I hate this whole thing so so much. I was congratulating myself on the "so far so good" few weeks we had been enjoying. Our kids didn't mind the masks and new school regulations that much, and were mostly excited about being a part of society again. We had settled into a little routine. Life began humming along back to some sort of predictable rhythm.
Until it unraveled. As kids do, one of my kids caught a little head cold. Congestion, runny nose. No fever, no cough, nothing that in any other version of reality would make anyone blink an eye, much less miss school and go to a doctor for. But, in Corona-land, this little head cold was an all alarms fire. Visits to Urgent Care, begging for a test, Zoom school, quarantine. At one point, my child broke down. "I hate this. When is this going to be over? Why is it still going on? Why can't the world just fix it?"
Then, (this child has a bit of anxiety) "do I have to stay in my room? Can you hug me? Can I hug the baby? I don't want a test! I hate Zoom School! It's just a cold! What if it happens again? Don't tell anyone- what if someone else gets sick? What if someone dies?.....
As a doctor, my kids look to me to fix most ailments- scrapes, splinters, even stitched up chins and stapled scalps. But this is something so beyond any of us. The mental health aspect is as-yet not understood, but judging from my little microcosm of family, friends, and acquaintances, the impact on every aspect of mental health will have far reaching consequences. Words like social distancing, quarantine, and the realities of masks, "shadow tag", zoom school, virtual learning, and a pervasive fear of "others" will take years to recover from. My 7 month old baby has had interactions with a total of 2 adults aside from myself and my husband. We are now teaching an entire generation to on one hand love and respect others by keeping them safe, but on the other hand, never to share, not to recognize a smile, and to essentially exclude anyone not welcomed in to a pre-determined "bubble." It's insane.
As an essential health care worker, I am "lucky" as I get to go to work and my schedule has not been too disrupted. I have a job, we have a home to quarantine in, and we feel safe in our environment. But we are all living on a tightrope, and our sense of "normal" has cracks and tears when examined up close. Sending vibes of peace, love, safety, health, and calmness out into the world. We all need it.