeping it on hold from any harm. I would weather this global health crisis stoically; I wouldn’t crumble or cave or show a single sign of weakness. After all, I’m a mom—wasn’t it my job to be strong?
Parents across the United States are wondering whether it is safe to travel with kids right now and if they should move forward with a well-deserved summer family vacation—or plan a staycation at home. Unfortunately, the answer to that question isn’t clear cut.
This year, though, as celebrations are postponed, moved online or canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, my heart sinks as I wonder: Who will hug the queer kids in the absence of physical Pride events?
One of the best things, to my way of thinking, about becoming a senior citizen is being a grandparent. We get to see Anthony several times a week in the summer, and pre-pandemic, we would take him on vacations, and to local museums, the aquarium, the bounce house and playgrounds. Our enjoyment was always enhanced by watching him having so much fun.
As parents face the possibility of a summer devoid of camps, pool parties, barbecues and vacations, many are wondering what they can do to keep their families sane. My kids are increasingly missing their friends and sense of normalcy; it feels like something has to give or we’ll all lose our minds.
As some summer camps open around the country, families are weighing whether the benefits of outdoor fun are worth the risks of infection. To learn more about how to make this decision, Caribu spoke with Dr. Geeta Nayyar, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Florida International University.
The CDC advises that children over the age of two wear a mask when they cannot maintain adequate distance from another person. It’s okay for your kid to go mask-free when they’re outside (say, on a remote hike where they’re not touching picnic tables or water fountains), but not in a crowd. So it’s probably best for them to stay covered up if there’s a chance that they may get close to others.
Scientists have advice about how to hug during the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the New York Times, “Not only do we miss hugs, we need them. Physical affection reduces stress by calming our sympathetic nervous system, which, during times of worry, releases damaging stress hormones into our bodies.”