A: Delta and a fourth wave of COVID-19 was not the plan. In this unfortunate reality, focus and flexibility will go a long way.
Back-to-school will be bumpy. The timing of the Delta surge in the United States is overlapping with the return to classes for students. This is complicated, frustrating, scary (and many other emotions) for millions of parents, teachers, students, and school staff. No one will be able to predict or control all the bumps. Instead, consider actions that increase your focus and flexibility to get through this uncertain time.
Mitigation. Focus on increasing vaccination uptake within your own home and among close contacts to you and your children. Surrounding unvaccinated children with vaccinated adults decreases COVID-19 transmission. Have masks on hand that your child tolerates best as many jurisdictions are reinstating mask mandates. If transmission is high in your area, tighten your network and cut back on non-essential activities.
Goals: Determine what matters most for your family. Every family has a different set of needs. No plan will be perfect. Talk to your children, even young children, to identify what is most important to them. Together, each family can identify the most important needs as well as where compromises are acceptable. Focus limited time and creativity on meeting the needs your family cares most about in an uncertain time.
Plan: Invest time in understanding what options exist for learning, childcare, and employment to assess the pros, cons, and tradeoffs of different scenarios. Make a back-up plan for two scenarios: your child is exposed or infected with COVID-19 and temporary school closure due to high COVID-19 transmission.
Flexibility. There will be many things out of your control. Do your best to focus on what is within your control. Make room for the emotions that surround uncertainty and the coping strategies that work for you. Reflect back to what matters most for your family and what options exist. As the situation evolves, plans will likely require modifications.
Those Nerdy Girls are following the latest science and watching school re-openings in our own towns and across the country. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will do our best to get the need-to-know facts to you.
With so much love,
Those Nerdy Girls