The Kids Are Alright
Kids are finally going back to in-person learning. Some of us are ecstatic. Some are apprehensive. Let’s be honest, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, we have not reached herd immunity, and children are not immune from this new Sars virus. For those of us living with chronic conditions or are caring for children with chronic conditions, it’s a little scarier. Because let’s face it, kids are gross. They are absolutely disgusting. They do not wash their hands; hell, trying to get a tween to take a shower is like an Olympic game of strategy. And although we have listened to the Dr. Rubin’s and the Dr. Bewtra’s, who have presented evidence that shows patients living with IBD are not at a higher risk for contracting Covid. Anyone and everyone can catch Covid-19, and we are not sure how a single person will react to it. It’s a gamble that many of us with limited healthy days want to take.
However, our kids need to get back to school. This pandemic period has been so hard for them. We have oversaturated our kid’s lives with school and multiple extracurricular activities. So within a day, many children went for 60-0, and most of them have not been able to get back to a steady 35 mph yet. They are just stalling out or coasting. They need socialization, creative outlets, education, and a change in scenery. So, back to school, they go. Nevertheless, we have to stay diligent. So how are you preparing your little one for being back in the classroom?
Practice mask wearing for long periods. From the very beginning, I wanted my little one to feel comfortable wearing their mask. My niece was the same way. Hippo is 11, and Bear is 2, but both actively wear their mask. I knew that eventually, there would be a time when they would have to wear their masks for an extended period of time. We also practice not hugging, elbow touching instead of handshaking, and social distancing. We have also been testing regularly for Covid. My kid is now a pro at getting his Covid test without a thought. It’s just a normal part of our bi-weekly activities.
We also sat down and wrote a list of items to do in order, one at school. We start with temperature checks by the administration. Then Hippo knows it’s time to go wash hands. Then once in the classroom, wipe down your desk with your Clorox wipes. While it dries, put your items away. Then hand sanitize your hands and sit down and begin class. Then wash your hands before and after lunch. Sanitize your hands each time you come into class. And then wash your hands before getting back in the car at the end of the day.
In addition to purchasing a washable backpack and lunch bag, I bought extra clear, wipeable bags to include a new set of toiletries. My biggest worry during this pandemic period has been public restrooms and seating. Because my child has chronic conditions as well, I went an extra step and purchased some supplies for them.
Extra Individually Packaged Masks
Alcohol Sanitizing Spray
Witch Hazel Facial Wipes
Clorox Antibacterial Wipes
Travel Toilet Seat Covers
I also sent a care package to the school and will send another soon.
Clorox Antibacterial Wipes
A Box of Individually Wrapped Masks
HOPE FOR THE BEST
Eventually, we knew we would have to get back to some sense of normalcy. Unfortunately, we cannot do so without having eradicated the virus from our population like some countries have done. However, we are getting there. Normalizing these new normals will help transition you and your child(ren) back into the school swing. Continue to ask your children about symptoms, monitor them as much as possible, practice safety, and enjoy your life. As more and more people continue to get vaccinated, test, and wear their masks diligently, the closer we get to closing the chapter on this pandemic.