No, the homemade masks will not prevent all transmission , but they are better than nothing. I do not have a source to cite, I’m simply going on what I can <scarcely> remember about droplet transmission. Sometimes, ‘better than nothing,’ is the best one can do. That does not give us free pass or the expertise or authority to slam one’s efforts for falling short of perfection.
No, distance learning is not equivalent to what we’re used to. The teachers I know are doing all they can. The two students I am in close contact with are performing typically. One in my house is working hard to do all he/she can to succeed. The other is doing as little as he/she can to get by. It’s not a reflection of either of my kids’ intellect. It’s not a reflection of the efficacy of their educators. Neither of my children will be where they would have had they finished the school year in typical fashion. But they will be ok. And when this is over, our education system will regroup. Distance learning is not perfect, but it is better than nothing.
I have a friend (Hi Al!) who has repeatedly made known his disdain for the phrase ‘it is what it is.’ Normally, I echo his sentiments (but of course that doesn’t mean I don’t torment him by saying it anytime I possibly can), but if ever there was a time for this being a mantra, I think this would be it.
Growing up I frequently heard or read the serenity prayer. I think it was a byproduct of my father being a fairly in demand clergy in our small town for recovering alcoholics to reach out to when it was time for their ‘fifth step.’ I do not claim to be completely familiar with the in’s and out’s of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, but I’m pretty sure somewhere in the mix falls the serenity prayer.
Prayer for Serenity
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
There is oh so much I cannot change right now. My federal government’s response (or lack thereof) to this epidemic OR the response (or lack thereof) of governors of states bordering mine- last I knew, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Iowa had no shelter in place orders; making Minnesota the epitome of the Do Not Pee In the Pool Zone of the upper midwest. The fact that my husband and I do not necessarily share the same priorities when it comes to binge watching shows (I think now is the perfect time to knock out Ken Burns’ Country Music, then move on to finish The Vietnam War– both of which we simply have not had time to finish; meanwhile my husband says, “We started ‘Hunters,” we gotta FINISH”). The reality that I cannot force my nearly 18 year old to go outside and exercise for a bit, because I know it would make him feel better and be easier to live with.
Control what you can. Extend grace to everyone around you. Entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, you don’t have to tweet or post every thought that crosses your mind (yes, I see the irony in me saying that). Err on the side of grace, understanding, and compassion when you can; but also acknowledge utilizing the hide or unfriend or other equivalents can absolutely qualify as self care these days.
Be well, friends.