COVID-19 Update

It is no exaggeration to say that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc throughout the world. For more than seven months, newspapers, television, blogs, online news outlets, and social media have daily reported the march of this virus and the path of sickness and death it has left behind.   The steps we have taken to protect ourselves – masks, social distancing, hand-washing – are now beginning to turn the tide and reduce the rate of new- case appearance in the local area. But while local governments in the District, Maryland, and Virginia are beginning to open more public spaces, many theaters, concert halls, other entertainment venues, and most importantly, schools, are still primarily closed for in-person attendance. Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith, speaking at a recent school board meeting, said, “No one [chose] this situation. It has been thrust upon all of us. We just have to keep . . . working on how to make it better.”1 Parents face an abundance of confounding situations: first and foremost, of course, the safety of their children. But then arise the conflicts: safety and socialization; working at home and keeping children entertained at home; working at home and helping children navigate online learning at home. What will be the short- and long-term effects of this pandemic on children and, of course, on their parents?  Deb Perelman, writing in the New York Times on July 2, 2020 states, “We are not burned out because life is hard this year. We are burned out because we are being rolled over by the wheels of an economy that has bafflingly declared parents inessential.”2

1., Sept 28, 2020 2. In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job., Jul 2, 2020

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