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Musings: Kids (and Elderly) need their pre-COVID lives back

  • 08-09-2020 12:23am
    Registered Users Posts: 195 ✭✭

    These are random, possibly naive thoughts on kids, school and COVID. But honestly, we're at the point where we need to start using our imaginations and asking 'why not?'

    1. As mentioned on another COVID thread, set up TV schooling channels. I have no idea how it would / could work but one channel per school year curriculum, or something like that. That way, kids isolating or whose school closes down can tune in and keep working. I know it wouldn't match exactly where they were at in their curriculum but it would be a start. Almost every house has a TV. Many don't have PCs, laptops, iPads, or don't have enough of them, or don't have good enough broadband to support kids learning online and parents working from home.

    2. Teachers throughout the country agree / be instructed to teach the curriculum in roughly the same order. To facilitate (1) above.

    3. Government supply masks to every household in the country. They supplied us with millennium bloody candles and a tree planted for every household back in 2000. And the really useful iodine tablets, back whenever. Surely every household could be supplied with masks? That would encourage mask wearing. Which can't do any harm and as many sources tell us, might do a lot of good overall.

    I'm posting after two of my kids, separately, talked to us this evening and got upset about their new school 'normal'. First year (who like every other kid the same age, lost the 'fun' end of their last year in Primary School to COVID) and 3rd year. Neither have ever shown signs of anxiousness before. Until this evening I thought they were grand. Well aware of what's going on with COVID, but grand.

    1st year upset about making friends in new school, was sitting in a group of 5 at outside table for lunch, they were told to reduce to group of 4 and sit at opposite corners of table. Had to walk over to another table to talk to the moved friend. Mask on all day. Sanitising the desk. On top of the normal stresses and exhaustion of starting secondary school. And trying to get to know 80 masked faces. Said "the whole COVID thing makes everything harder".

    3rd year said after so long out of school, is finding it really difficult to deal with so many people. Panicked when asked a question by a teacher today in corridor. Worried about junior cert, what she's missed in teaching last year. Worried that all the 'fun' things in school are now off limits - the fun things that got her through the day and week. Anxiety would not have been an issue prior to COVID restrictions and lockdown. Like many kids, she's had ups and downs and things to deal with over the years. But has dealt with them. But she said herself she's surprised by her level of anxiety in school today. She also said it's much harder coming out of lockdown than being in it. Being told, and trying to maintain social distancing with 500 kids.

    I'm very sad and upset for them (and all their generation) this evening. And upset I didn't really think much of the school thing - we got through lockdown and homeschooling ok; we're now told it's a priority to keep schools open and that's good and true. But actually, the quality of their schooling - and socialising and activities in and around school - is what matters.

    I think we will be seeing awful psychological fallout in our young people, and our elderly, for a long time if they have to try to live their normal lives (school, university) under restrictions for much longer. Making huge generalisations: I think a lot of the very young, and beyond college age can deal with it okay - the very young can be guided easily and sort of know no better; beyond college age and pre-elderly can rationalise and have some self determination - are equipped to make the best of it. But socialisation, closeness and hanging out together in groups is so important for schoolchildren and college students. And touch, hugging, family, grandchildren, going to weekly church / bingo / yoga or whatever it is, is so important to our older people - the things they should still be able to do, in the time that's left.

    I know we're doing what we're doing for the greater good. But we're also damaging our young people, and elderly generation.
    I'm far less convinced than I used to be. The restrictions that are keeping us 'safe' are now becoming too damaging to sectors of the population. Does the Government need to revise 'risk'?

    And I think we need to man up and be honest and prepared for schools closing. Schools closing without planned and clearly explained and resourced structures for remote learning is bonkers. Every child and parent in the country should know exactly what will happen if (when) the school / class closes due to suspected COVID. There needs to be a comprehensive calm continuity to the whole thing - for the children's sake and reassurance, more than the parents. Children need to be reassured that 'we've got this'.

    And honestly, children just need to go back to school - properly - without masks and staggered start times and no lockers and masks and not mixing with other classes. I'll happily continue to restrict my activities and interactions but I want kids to be free to live their lives.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭bobbyy gee

    Tv schooling is actually a good idea. If you
    Could provide school books and lesson plans for parents it would reach students that don't have computers or internet students could record the lessons and go back on what they can't understand they did it years ago in America where there was no teacher available

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,802 ✭✭✭✭suicide_circus

    Many older people who had active lives and were mentally and physically spry have had the legs taken out from under them and are now frightened shadows of their former selves. There is no going back for many of them. So very sad to watch loved ones deteriorate like this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7

    Many older people who had active lives and were mentally and physically spry have had the legs taken out from under them and are now frightened shadows of their former selves. There is no going back for many of them. So very sad to watch loved ones deteriorate like this.

    hmmm As an almost octogenarian I am living a very full life still in different ways than pre-covid. Many of us are resilient .

    And young folk can help greatly to alleviate this by visiting, befriending, keeping in touch. It is up to each of us rather than up to the govt etc

    Even a friendly card in the post lightens a day.

    Have a look at the web site of " ALONE"' (sorry, cannot post links) . They exist to support old folk especially solitaries and they need folk to help them by eg visiting in the way the Samaritans do - or did? ( SAMS were a lifesaver to me in past times of utter desolation and I had a befriender)

    Also I have found that there is more " official" community input for cocooners than there was before covid-19.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,802 ✭✭✭✭suicide_circus

    Thats fantastic G7, great to hear.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,578 ✭✭✭JDD

    I think we're just starting to see the inklings of the psychological effects from the lockdown, and continued half-lockdown, now.

    My five year old also had a bit of a meltdown this morning, saying that she was sick of the radio talking about covid every morning and us all mentioning it. So we've banned any talk of covid (and the radio) for the rest of the week. I suspect that some of this is to do with how different her school day is as well, and it's all just filtering through to the surface.

    My Dad mentioned that he'd been listening to a psychologist on a radio show who specialised in geriatric health, and said that he had many calls from elderly people with no history of depression, who were contemplating suicide rather than face into the end of their years with the prospect of further lockdowns, isolated from children, grandchildren and their friends. While that is at the extreme end, you can be sure that most elderly people feel a percentage of that.

    We just have to hold onto the fact that it is likely we will have vaccine in April 2021. If that does not come to pass, then we will have to look long and hard at how comfortable we are with further serious infections, and further deaths (well in excess of what we have now) as opposed to how comfortable we are with further restrictions. I wager that we will have to go back to something that much closer resembles our pre-Covid lives, as people will not be willing to take restrictions further than that.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,802 ✭✭✭✭suicide_circus

    Media vita in morte sumus

    In life we are in the midst of death

    Life, a life worth living, is a must for most. And death is the inevitable consequence of life. I think we've tried to sanitise our lives of the notion of death and so are unprepared for the realities of a pandemic and prefer to cower in fear.

    We need to rethink our collective attitude to death.