The Madness of Living in a Covid-19 Denier Area

Covid-19 swept in about five to six months ago and turned our world upside down. Some people lost jobs, some are in danger of losing their small business, some have lost loved ones, and some jobs many looked down on before are now finally receiving some long-overdue respect. When it came like a whirlwind into our lives my husband and I knew we had to take this seriously.

Covid-19 Precations

You see just a week before the United States went into lockdown my son had a week-long stay in the hospital because the flu had a negative impact on his lungs. My soon to be 7-year-old son woke up in the middle of the night crying and screaming because he couldn’t breathe. The last thing we want is for him to catch this virus and have him wake up screaming again.

COVID_19: Are You at Higher Risk for Severe Illness

Our son isn’t the only reason we are taking this seriously. My husband is a survivor of stage 3 colon cancer. His immune system never fully recovered from the chemo treatments and he has a history of asthma. Not only is he high risk, but he’s a pastor as well and this means that he remains in contact with people who have been exposed or may have been exposed and don’t know it. He wears his mask for long periods of time every time he works and uses lots of hand sanitizer.

COVID-19 & Epilepsy

Two people would be enough for anyone to take this seriously right? I mean two high-risk people in one family is something to really make you stop and think, but I have two more high-risk people in my family. My three-year-old daughter is susceptible to febrile seizures when she has a fever and we have an 11-month-old baby boy. His immune system is developing. I never thought me with my epilepsy would be the person in the house that was the least high risk other than my 5-year-old daughter. My 5 year old can’t do the grocery shopping…obviously.

So to say I was relying on my fellow community to buck up and do their part is an understatement. I needed them to do their part. I needed them to wear their masks. I needed them to wash their hands. I needed them to take every precaution they could because I really don’t want to bury one of my children or my husband.

Cornavirus Conspiracy Theories-Why Do We Believe Them?

Unfortunately, we live in an area filled with people who believe Covid-19 is some big conspiracy. Now, of course, you do have some like us who are taking this seriously, but it’s hard not to feel outnumbered here. The most stressful thing in my life right now are these Covid-19 deniers who feel no shame or guilt jeopardizing the life of my 7-year-old, 3-year-old, infant son, and husband.

Covid-19 Deniers

Recently our area went red because of some bad decision making on some people’s part. Bad decision making that has been widespread in this country. So things have gotten a tad better, but not much.

In most places going to a store without a mask could lead to you being thrown out or harassed by other customers. Here? It’s the opposite. I had people without masks come charging at me with their cart and try and to purposely run me over because I wore a mask to protect them and my children. I had people rolling their eyes, snickering, and calling me awful things under their breath.

People continue to throw large gatherings and crowd together in public places. Because my family is taking this pandemic seriously we have become social pariahs of sorts. We are the butt of jokes and they laugh at the thought that we take our health and theirs so seriously.

We have heard some crazy conspiracy theories. Theories ranging from unlikely to so out there that I wonder about their mental health. I watched as this pandemic has been twisted into a political battle when all I want is for you to just give a damn that you could be responsible for the death of someone that is deeply loved and cared for. Every time you ignore social distancing and don’t wear a mask you risk killing people like my infant son, my three-year-old, my seven-year-old, and my husband.

This has been so very hard on my family. My kids miss their friends and they even miss school. They are afraid of school not starting again but at the same time want everyone to stay healthy. So much so that if they do go out somewhere public they insist on wearing a mask. My three old at her doctor’s appointment proudly wore her mask and said loudly: “Everyone needs to wear a mask so this stupid virus will finally go away!”

Went we went to a state park the other day the only reason they didn’t insist on wearing masks was that they could clearly see we were the only ones in that section of the park. The park something so simple and something they missed so much. You see early on even the parks here had to close because people were gathering in large crowds at the park. So for the longest time, my kids were stuck here at home. We made the best of it with sidewalk chalk, a small kiddie pool, water guns, hose fights, and some old fashioned summer fun, but it doesn’t make up for what they have lost.

It doesn’t make up for what I lost. Where I live it’s definitely a northern state but the part of the state I live in has a sprinkling of southern in it. What I mean everyone is very polite, people love their sweet tea, and certain southern considered foods are considered a staple around here. I really liked this area when my husband was appointed here, but sadly recent events have changed my feelings.

I have lost faith in the people in my area. I no longer feel I can really trust many people. I don’t feel safe making a simple grocery run and I now have mixed feelings about living where I do. In fact, grocery runs got so bad we started driving two hours to go grocery shopping in an area we know people are taking things seriously. The difference between the two areas is astounding. Where we go to grocery shop everyone wears a mask and no one sees a problem with it. I haven’t seen one person in that store try and sneak in without a mask unlike where I live. Yes, they sneak in and most often through the exit.

I have trouble understanding how so many people can make a virus that has spread around the world political. I have trouble understanding how so many can be okay with potentially millions dying to give the enconomy a boost. I try and understand their view point. I try and listen but each time I am left asking why is your routine, your dislike of masks more important than a human life? Sure, things really suck right now. I don’t think anyone would argue that. Yes, I miss a normal routine. We all do, but I don’t want normal at the expense of human life.

I feel like I woke up in a crazy world where money and convience is more important to many people than human life. I really struggle with that reality. I used to see the best in people and I loved that, but now I feel disgust. I want to see the best again, but as long as my children’s lives and my husband’s life aren’t as important to people as shopping without a mask the more likely that part of myself that sees the best will die.

Dreaming of a School That…

As a child going to school was something I dreaded. So much so that I actually felt ill every morning as I got ready to go. School made me feel stupid. I just was not good and still am not good at memorizing information word for word and then regurgitating it for some test. However I am able to learn information in my life and use it, but ask me to give a detailed review of a chapter in the textbook using correct definitions and direct examples from the book and I will likely fail.

