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Pandemic Schooling

So my oldest, Madison, is one of the high risk individuals in regards to COVID-19. While children tend to be asymptomatic with this virus she is not so lucky. Just like the elderly are high risk due to age and health conditions she is as well because of her heart condition. And for those that want to state that the flu is more dangerous than this virus let me clue you in on this little tid bit. Every year the flu is something that scares me for her because the flu is also very dangerous for her to contract with her heart condition. I hope that nips in the bud any qualms about me being melodramatic in regards to my daughters safety with this pandemic. Our whole family has to go about their lives with extreme caution because they could be just fine and not even know they have it and then come around Madison or one of us that can pass it along to her. This makes our lives very stressful because her chances of survival if she were to contract COVID-19 with her heart condition are lower than what her percentages were for any of her heart surgeries.

Because of this we have continued with remote learning and needless to say it is quite a challenge for her and me. She misses her school PALS, her teachers, and just being social with others her age. Madison has always been a very stubborn and determined child (mostly my fault lol) and has tended to display how smart she is with her teachers than with me. For me she likes to pretend she doesn't know how to do things in her work for school; when I know very well she is perfectly capable. Her and I have "rounds" if you know what I mean when she decides to act like this with me. Having a two year old who has the attention span of a guppy makes it even tougher to focus her on whatever assignment we are working on. If I bring her, Emma, upstairs to the work area she wants to be in sisters lap taking control of the computer and doing the assignment. If I setup the television and toys downstairs for her to play with while we work on assignments upstairs she is trying to open the backdoor. Remember I told you she was tall? Recently we had to get additional locks for the doors that are higher up because she can reach and unlock the deadbolts. Lord help me.

Needless to say I go through a lot every day of the school week trying to balance keeping my two year old out of everything and off her sisters assignments while attempting to keep Madison focused on whatever subject we are working on. Madison has a hard time focusing on school work with me as it is because I'm mom of course. She is very smart and I know it and she knows I know it but she is an adolescent and constantly pushes the boundaries & my buttons with acting as if she doesn't understand or know how to do some of the assignments we are working on. She has always loved school and I hate that she cannot go in-person right now because she thrives among her typical peers. In the mornings when she used to be excited to get up and get ready for school are now a struggle. Instead of saying "yay school" she now says every day "no school". It breaks my heart. I know she is saying this because she doesn't want mom to be her teacher and she wants to be around kids her age because she doesn't have kids in the neighborhood whoever ask to play with her. There are no birthday invites, no play dates...nothing. School interaction is all she really has and it kills me that she can't but in the grand scheme of things, that she can't understand, is that I do this to ensure that she is still here & alive when a form of protection to this virus is available.

To those with typical children they think I'm melodramatic and blowing the seriousness of this virus out of proportion. My reply is fine and I don't care what you think. But here is a scenario you might want to wrap your head around before you throw your unknowing judgments on me:

Imagine you have a child that you were told at 2 weeks old is going to die without heart surgery. Said child before the FIRST of FOUR surgeries nearly dies in your arms because of a gas bubble (pretty mild issue for an infant right? but it was deadly for mine). At 3 months old your child has to undergo her First open-heart surgery (full slice from sternum to abdomen, chest cracked open) and you are told that she has a 41% chance of survival. By 8 months she begins to have convulsions that only you witness and everyone thinks your being "a neurotic mommy" because after it occurs the doctors find nothing and no one has seen this but you. Then a month later doctors decide she needs another open-heart surgery to fully repair her heart and again you are given another low percentage of survival rate. She comes through it and the surgeon tells you you were right about her having convulsions because the shunt they had put in the last time had become blocked and the convulsions were from the blood trying to force its way through. I wasn't crazy or neurotic. Add two more heart surgeries in less than a year at age 11 (and one fell with her being in the hospital on her 12th birthday) with a 73% chance of survival this time, which is still not a comfortable outcome to a parent but you have no choice. Then know that every year you have to be concerned that she gets her flu shot at the right time so that she is protected against a yearly issue that could land her in the hospital if she were to contract it. Now you have made it through all of this with your child and a unknown virus that is killing people all over the world; especially those with underlying health conditions. What would you do to ensure your child that you have been told numerous times has a high probability of death protected? Would you play the "What If" game with their life because they "might" not be effected? If you would do that that is your decision but my child is not up for being a test subject to that game.

So I deal with the people throwing their opinions at me as if they are virologists and know-it-all's and move along my merry way. Do I like remote schooling? Not at all. Do I want Madison to go to school? Absolutely. Do I think it's worth her safety because of her health condition to go right now? Emphatically, hell no! Do I disparage parents who need to work and need to send their kids to school so they can provide for their family? No way, I know they need it and glad they have that. I only wish that stay-at-home parents like myself that don't necessarily NEED to send their kids would consider not doing it right now so as to keep the numbers down in the classroom to avoid unnecessary possibilities of increasing the chances of outbreaks in the schools because sending your kid just because you don't feel like helping with their education to me is a lazy excuse for putting them and others at risk. The majority of schools that have re-opened are being forced into virtual schooling after they hit the 2 week mark (you know that 14 day incubation period the virus holds?). That includes a lot of colleges. In our normal world kids have lack luster hygiene in school as it is. We get sent letters multiple times throughout the school year for their being positive cases in the school or their classroom for Staph infections, Pinkeye, Strep throat, and other things. So how can anyone think a virus that we are still trying to figure out a safe way to protect ourselves from is not something to be concerned about in regards to our children and especially the teachers who don't have that high probability of being asymptomatic?

Sorry if that sounded like a rant but ignorance has always bugged me. I was a science major in college and one of the portions of study was bacterial & viral infections and each has its own set of "laws" so to speak that make them distinguishable among each as well as dangerous. A virus is always mutating to survive which makes it extremely difficult to kill. It can start out difficult to contract and then within one host (person) it can find a way to mutate and make itself possible to move from person to person through the air. You can't treat a virus like a bacteria and most of the arguments I hear people try to make would only be maybe possible if we were dealing with a bacteria. If it were so easy then we would have had something to combat this a long time ago but the reality is that virus' are dangerous, deadly, and unpredictable. So the only suggestion I can make and that would help all of us is if people would do their own research on virus' and what the true realities are about them. And I don't mean Googling stuff like the way we used to do with Wikipedia (remember in school that was not considered factual information for citing?). I mean look in a book or on actual .GOV or .ORG locations and read the articles not just the headlines. A lot of articles I see on the internet have eye catching articles on the virus but then when I read the article I notice that the headline has no merit to the information within the article and so is very misleading most of the time. And most of the articles I hear people talk about in regards to the virus are ones that they have only read the headline and spout off about how the virus is a conspiracy or no big deal but then I read those articles and realize they are only posting by reading the headline instead of reading the article because if they had then they would realize how uninformed their comments are to what they think they are talking about.

Oh well, some can't be taught to improve themselves. They only have the ability to follow and regurgitate ignorance. So all I can say is that in-person schooling is important for those that need it, remote is important for those who need it and those who can do it instead right now, and that all of it really sucks lol.

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