A rough week, though today I’m feeling a bit of calm. Had a good talk with the kiddo last night about how this is affecting him. I can’t say I ever expected to have to discuss death tolls and infection rates with an 8 year old, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about parenting – or at least being my son’s parent – is that you really can’t plan for anything. The trick is being okay with that uncertainty. He taught us about uncertainty during his first few months. We’re pros at it now.
But this raises other questions, of course. How ghoulish does it become to check the numbers every morning, and discuss them? We had 3 new deaths in Sonoma County the other day, and are currently up to 19. (1,073 active cases right now, and 976 recoveries). Numbers-wise, these are nothing compared to other spots in the country. “Survivor Guilt” says I should be grateful (and believe me, I am), but each death is a pain point, because the numbers are so low. There’s a threshold when a number becomes large enough to cause psychological and emotional detachment, where it becomes “just” a statistic (even though it’s obviously more than that), because your mind can’t handle the reality of that many lives lost. We’re not there (yet), and I hope we never get there.
But anyway. Ghoulishness is a concern. But it’s also important information to have. It’s a perverse form of “weather report” – though the weather recommendations are always the same: wear a mask.
As numbers started climbing here a week or so ago, we realized that we didn’t feel safe sending kiddo back to school. The attitude of certain federal government officials is incomprehensible to me. Any claims they may have once had about being “pro life” are immediately null and void. This is now (once again, as when he was born), about keeping our son alive. Even if he is more resilient as a kid, I’m not feeling the urge to roll the dice. Additionally, keeping him alive, means keeping me and his mother alive. If he becomes a carrier, we’re not getting any younger. Plus, I have a pre-existing condition (Type II Diabetes, which I’ve been working to get under control, weight-wise), and Type A blood, which I’ve seen may not be the greatest thing to have in terms of what the virus will do to you. We need to stay alive to keep the kid alive. Want ghoulish? Imagine an 8 year old kid on the autistic spectrum trying to deal with two dead bodies in the house. In any event, the school district has had similar concerns, and will be doing full distance learning until further notice.
There is also, the reality that assuming Biden wins in November, it won’t be an immediate change to the state of Things. Inauguration in January, plus ramp-up time…
As I told kiddo last night – everything sucks. I won’t lie about it. I respect him enough to give him the truth (though I may gloss over an occasional detail). Things suck, and are going to continue to suck for a while. He told me this isn’t how he wanted things to be. I assured him that nobody wanted this. But we have it. Things may (and probably will) get worse before they get better. And we’ll deal with it. And do everything in our power to get through it as unscathed as possible. I’m a patient fucker. And we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing as long as it takes.