It’s been well over six months since we had our lives turned upside down by the arrival of the novel coronavirus. This has been an experience that most of us would prefer to forget! Yet, we are not out of the woods and we are now entering flu season, once again. With rules changing continuously, how well are we adapting and what lessons can we learn from this challenging experience?
Let’s talk first about the intense change we found as people lost their jobs and their businesses. While some jobs are slowly returning as businesses do the same, others are gone forever. If we are lucky enough to still have our income, we should consider, as good neighbors and human beings, to try to assist those who are facing adversity. Whether it is a helping hand or a donation, don’t forget that your care and consideration is needed and deeply appreciated.
On another note, while you may be working, your child(ren) may concurrently be attending school virtually. How do you balance trying to get your work done while your child(ren) are looking to you to help them master the concepts they are watching on their computer screen? This is a dilemma that parents are facing everywhere. And now, with schools in the process of reopening, should you send your child back to school or is it best to keep him/her home? Make that decision by first considering medical needs. Is your child’s immune system compromised? Are there adults in the house with health needs? Consult with the medical professionals as each situation is different. Once you weigh health needs, then find out about the cleanliness and health procedures your school has put into place as safety is a number one concern. Lastly, will the teacher be returning to school or will your child(ren) return to school, but the teacher will be teaching virtually? Consider that paradigm, also, as you finalize your decision.
What about the changes we face as the state reopens? Should you: (a) continue to wear a mask? (b) enter a crowded restaurant or bar? (c)wear a mask when you work out? (d) loosen restrictions in your condominium? Again, the most important thing you can do is to keep yourself and others around you safe. Masks have been proven to restrict the spread of germs. While your state or local city may establish less restrictive guidelines, it doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to follow the procedures that worked best for you over these past many months. Wash your hands continuously, wear your mask and don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. These simple actions will help to keep you safer.
oncurrently, the mental health issues surrounding this pandemic continue to be present.
Increased anxiety and depression are not to be minimized. Be aware that you and your neighbors, family members and colleagues may react differently to situations than they may have a year ago. Tempers are shorter and that creates uncomfortable interactions. Be patient, but also ask for help if you need it or suggest that others do the same. The City of Aventura has a link to a mental health hotline on the City’s website. This 24-hour toll-free hotline offers free bilingual emotional support: 833.848.1762 or 833.848.1764.
All in all, this journey is not over and the choices you make affect not only you, but those around you. Try to stay safe, offer a kind word to a neighbor, a “thank you” to an essential worker and an “I love you” to a dear friend and/or family member. We know that it takes a village to raise a child. I think we can all agree that it takes the support of the village to help each one of us to conquer this pandemic and to come out better on the other side.
Dr. Linda Marks is a former Superintendent of Schools in Illinois and former Head of School at Hochberg Preparatory on the Beth Torah Campus. She is also a Commissioner in the City of Aventura. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Political advertisement paid for by Linda Marks, Non-Partisan, for Aventura City Commissioner, Seat 1 Dr. Linda Marks, PO Box 802403, Aventura FL 33280