My mind has never worked that way. Instead, my mind has always taken the information and transformed it in a way I could use in my life. For example, when learning about a time in history my brain will take that info and find a way to apply it to life today and extract a lesson I should use to avoid making the same mistakes from long ago. I may never memorize the details of a battle, the exact dates from an event, or the life details of some historical figure but I will remember the lessons that stood out and allowed me to apply them to my own life.

I Sued The School System-Prince EA

So I have very real issues with the way our schools exist today. They are outdated and have not kept up with the times. They may have worked a couple of hundred years ago but if we want to have a school system that helps children from all backgrounds to thrive then things have to change and the following is what I dream school would be.

1. I Dream of a School That is Safe.

I remember when I was a teenager and the tragic shooting at Columbine High School unfolded. As a teen, I had no way of knowing or understanding that this wasn’t just a one-time tragedy, but instead the beginning of a heartbreaking chain of pointless and tragic death. If you had told me then that kids would continue to be shot while going to school I would have looked at you and asked why nothing was done to stop it. It’s a question I still struggle with. Why have we done nothing? While we bicker about solutions…kids die, people die and that is one of our greatest sins as a country. One that I too am guilty of.

So I dream of schools where active shooter drills are not a thing. Where we don’t need to have off duty police officers patrol the hallways. Where we don’t need metal detectors at all the entrances. Where we don’t have to lock the entrances while school is in session. Where we don’t need to buzz parents in to read a story to their child’s kindergarten class. I dream of schools that are so safe that the worst things that happen are unexpected medical emergencies such as seizures during class or the occasional fight between students because kids are still learning to manage their feelings and how to work things out without inflicting harm, but no children die because of a senseless act of violence.

2. I Dream of Schools That Prepare Our Kids for Independence…

There was a time when the current curriculum our schools taught helped prepare our children for the future. There was a time when parents all were able to easily teach their kids necessary life skills like how to sew and cook, but sadly not all parents are able to pass along these life skills because they themselves never learned them. Parents can only teach what they themselves have been taught or learned themselves.

6 Problems with Our School System

There was also a time when wood-shop, home economics, art, and other classes were all commonly taught at schools. For funding reasons, these subjects have fallen by the wayside in many schools and because of this many now adults didn’t learn many skills that were once commonplace.

So why aren’t our schools helping to teach our kids things that they will really need when they reach college age. Why aren’t they taught about finances, cooking, cleaning, sewing, and what decisions they will need to make to live on their own? Why don’t they have a class about opening a bank account, doing your taxes, and what all those things are that come out of your check from work? Why aren’t they taught about ways to finance college or other options to college like trade schools for example? Why do we assume that if we just teach some mundane facts that they will be fine? Why do we assume that all parents have the skills to pass on to their children. Many parents were at a disadvantage and only have enough skills to barely keep a roof over their heads. Why do we assume all kids need to learn advanced algebra when many may end up in professions where they only need basic math skills?

Should High School Students Be Taught Life Skills?

Once we accept that we all do better by caring for each other and helping each other out the better our society will be. Once we accept that education may need to differ depending on the child and their career goals the more effective their schooling would be.

3. I Dream of Schools That Teach Self Care…

Sadly many adults never learned to properly take care of themselves and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that our children struggle with this concept as well. We have a serious mental health problem in this country as rates of depression are spiraling out of control. People of all ages are overweight and heart problems have continued to increase as a result. Stress levels are high as adults and teens struggle to find a proper balance in life.

Mental Health Statistics in America

Imagine how much smoother things might just go in everyone’s lives if we had been taught in school how to care for ourselves mentally and emotionally. Imagine if you had been taught different ways to manage your time and how to set tangible goals you can achieve. Imagine if you had learned how to eat healthy and balanced and to see through a diet fad and choose the healthier option instead. Imagine if you had been taught different ways of exercising so that everyone could find a way to work out that’s enjoyable.

A Self Care Action Plan

If we were taught these things in a class like health class or even changed physical education a bit so it wasn’t sports based but instead showed you all kinds of fitness how might your life be different? How might our culture be different? Would there be fewer suicides and mass shootings because we were taught how to handle tough emotions? Would obesity still be a problem? Would people have more balanced and relaxed lives because that was taught as something to value and strive for? How much better would our lives be if we weren’t left to figure these things out ourselves? Do we really want our children to face the same struggle we have in trying to figure these things out?

4. I Dream of Schools That Prioritize The Health of Our Children…

While schools have been forced to make some changes for the upcoming school year because of the current pandemic that’s not quite what I mean. This one ties into my dream for self-care being taught in schools. What I mean is I dream of schools that each has at least 2 school nurses on duty every school day. Instead, it’s not unusual for several schools to share one nurse. That doesn’t sound like we are prioritizing our kid’s health to me.

Can Schools Prevent Suicides?

I also dream of schools that have mental health counselors for any student or even staff members present to unload on safely. While many schools do have counselors its rare if they actually get to do any counseling. I am talking about people with counseling or a psychology degree that are there solely to be a safe place to talk, help kids come up with reasonable plans to deal with whatever their struggling with, and to be there to intervene when kids are in a dangerous situation or are a danger to themselves or those around them. Imagine if these counselors were utilized properly? How many children could be helped? How many kids could have the person to listen and help instead of feeling alone and lashing out later?

What’s The Job of A School Nurse?

We say our kid’s health is a priority, but how our schools handle mental health and the lack of nurses in schools sends a different message. The fact we penalize students for getting sick too much sends a different message. Let’s start acting like we mean what we say and actually make children’s health in schools a top priority and not a hazard.

Our schools haven’t really been updated in over 100 years. I’d say we are overdue for an overhaul. What changes do you dream of for schools?