do you know how the children feel?
Niece: “Will they come into our neighborhoods?”
Auntie JNET: “You’re safe. You live far from the city. I don’t think anyone wants to march in the suburbs. It’s a lot of walking just to go trick or treating for candy or go Christmas caroling. Your neighbors and families won’t let anything bad happen to any of you.”
A weekly video call went from sharing the latest family updates, favorite kitten videos, to the state of society in the age of covid. Even though my nieces had the comforts of home and parents entertaining them with board games and sunset family walks, the new normal felt abnormal and wrong. Online birthday parties and drive by visits are tinged with a touch of sadness.
Halloween is on the fence and we are to expect to still be in lockdown during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Why haven’t the grown ups figured if it is safe to go outside and back to school? Why were the experts not in agreement? My nieces said lockdown was hardest for kids. Their world of friends, learning, and laughing together was gone. Childhood had turned somber on them.
Auntie JNET: “Hopefully, the experts are learning more about this new virus and will soon say it’s safe to go back to normal.”
They had good and practical questions. They didn’t land well when I decided to seek answers for them, triggering political buttons among the adults. I was shut down and shamed in social media sites. If I’m feeling the cancelling out of my voice in the current social climate, I can only imagine what kids are feeling daily while they watch the world.
K: “I doubt school will resume for at least a couple of years. Kids will be doing online school until a vaccine comes out.”
I didn’t dishearten my nieces with the cold reality talks I’ve been receiving from uninspiring grownups. The new normal doesn’t inspire them. I tell them to be patient and do something unique during a historical time that I hope will come to pass soon. Life does feel wrong when we’re being told that we are a danger towards one another simply by breathing and need to adjust to the new normal.
Is this the future?
Stay safe. Check on your friends and family. And don’t forget to ask the kids how they feel. They go along with what the grown ups say but may have a storm of thoughts in their head and are being quiet to help not compound your worries.
I can’t believe we’ve been in lockdown for almost EIGHT months.