LETTERS

A lesson in empathy

Posted 7/29/21

To the Editor, Each morning before we left for school we would ask the kids, do you have your backpack, lunchbox and water bottle? Great. Let's get in the car and go to school. Now, it's, does everyone have a clean mask? Do you have a backup mask?

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LETTERS

A lesson in empathy

Posted

To the Editor,

Each morning before we left for school we would ask the kids, do you have your backpack, lunchbox and water bottle? Great. Let’s get in the car and go to school.

Now, it’s, does everyone have a clean mask? Do you have a backup mask? Awesome, let’s go to the car.

For the last 16 months we’ve all been wearing masks, we begged for this to be over, stating once it was we’d been kinder, wouldn’t rush around on weekends and do whatever the doctors have said to do to get past it. Well; the doctors told us to stay home and limit out trips to the stores.

We would wipe down things before they came into the house, wave to neighbors and hold conversations across our yards. We took more drives places just to escape the same 4 walls in our house and we did home improvement projects since no one could go into the office.

Everyone; everywhere made sacrifices for the greater good.

And now, school is coming up quickly and there’s yet another debate to mask, or unmask? Homeschool, distance learn or do a hybrid of all 3.

Parents of kids who suffer from asthma, type 1 diabetes or cancer (to name a few) are petrified of sending their kids back without a straight answer. Do we mask, does everyone mask?

I’m all for personal choice and I’m all for doing what’s best for your family. Last year, we chose to homeschool, my husband and I agonized over the decision. We talked for hours, in the days and weeks of the summer. What was the safest thing for our family. The answer was always. Homeschool. Yes, our kids missed their friends and yes they missed out on ice cream parties and walk-a-thons. But for us, this was our safest option.

Now, they’re going back, with no idea how the classroom will look, wearing masks, not wearing masks. Eating lunch in their room or the cafeteria, having full recess without masks since they’ll be outside. There are a lot of unknowns.

For everyone’s sake, safety and protection, it shouldn’t be left up to every district. One rule across the board. Keep it easy and simple. We can reevaluate in the winter. But remember this isn’t about you or me, it’s about our friends whose spouse has cancer and it’s about the grandparents who have emphysema. This is bigger than us, we have a real moment to teach our kids about empathy and doing what’s right for everyone. Even if it is a minor inconvenience.

Emily Howe

Warwick

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