In late 2020 (which feels like 20 years ago now), I started calling my kids “COVID kids”. My then 18-month old ended every nursery rhyme with “Go wash your hands”. My preppie, in his first year of school, had spent almost as much time in remote learning as in the classroom.
Two years later, they’re still COVID kids. And like many families, they have just had COVID.
The kids and I tested positive on the same day and I felt terrible both physically and mentally. I felt like I had let my children down. We had been fairly cautious and yet had still caught the virus.
Thankfully, they were fine other than some fatigue and runny noses. After surviving the world’s longest lockdown in Melbourne they weren’t happy to be back indoors, this time in isolation! Some well-intentioned friends sent me links to articles with titles like ‘Top Tips for the COVID-positive’ and yet these tips mostly brushed over a common reality for COVID-postitive parents: how to recover while your children are full of beans?!
It is all well and good to tell people to “stay in bed”, “meditate”, “eat healthily”, “pick up a hobby” and “relax” but this isn’t always possible when you have young mouths to (constantly) feed and young brains to entertain.
We were lucky. We were fortunate to have a wonderful community of people who dropped off food for me (mostly soups), boxes full of craft supplies for the kids and lent us books and games for the kids. This helped boost the kids’ spirits and provide new (but borrowed) entertainment. As my partner got COVID a few days after us, he, the TV and I were able to take turns minding the children.
Not every parent has that luxury, such as single parents or families where everyone is sick as a dog at the same time. Whatever it takes you to get through this in one piece is the way to get through. And then some families don’t even experience any symptoms (lucky ducks)!