Explaining our Pandemic choices to our kids.

Is anyone else on the extreme struggle bus sometimes, especially now during the pandemic?

This morning Gavin, our oldest (7) came out of the bedroom really upset. He wanted to go back to our house (who knows which one he was talking about). He said he missed playing with kids. He also couldn’t understand how it was safe to be in an Airbnb as it was someone else’s house, so it had someone else’s germs.

Let me rewind for a minute and explain for those of you who don’t know us, we are extremely strict on the pandemic and keeping to ourselves. We rarely go to public places and rarely socialize with anyone. We have spent the last 9 months pretty much just the 5 of us. To us, it is not worth the risk, god forbid any of us get sick and happen to be one of the ones who has underlying issues forever or end up in the hospital (with no health insurance) or on our death bed, all because we decided to socialize a little too closely with people we missed or any of the 1000 other examples.

This is not a post about overcoming fears, or not being scared of the virus, or judging others for believing differently or treating this virus differently. Everyone is taking it in strides in their own way, what they are comfortable with or not. We just plainly, are not.

Part of the reason we did decide to go on this trip was because we were living in suburbia with neighbors and friends all making decisions for their families. We knew school was going to start and we knew, our level of COVID isolation, was different. We did not think it was fair to our children to have them see what others were doing and have to explain why we did not do it in our home and why we were not letting them experience the same things. So, we took this trip as a way to self isolate in different places where they were given a change of scenery and not really have any “relations” with other people as a way to protect their feelings I guess.

According to aap.org There have been 853,635 cases of COVID in children as of 10/29. I do not know how many of these children transmitted the virus to others in their households. Although the death rates and hospitalizations in children are lower >6.7% of the total amount above, it isn’t a risk we are willing to take.

Here we are, 2.5 months into our trip. Our kids play AMAZINGLY with each other, but they are sad they can’t play with other kids. “But we will wear our masks,” they say. It just isn’t enough to make us comfortable. When we happen upon a vacant park and others start to arrive, we gather the kids and load up to leave and my gosh they are heartbroken. So, then we wonder, why did we attempt it at all if this is how they have to feel when we leave.

Trying to explain to Gavin why we can’t go see Grandparents and friends is hard. But, some work, some go out to eat, some are in school, some see friends, some grocery shop in person (these are all things that vary on everyone’s comfort level, and some things no one has control over)… all more risks than we are willing to take at this point.

Through tears, I told him I was so sorry, that I wish this would end and that it might be awhile, and he yelled back sobbing, that he knew and it wasn’t fair. All I could do was hug him and tell him I agreed.

With cases going up at the rate they are, we have begun buckling down even tighter (If you can believe that is even possible) We have cabin fever. We miss sunshine. We miss hugs. We miss our families. We miss listening to safe happiness. We too want this to end.

I think the sad and hardest part to explain is that there is no end in sight. With people taking different levels of risk, more people together, socializing, sports, activities, school, work…. it is hard to see it ending.

Adam and I are struggling as well. Not together, but with the weight of it all. The extra heaviness that is just looming like a fog. Trying so hard not to feel defeated at the huge parking lots FULL of cars, the social media posts of people out and about together, making holiday plans, party plans, travel plans and all trying to explain to the kids why we made the choices we did for our family.

All I can hope is that in 30 years when our kids are grown adults and they look back at this time in their life, they will understand and appreciate all that we are doing and of course, understand the why.

And I do hope that the end is closer that we thing (no I don’t mean an astroid hit or anything, but either a 100% join effort across the GLOBE…far fetched I know, or at least one within our own country… sadly still far fetched).


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