A Parent's Guide to Navigating the Dystopia
It was the summer of 2020 in Las Vegas when I realized I had a problem that needed action on my part. Months into the pandemic, on a 100 plus degree day, my neighbors family was having a backyard party. My seven year old daughter, who was best friends with their daughter, was told yet again that she could not come and play. Because of COVID.
My daughter wailed into my arms inside, asking me questions I couldn't answer like “Well how come their family gets to be there?” The isolation from other children in the spring months had been softened by the presence of her older sister, who had gone to stay with her father in Michigan, and by visiting her young cousins in Ohio. But now we were back in Las Vegas and she was isolated, as the news blared a constant drumbeat of fear porn about ever rising case numbers. It seemed to me that for the children this nightmare was far from over. It was only just beginning.
I made a decision then that I needed to shield my younger girl, to the greatest degree possible, not from COVID, but from COVID theatrics. It was a simple religious thing with me: I believe children are a gift from God, made in God's holy image. Sending the message to my child that they are a disease carrier through the use of dehumanizing facemasks, social distancing, not being able to see or hug grandma because you might kill her et cetera was anathema to me. Imagine the psychological repercussions that come from having narcissistic parents who berate their child every day about how they are bad and will never be good enough. That child grows to be someone with deep seated demons as they turn inward into hating themselves. The suicides, addictions and psychosocial disorders can take decades from their life expectancy.
We had just done that, writ large, to an entire generation of children. I couldn't play along.
My daughter was enrolled in her old school in Las Vegas, which was all virtual learning at the time. We had gone to Thailand by the time they wanted the kids back in physical school, which was complete chaos due to stops and starts of COVID cases, isolation, quarantine and closures. It was clear to me that all of the things that I had loved about my child attending physical school, from the chance to play with other children at recess, to field trips to assemblies like the one where she had won a citizenship award that she had been so proud of, were gone. Thailand schools were equally turning into basketcases, closing for two months and opening for two weeks over the ebb and flow of the COVID catastrophe.
So I put my girl into a USA based homeschool program. It has been a lot of hard work, and my hat is off to teachers everywhere. I've lost a fair amount of income from being mommy teacher and best friend to my third grader. But I hold hope that mass disobedience is the way of the future. Compliance with insane dictates is leading down a future road that nobody could want, save perhaps a few billionaires with God complexes.
Has anyone else started to unplug from it all?
Yeah, the schools have gotten so strange, kids are spending about half the time at home anyway, as everything shuts down once one person shows up with a cold.
I share a similar hope re: mass disobedience. Hopefully some leaders with strong administrative skill can emerge, so we can start building some parallel economies and communities.🤞
And ditto too re the leaders with God complexes. Just the other day I read this article from the International Monetary Fund about creating a plan for after covid. They started the article with this quote:
"Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe."
—Alfonso X, King of Spain, 1252–1284
Could it be more overt that they consider themselves to be some sort of a God?!
Respect, Amy. Praying for your daughter. Weeping for the many children's lives ruined. Not from a virus, but from the hysteria of a society responding to fear. Humans are tragic creatures.
I think you made the right call. You made it in love.