What If…We Listen to the Kids

I have been hearing folks talk about COVID-fatigue. 😐Even though I feel like I’ve adapted to this new abnormal, I get it. I’m 😴exhausted from just trying to keep up most days- and I know I’m not alone. There’s been no way to develop an actual new groove. I’m climbing, but I wouldn’t say that I’m thriving.😬

I have no problem with wearing a 😷mask or social distancing. I’ve learned to apply lotion to my hands regularly because the extra sanitizer and cleaning chemicals have made my skin dry and cracked. I don’t miss sitting in 🍜restaurants. Carry-out is fine. Online shopping is simple and convenient. ✔There are plenty of ways to support local businesses without risky behaviors. Cancellations no longer hold the disappointment they once held. Now, I’m 🙌thrilled when something does happen as planned. I’ve learned to truly enjoy hanging out at 🏡home- doing puzzles, spending time with family, 📚reading, or watching documentaries. I’m not hoarding even though I’m oddly preoccupied with the amount of toilet paper in the house.

Still, it’s weird.😲

As a 📝writing teacher, I thought it might be interesting for the kids to put down their thoughts about this crazy year.📆 I wanted them to document the things they were experiencing and feeling. Many kids mentioned 😴boredom, and I think that speaks to this generation. These kids are so programmed for constant activity. They are always in 🏃motion, so this forced slow-down hit them hard.

I was struck by their insights on wearing 😷masks. Most students wrote that wearing masks wasn’t a big deal anymore. Some considered them to be fashion statements. It seemed to me that adults make more out of the whole idea of wearing 😷masks than kids do.😬

I pulled a few lines from some of their writings to share with you:

  • When 2020 started, I thought it was going to be a good year, but it wasn’t. It turned out to be a horrible year.😢
  • I didn’t really understand what was going on.
  • In March sometime, COVID-19 started to affect EVERYBODY on 🌎Earth, literally everybody.
  • My feelings were 😕confused about what was going on and how it started and when it started.
  • I was 😱scared that I was going to get it or that my family could get it from somebody else when they went to the store.
  • It was really hard to make that change to lockdown at home because I am not good at change.
  • We had the longest Spring Break ever.😂
  • COVID-19 deaths went up, and I thought it was 😱scary to hear about it.
  • We had very little 🚽toilet  paper, so we were limited to a little bit of toilet paper every day. That was hard for five people in our house.
  • I didn’t like the 🚽toilet paper my mom got, but I had to deal with it because it’s the only kind they had at the store.
  • When April came around, it was weird because I never had to do work for 💻online school, and all of my teachers started sending me videos. One teacher called us for the first time and told us how to log in.
  • It was also really hard to do school 💻online because you couldn’t just raise your hand and ask questions. You would have to either email teachers or figure it out yourself.😞
  • I can’t focus at home as much as I can at school. When I’m at home, my 📲phone notifications always go off.
  • My parents weren’t there to help us with school work.
  • We had to start 💻online school. It wasn’t fun. We had to do Zooms and Canvas. It was all really confusing.😕
  • We played family 🎲games once in a while, but that got boring.
  • I actually felt good at home because I got to 😴sleep all day and watch 🎥movies.
  • The most important part was taking care of my dad and mom.😍
  • I was glad that I got to see my dad more during the lockdown.💖
  • I argued a lot more with my sister during the lockdown time.
  • Getting your temperature taken at school is weird.✔ Staying six feet away from people is weird.✔ 
  • Now, we have to wear 😷masks, which I don’t see as a problem- especially since  I am going to get braces. It looks like wearing a mask is in my favor.
  • I like that the 😷mask hides part of my face.
  • My feeling about COVID-19 is basically 😱scared because I’m really worried that my mom could get it and die.
  • I have been really anxious in public.😬
  • I don’t like it because my parents have to go through this trouble.😢
  • It’s making people’s businesses close down because they are running out of customers. We have to find a cure for the virus and the businesses.🙌
  • I want to do fun things again and not be worried about catching a virus that could make us really ill and even die.
  • I feel like 2021 will be a lot better than 2020. We probably would have to still wear 😷masks, but that’s fine with me. I’m used to wearing one. Better safe than sorry.✔
  •  I honestly never would’ve expected a pandemic this serious and big.

What if…we listen to the kids? Here’s one final thought from a sweet student: “The year 2020 isn’t over yet. There could be good things coming for the world.” 💖She might be right, you know! Let’s keep the faith- and keep climbing.💞

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