Back to School in the 4th wave

by Fiona Joy Green and Jaqueline McLeod Rogers

Just when we thought it was safe to go out again, hoping for a return to some sense of normalcy in the September school term, we are hitting a red alert about rising Delta variant numbers. For parents of school age children this marks the third school year that will likely offer students restrictions rather than wide open options. It’s hard to tell kids they can’t see friends without masks or stand too close. If you are parenting a shy child, it must be heartbreaking to see them slip into a shell that will be harder to break when it’s safer to socialize. If you’re parenting an outgoing child, it must be at least as difficult to try to throw up roadblocks to contain their enthusiasm and spirit.

Maybe time and better vaccines will turn this third school year around. Maybe growing up in this hardship will encourage some children to be empathic, patient, and value time spent with others. It’s hard to talk about silver linings when the pandemic comes hand in hand with raging climate events. Maybe so much negativity and hardship will make it impossible to turn a blind eye to the way the world seems to be sickening and maybe we’ll find ways to work together across nations, religions and crisis.

There’s not much hope to offer a quick fix or way out. There’s at lease this undeniable commonality … we all want healthy children on a healthy planet. The question remains, how do we get there?

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