A Day in the Life of a Pandemic Parent

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A Day in the Life of a Pandemic Parent

Looking for aaaaallll the info on what it’s like to do pandemic parenting? Need to commiserate about how parenting during a pandemic is making you lose your mind a little (or a lot)? Feeling like it’s impossible to juggle everything and be everything that everyone needs right now? Well you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our Contributor Elena Bosch’s satirical take on what it’s like being a pandemic parent in 2022!

New year. New you! You better get to the gym. Or better yet, you should work out outside. The new variant is really catching up to everyone right now. It’s raining? Oh, then you should probably work out at home. Don’t have a Peloton like everyone else? Well, get with the program sister. You’re going to need healthy lung capacity to survive this thing. 

And you should probably eat healthier too. The price of groceries has tripled over the last few months? That’s a shame but you really can’t put a price on good nutrition. In fact, you should make sure to buy organic. The real epidemic right now is how unhealthy the American diet is.

Or grow your own garden! It only takes 100 hours a week and you can have organic blueberries from your garden. New pastimes are a great way to cope with isolation during the pandemic. 

Another good pastime is serving your community! You should really volunteer for your kids’ school booster club, get more involved with their activities, and sit on the board of your kid’s sports league. We need a lot of help updating safety guidance and, well, everyone dropped out due to burnout but it would be really good to see you get out there more. You’d be a great fit. You seem to know a lot about how all this works, especially how to tell parents to wear masks on the field. The kids don’t need to wear them outdoors, though, unless they want to. We’re trying to help them get back to a new normal. 

Oh, but make sure you tell them to wear the right masks. Those medical grade surgical masks are no longer recommended. I know you bought them on Amazon Cyber Monday and got a really good deal. 1,000 for $10, but really we recommend KN95 masks. Yes, even for children. But if you can’t get one that’s made specifically for a child, don’t have them use an adult KN95. Just have them use a surgical mask and a cloth mask. 

Did your kid just cough? It doesn’t matter if he was choking on breakfast. You, a pandemic parent, now have the responsibility to book a COVID test that will likely swallow up hours of a day or even a week, and may or may not produce results within the mandatory quarantine period required to keep us safe. You can book a test through your school, county or pharmacy but good luck finding an appointment. And you can buy a test just about anywhere but they’re sold out everywhere.

Only a PCR test will be accepted within 72 hours of receiving this notice to be permitted to send your kid back to school. Please don’t send your kids to school until you have your results back. You can expect your test to ship within 10-14 days. And be sure to tell anyone who was in contact with the kids that they may have been exposed and they too should get tested. However, if your kid is fully vaccinated, he or she can be quarantined at school if they keep their mask on at all times and eat away from others. They still need to test three times in 10 days.

And don’t call in sick while you wait for results, my fellow pandemic parent. A third of your company’s staff is also sick so you’re needed to pick up the slack. No deadlines can be pushed back and no projects scrapped. If you start having any symptoms yourself, consider yourself lucky that symptoms seem relatively mild with this new variant. You can push through. You’re vaccinated so at least you probably won’t die! We all have to make sacrifices right now and we need your dedication. 

But don’t forget to put your mental health first. We can’t have you breaking down in between Zoom calls. We need you to be strong and hold others accountable for their work. Be a leader. But give grace to those who make mistakes. But don’t make any yourself, otherwise you will lose your team’s trust. And try your best to take work off other’s load right now. We’re all dealing with a lot. This is a time to show what you’re made of. 

Everyone has family members who are sick right now. You’re not the only one. Your coworker needs time off to take care of their parents. Can you travel this weekend? Can your team drop what they’re doing to take over a classroom? They’re immunocompromised? Ok, give me an answer by the end of the week. 

Still waiting for test results, huh? So does that mean you can’t come to the in-person meet and greet for your kid’s new sports team? What about that playdate you set up since your kid’s birthday party got canceled? You better call them and let them know you’re still waiting for results. 

Three days after all your plans fell through you got your results? Negative! Well there’s a silver lining. Maybe you can reschedule. Oh, you just found out your friend’s family got it too. That’s too bad. Maybe next time, pandemic parent. 

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