Parents Are Not Okay

Dan Sinker, writing for The Atlantic, focuses on how everything about Covid-19, politics, and the public school systems have broken parents all across the country.

Instead it was a year in limbo: school on stuttering Zoom, school in person and then back home again for quarantine, school all the time and none of the time. No part of it was good, for kids or parents, but most parts of it were safe, and somehow, impossibly, we made it through a full year. It was hell, but we did it. We did it.

Time collapsed and it was summer again, and, briefly, things looked better. We began to dream of normalcy, of trips and jobs and school. But 2021’s hot vax summer only truly delivered on the hot part, as vaccination rates slowed and the Delta variant cut through some states with the brutal efficiency of the wildfires that decimated others. It happened in a flash: It was good, then it was bad, then we were right back in the same nightmare we’d been living in for 18 months.

And suddenly now it’s back to school while cases are rising, back to school while masks are a battleground, back to school while everyone under 12 is still unvaccinated. Parents are living a repeat of the worst year of their lives-except this time, no matter what, kids are going back.

Even with college-age and older kids, my wife and I are struggling with trying to keep the kids (and family and friends) safe from Covid-19 while balancing the social and emotional wellbeing of everyone concerned. Plus, you know, navigating our jobs and figuring out dinner and whatnot.

We have help and resources. I can’t imagine what it is like for parents who don’t.

Most of 2020 and a large chunk of 2021 are going to be traumatizing for kids for decades.

August 22, 2021

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