On Wednesday my son came home from school. His team had won the Football match, he was in a happy place.
But I was worried.
COVID-19 was on my mind.
The pandemic was slowly taking over the world. It would soon be around. And my children, they always bring home the choicest of Viruses. Just a couple of months ago, the older one had come home with a strawberry tongue. Turns out he had Scarlet Fever – like how?! I wondered.
I asked him if he could simply stay home.
“The finals are on Friday and I am the best goalie the team has. They depend on me. ” I felt for him but my worry was real. Afterall, the little one has asthma.
So we decide that we would stop school post friday and I decided to be patient.
Friday came and turns out that the my fears were shared. Schools were asked to shut down. Part one was won.
Part two was Social Distancing. How do I expect a ten year old to stay home and away from everyone? Will he understand? What about his friends? Other carriers? What would we do?
This is where we underestimate children.
I had already told him about the Corona Virus and how it could be silently transmitted without us even knowing. This time I explained it further and told him my fears. Of how even if he may not be as susceptible, or could recover despite his terrible immunity, he could be risking the little ones much more. And his nanny’s mom, who is an elderly lady.
As an adult, I am constantly bombarded with messages on social media. Even as I am locked in, I am in sync with the world, being told about what’s going on, sometimes more than I’d like to know.
This is not true for our children. YET…
It’s been a week today and this boy has not stepped out of home.
And his younger one is following suit.
He has not pestered me for permission to go anywhere, even his friend’s place, just a floor below.
When his friends did come over, he explained why they should stay away.
When I see other adults, educated blue and white collared men, spitting on the road, when I see parents discussing group studies and activities at this time, or wondering if movies and malls were an option, I wonder how much more mature and responsible kids like my children are.
These kids who understand without a fuss, who respect these boundaries for the sake of others more than themselves, who simply know that they can be responsible for the larger good.
This year has been one for the youngsters.
The ones who are fighting climate change.
The ones who stood up for secularism.
The ones who fought the battles for equality and against fascism.
The ones who marched the roads, protected those who were vulnerable and made their voices heard.
And the ones NOW who stay away and socially distance for the sake of those around them.
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