My child got covid. That’s what I felt (opinion)

We spent a few sleepless nights fighting to bring down his 103 degree fever as our little warrior was coughing and battling the crowds. His doctor told us to take him to the hospital only if he has trouble breathing. The biggest “weapon” I had to help my child was over-the-counter medicine to bring down his fever.

Thankfully, my little girl has now recovered, and overall COVID-19 was “fast and gentle” upon us as a family. But the experience was still painful—even for a now-veteran “epidemic mom” like me. After all, as a working parent of two daughters, I’ve been at it for a while.

After more than 18 months of masking, isolating, quarantining, podding, testing, vaccinating and boosting, I felt I had all the tools to stand up to COVID – or at least prepare for it. But I didn’t understand anything for the moment when my husband gave our daughter’s positive home rapid test.

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Within seconds, our biggest fear came true. My husband, my older children and I have all been vaccinated, but it was our youngest child who got Covid-19. As soon as we managed to bring her fever and symptoms under control, my 10-year-old girl tested positive, followed by my husband. They are healthy and suffer from no additional covid-related vulnerabilities, so I wasn’t nearly as concerned about them as I was about my youngest child as I knew the vaccine would lead to hospitalization or death. Will save you from worse.

While everyone got it right, especially our little Layla, I can’t stop thinking about how, as a country, America can’t effectively prioritize the well-being of children. How can we have a vaccine so enthusiastically when the youngest children are not involved? When children across the country return to school without clear and accessible testing measures, how can one claim to put children’s safety or security first?
At this juncture of the pandemic, we need to be better prepared to deal with this virus. The health of our children – not our businesses – should be put first. For starters, this means we need a greater availability of tests and clear, consistent rules for isolating when exposed or infected. Without those measures, we cannot stop the spread of infection, which puts our young, unvaccinated children at greatest risk.
Even in the midst of nightmares of my baby testing positive, I was so grateful that we had at-home tests. But the only reason we had them was because my husband thought of our need for test kits and masks during the holiday season. We escaped by pure luck while many have struggled to find a test. this is unacceptable.
My anger is more than my child being sick. It is about far-reaching failures – starting at policy levels – to make the well-being of children a guiding principle in establishing and maintaining access to resources throughout the pandemic. US The surgeon general, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, warns of a youth mental health crisis. Experts call the increase in mental health problems among young people a “parallel epidemic” arising from the isolation, uncertainty, fear and grief that is occurring with COVID.
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“We’ve been really sounding the alarm about this during the pandemic and for many years because we’re seeing increasing rates of mental health concerns among children and adolescents,” said Dr. Lee Savio Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. and professor of pediatrics at the Children’s National Hospital, said in an interview with Education Week. “One of the reasons why we came together now is because we are seeing a real increase in mental health concerns, and there is a huge increase in pediatricians’ offices, (as well as) children and adolescent psychiatric offices and hospital emergencies. We are seeing growth. Departments. And at the same time, we are not seeing good movement to increase access to services that students need.”
Journalists are also sounding the alarm. Recently, CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford said face the nation That the biggest under-reported story of 2021 was the devastating impact of COVID policies on children.
“…this is the crushing effect that our COVID policies have on young children and toddlers,” Crawford explained to host Margaret Brennan. “By far the least serious risk for serious disease … but they have suffered and sacrificed the most, especially under-represented children and in at-risk communities. And now we have our Surgeon General saying that.” Children have a mental health crisis.”
Crawford determined the increased risk of suicide attempts among girls was up to 51% in 2021, with black children almost twice as likely to die by suicide as white children. She pointed to school closures, lockdowns, sports cancellations, not being able to access some playgrounds in D.C. and the overall “tremendous negative impact on children” and policymakers looking at it as an afterthought.
“You know, it (sic) hurts their dreams, their future education, the risk of harm, abuse, their mental health,” Crawford says. “And now, with our knowledge, our vaccines. If our policies do not reflect a more measured and appropriate approach to our children, they will pay for the decisions of our generation, the rest of their lives…”
Crawford is right and I couldn’t agree more with him. But the parents of these children are also suffering. If the surgeon general is warning about mental health crises in children, shouldn’t experts also inquire about the mental health of their caregivers, most of whom are women globally?
American parents need comprehensive and affordable child care, and although there is much relief in the Build Back Better law, for now, it’s stuck on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, the number of child care workers has declined since the days before the pandemic.
This has a direct impact on women in the workforce, many of whom are mothers who want to return to work and have been forced to stay at home because they can’t find good, affordable care for their children. According to a lending tree analysis of data from the Center for American Progress, “lucky” mothers who manage to care for a child may be forced to pay 41% more annually per child. This is not a realistic option for most Americans.

In short – kids are not okay. But what I want to know is this: Why aren’t more of us talking about it? All of us – parents, policy makers, medical experts and the media too – must do everything we can to highlight this issue so that pressure can be applied that can lead us on a better path.

As we enter the third year of the pandemic, I have a fundamental proposal for the world’s richest democracy: Let’s make children a priority in 2022 – their health and their rights because they are the ones who have the most to pay. higher price.

And they are already paying the bills.

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