COVID decision fatigue could have killed me this morning.
Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic, but hear me out.
Quick maneuvers are the new running skill I’ve acquired in the COVID times. Moving several steps to the left or right a moment before another runner passes within your breathing space, in an attempt to maintain the magic 6 feet of social distancing.
At mile 4 this morning, I quickly stepped to the left to avoid breathing the same air as an oncoming runner.
Unfortunately for me, a few steps to the left put me off the trail and onto the street. A very busy street. With my back to traffic, meaning I didn’t see the car that swerved to avoid me until it passed me with the driver blaring his horn.
So to recap. To avoid sharing the same air space for a nano second with someone who in all probability doesn’t have COVID (the dude was running after all), I jumped into traffic with my back to the cars.
Yep, these are crazy times.
I know I’m not the only one suffering from COVID decision fatigue.
Should I accept food from the waiter at the takeout place if his mask isn’t fulling covering his nose? If he can’t be bothered covering his nose, what else is he not doing? Keeping his hands off his face? Washing his hands for 20 seconds? Avoiding parties?
Should I allow one of my girls to got to a friend’s house? Are they social distancing? Are they having parties? Do they wear face masks in public? Is little brother sunburned or is it a fever?
Hundreds of decisions a day, trying to determine an incalculable risk, leaving me in a constant state of unease.
And now there’s school to think about.
If you asked me back in March, when I was in the thick of home schooling my 4 girls, if I thought schools would be open in the fall, I would have said heck yes. No way this virus can survive a Texas summer (we humans barely do).
Never would I have guessed I would have to decide whether or not to send my kids back to school.
Back in March, we had only a handful of COVID cases locally here in Dallas. Stay home for 15 days to flatten the curve, they said.
It’s been 126 days since my kids last step foot inside their schools. What’s changed since then (other than the loss of my sanity)? Dallas has spiraled into a COVID hotspot, with skyrocketing infection rates and rapidly shrinking hospital space.
And now I have the decide.
After months of diligently washing our hands, dutifully wearing face masks in public, and avoiding any semblance of a normal social life, suddenly I am supposed to throw my kids back in school where they will spend their days indoors with hundreds of other people.
Have their schools come up with good hygiene and social distancing plans? Thankfully yes, but it still seems counterintuitive to go from living in a bubble to being back in circulation, especially when you factor in the virus is no where near under control locally.
What would it mean for my kids to get sick? Me to get sick? My 82 year-old mother, who we see once a week, to get sick?
Weighing against physical health concerns are the mental. Kids need to be around other kids. They need to socialize with kids their own age. They need time away from their parents. They need teachers who are actually credentialed. Not the hack teacher their mom is, who can’t remember math past the 7th grade and hates spelling. And music. And foreign languages. The list goes one.
To put it bluntly, should I send my kids to school, knowing in all probability that they will bring COVID home to our house, or risk their mental well-being and education by continuing to home school them?
Today, I just don’t know, and I’m tired of thinking about it. I’m tired of talking about it.
I wish rapid testing were more widely available. I wish numbers were declining (or at least stable) locally. I wish we had better treatments available.
God help me, I wish someone would just make the decision for us and we could move on.
I’ll be sure to update this post with what I finally decide to do. In the meantime, what are you going to do with your kids? Back to school, home school, or somewhere in between? Leave a comment or send me an email.