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A Letter to the Coronavirus From a Child Care Director

Uncategorized Mar 19, 2020

Dear Coronavirus,

It is 3:30am and I can't sleep.  You are making this hard.  You are making me mad.  Here are a few things that I want to talk to you about:

Child Care Crisis:

Child care workers are important.  And we have been constantly seen as unimportant by the government as evidenced by the lack of public funding for early childhood programming.  Early childhood teachers are underpaid and often don't have insurance or any other benefits of any sort.   You are making this so hard for us because we have hearts.  And we are helpers.  And we are caregivers.  But everything else is closed.  And everyone else is told to stay home.  Yet, we are encouraged to stay open.  Many of us are parents.  Yes, we need to take care of emergency workers' children.  But what about our kids?  My children are not in the age bracket our center is licensed to care for.  Where will my children go?  Am I not considered an emergency worker too?

Our state is already facing a child care crisis.  This will make it even worse.  Many family childcare providers and center teachers won't make it through this.  NAEYC is predicting that about 89% of child care operations won't make it through this without help from other sources.  I am so mad at you Coronavirus. 

Childhood Trauma

Trauma.  You are causing trauma.  And I am not prepared to care for children that are facing trauma.  I have four of my own children and I am not able to dedicate time to them to ensure they are feeling safe and cared for because I am in a constant state of anxiety and worry about everyone else's children.  There are little souls that are showing up to preschool this week.  Many of their teachers have gone home and so have their friends.  We don't know what their parents have told them.  We don't know what we should tell them.  We want to hug on them and comfort them and we do, but we don't know if their family is self-isolating and we don't know what germs they are carrying.  I am so mad at you Coronavirus.

Employers

You are showing people what type of people they work for. If the rest of the world is shutting down and an employer owns a business that is not an emergency service or a NECESSARY service and they are still making their employees show up every day, shame on them.  SHAME ON THEM.  I am so mad at you and at the Coronovirus.  My husband works for a local lumber company.  He is going to work.  He was told that he has to take PTO or unpaid leave if he can't be at work. His job is not an emergency right now.  People do not need lumber or windows (well maybe windows in case a storm blows in) or plans for their house right now.  They can wait.  I want my family to live.  I am so mad at you Coronavirus.

Social Media

Coronavirus, you have made social media even more addicting.  You are making it so that we spend time scrolling and sharing and reading and watching.  You are making us take time away from our children who need us.  I am so mad at you Coronavirus.

As a Parent

Coronavirus, you suck.  I am trying to be there for my kids.  Yesterday I didn't take a shower until 9pm.  I hardly ate.  I spent time on the phone talking to other teachers, center directors and the staff from my school who are worried about working and worried about their jobs and are worried about the families they care for.  My children heard me talking to all these people.  I am sick of talking about you.  I want to have ALL the time to cuddle my kids, ensure their safety, talk with them in depth about you and go on adventures.  And I will get to.  But right now you are making that so hard and I am so mad at you.

As an Employer

Coronavirus, my employees are already underpaid.  And now they may have to collect unemployment.  And I am going to do everything I can to make sure they still have a place to go back to work when you are gone.  But you are making it hard.  I want my employees and their families to be safe.  I want them to stay healthy.  I hate you Coronavirus.

People in General

Coronavirus.  You are making big decisions for a lot of people.  Decisions they don't want.  Decisions they never thought they would have to make.  Decisions they thought were years away or months away or weeks away.  Why do you get to decide for us?  I think a lot of people don't really like you right now Coronavirus.

BUT.

Coronavirus, you just might be lending a hand to an even bigger pandemic.  A pandemic of good.  A pandemic of love and caring and compassion and empathy and helping and adventure and curiosity and innovation.  A pandemic where we slow down, spend time as a family, go outside, forgo all the organized activities, eat supper each night as a family, connect over Facetime with grandparents, plan things we have only dreamed about but now have time to make a reality.  I may just end up liking you.  And thanking you.  But not today.  Today I have to make some big decisions - or wait, maybe you are making them for me.  

Always Trust Your Cape,

Kristen

 

 

 

 

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