Emmett woke up this morning and doesn’t feel well. He’s not sick, at least not physically sick. Emmett is a child who deals with anxiety and it can be debilitating at times. When he gets anxious, it tends to manifest physically, usually as a stomach ache. He’s not physically ill but is experiencing physical symptoms. Make sense?
Anyway, he’s really stressed out over COVID and going to school in a pandemic. He’s seeing his friends and teachers become infected. Thankfully, to my knowledge, everyone has recovered.
Also, Emmett is fully vaccinated. The risk to him is minimal but not zero. He understands that but it’s the not zero part that makes him anxious. He’s feeling afraid for himself, his family, and everyone else. It’s very clear to him that there are students who have antivax parents because they talk about this stuff amongst themselves. Kids aren’t born believing that there are tracking devices hidden inside the vaccine. I mean, come on.
The point is that many people who are eligible for the vaccine but will never receive it, and he knows that. He’s overwhelmed by all this and I can’t blame him. At the same time, we also can’t stay home from school either.
As a parent, I’m frustrated because he has every right to be feel this way, but still has to go to school. His fears are legitimate but Ohio isn’t doing much to make kids feel safer. The only way we can fix that part of things is to vote people into office who will not bow to political pressure and put science first.
Anyway, I spoke with the school this morning and got the facts as to number of infections. There is currently no influx of infections but there are people, students and staff that are currently out due to COVID infection.
I decided that rather then write the day off, I would attempt a late start. Emmett has agreed and the school supports the idea. This will give Emmett some time to decompress and bring his anxiety down before heading out the door.
I’m going to go workout and then take him to school. He’s okay with that idea and with any luck, we will be able to salvage the day. Covid has been a great reminder that while school is important, so is the mental health of our kids. This is a very stressful time for everyone, especially our kids, and even moreso for our kids with things like autism. All I can do is be supportive, model behavior consistent with my words, and do my best to address any concerns they have.
It’s not going to be perfect but it’s better than nothing.
If you’re eligible, please get vaccinated. Wear a mask when out in public, especially indoors. We all need to play our part and help protect those who can’t get vaccinated.
Yeah like autistic kids needed something ELSE to worry about. I doubt that when my son was this age I’d have been able to get him out of his room, much less to school, if the situation were the same.
All I can do is tell you what I wish I were able to go back and whisper in my own ear fifteen years ago: no matter how dark things look, they’re going to get better. My son just graduated law school at the top of his class, lives independently (though stuck with us during Covid), and is positioned to have a great life. Hang in there.
I had anxiety in school as a kid (and in general). And we never had to deal with anything like this, a pandemic that has a big number of antivaxxers. I went to school right after many things had new vaccines, like polio and measles and mumps. You better believe everyone was vaxxed because parents were so happy their kids weren’t going to be impaired of killed.