Prior to this past year, if someone had asked me what I thought our country would do if confronted with a pandemic, I would say we would rally together as Americans, take care of our own, and sacrifice to keep people safe.
Naively I assumed that people during WWII were the “greatest generation” because they were at the right place at the right time to show their true colors — how wrong I was.
Over the last year, I have “followed the science.” We need 70–80 percent for herd immunity. That is our goal so that our children and those unable to get vaccinated would be safe. I saw the goal and put my family on a path towards achieving that goal. When the schools were first brought back before the teachers could receive their vaccines, I balked, opting for virtual school. After all, we should protect our teachers. I’ve attempted to use this year to teach my children to care about others. Meanwhile, the mixed messaging from the top is dizzying.
On May 12, our governor said Maryland needs to achieve a 70 percent vaccination rate from the first shot in order to rescind the mask mandate. Two days later, he rescinded it, following the CDC guidance stating that vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks. The vaccination rate in the Maryland county where I work with children is currently 31.4 percent.
In parenting books, no matter the philosophy or method being pushed, one thing is always the same. You must be consistent. This consistency, experts say, is key to having children follow your rules and understand consequences, thus creating more harmonious families. Consistency is sorely missing in our nation’s fight against this pandemic.
It’s not just the new mask recommendations, but more importantly how the recommendations were dumped into our lap without any warning. It’s also the complete inability to acknowledge that there is a whole population of children under 12 and immunocompromised people that we should care about.
I am so sorry for immunocompromised people. I am sorry we don’t care enough to work on the problem as a team. I am sorry for the parents of children who are fighting a good fight. I am sorry that we as Americans are making parenting harder, not easier. I am sorry that we are so self-absorbed. It is apparent that history books will never classify us in the same category as the “greatest generation.”