Social distancing is working….Yay?
Not sure how I feel about that.
I mean yes. This is good! We should celebrate how we pulled together and flattened the curve. How lives have been saved. That is pretty remarkable. As someone who commutes to NYC daily, let me tell you, I am in awe of how New Yorkers have rallied and listened. The city is quiet. And even through the masks as you walk by a stranger you can see the smile and acknowledgment, we are in this together. NEW YORK STRONG!
However, it seems that social distancing is the key to success and until there is a vaccine or an FDA approved drug that makes the mortality rate look more like the standard flu, this social distancing will play some continued role in the near future. Hopefully, rapid testing can help alleviate the need, but who knows.
So I’m telling all the schools I’m talking to the following:
Let’s HOPE for the BEST and PLAN for the WORST to make the NEW BEST. See the difference here. Let’s not just plan for the “Worst” but reevaluate what the “worst” can be. We need to come together to make something special.
Schools are learning on the go (big shout out to them through this!), but they will take this summer to be ready for a potential second wave in the fall. Most of us educators I’ve spoken to believe that schools will open…but then close again. Most are betting we have two weeks before they are forced to close.
I made a good friend cry when she called and asked me this question.
I want to cry too! I want to pull my hair out too!!!! My children are driving me crazy!!! And let’s be honest. Our parenting in these times are being tested. It is hard to parent well when you too are scared and nervous. But the fighting between my children is enough to make me run out the door and never return again. There is not enough WINE to make it stop. Trust me I tried.
I actually have two children for sale! Anyone? Anyone?!
And then there is the SUMMER… AHHHH!
I can hear the inner screams of some of my friends as I write this. Sorry, I’m not trying to upset you. I’m trying to be constructive here, but let’s be serious about the summer. We all may be complaining about distant learning, but what happens when that goes away and there are no summer camps?! What if they don’t allow large gatherings like that?! What do you do all day for a whole summer?! As you, adult, still have work or even worse find new work as your sector suffers.
I’m sweating. Literally. The anxiety has risen to a new level. And of course, add the guilt. Hey, I’m Jewish. This is how we roll.The guilt that I am talking about being upset about dealing with my children for a whole summer when others have it so much worse.
But indulge me.
Or at least indulge Benno.
Benno (through a nice daily tantrum) has been clear that his life is over. That this summer will make TWO summers gone for our family as we spent last summer living in the hospital. He is hysterical over this. I REFUSE to allow Jacob and Benno to not have a summer. And Steve and I need a summer desperately too. We need a summer full of laughter, love, and friendship. We need people.
So while schools prepare. I am too.
I am HOPING for the BEST and PLANNING for the WORST to make it the NEW BEST.
So my plan…
I’m HOPING that camp is on. Screw that I’m PRAYING that they will have the best time and we will all be healthy and safe, but I am also PLANNING that this won’t happen. I am creating a new summer with a MICRO COMMUNITY and hey…maybe this can be really beautiful.
WARNING: I’m sidetracking…too good of an opportunity to talk about the importance of community.
As you all know, I believe parenthood has taken a large WRONG turn that truly punishes both parent and child. And not to pick on white women, but let’s just do that for a bit…we lead the problem.
For some reason, white women have ignored centuries of knowledge. White women think they know better than pretty much everyone (including themselves!). White women have a lot to prove and don’t use their power of privilege in society to unite, but rather to disenfranchise each other. I would argue even to compete! We do this through passive-aggressive actions like talking bad about a kid to another parent (“that kid is mean. It is clear that the parents don’t spend time with their children”). Or through our “shows.” Through your outfit at school drop off. Through birthday parties becoming more and more a reflection on the parent’s ability to entertain. And each one of them right now is creating an entire boot camp in their homes.
White women need to realize that it TAKES A VILLAGE. That all parents are in this TOGETHER. That humans created tribes to not just help with hunting and gathering, but to raise their children as a group. Not many species have children that are so dependent at birth. The only reason our young survived was from collaboration.
And hey…maybe you aren’t the most “motherly” type. Maybe you are better at finding berries than anyone else. No worries, someone in your tribe will fill that void as you do for them with berries.
But yet today everyone feels that they have to do it alone. That their children won’t be fed improperly or tended well by another. I argue…maybe that is just what they need:) They need a village of role models good and bad.
And here we are…isolated in your way. How is that going? Not going well for me. My kids are over my games. My kids are over EVERYTHING.
Its time to reach the fuck out. S-O-S people!!! We have to do something.
It’s time to bring back the village. Because NO school is coming back this year and YES there will be more waves in our future.
So I’m going to try and make a micro-community. Time to make a village. I add micro because of the situation, less is more here. I am going to band with my fellow parents and TAKE TURNS! I am going to find 10 families who want to social distance together. There will be norms (we all wear masks when we go to the grocery store, etc.). There will need to be trust, but to do this for months alone is just insane! Especially during summer.
We will take turns hosting each other’s children. We will take turns creating activities. We will have a community board of resources. For example today I spoke to distant instrumental teachers looking for work. It’s a great time to pick up an instrument! We can have color war! We can create camp by being creative. We can pull resources together.
So that’s my plan.
That is how I think we can survive this.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst, to make the new best.