When my co-worker asked me today how my daughter was handling the pandemic, I wasn’t sure how to answer.
I’m fortunate in that she’s so young she doesn’t have a lot of close friends yet so she hasn’t bugged me repeatedly about going to friends’ houses.
That’s not to say Anna, age 6, doesn’t know about the virus to some degree.
From the very beginning, I tried to explain to her that she couldn’t go to school or dance class or to Walmart because of this virus.
I told her that people were getting very sick and we didn’t want to get sick or accidentally get someone else sick. Based on that explanation, it was pretty easy to get her to wear a mask.
She doesn’t know or understand the details of the virus and what it can do a person’s body. She doesn’t understand the inability to breathe, ventilators or death.
Yet she knows she needs to wear a mask and she asks me why others don’t.
When she returned to dance class for the last few weeks — after nearly three months off due to the pandemic — Anna put on a mask with her leotard, tights and tap shoes and hopped out of the vehicle.
In her class, Anna told me that only she and the one boy in her class wore masks. When she asked another girl why she wasn’t wearing a mask, the girl told her “My mom said masks are stupid and corona is stupid so I don’t have to wear a mask.”
Anna turned to me and said, “Mommy, corona is real and she should wear a mask.” That was all she said and she went back to playing.
In that moment, I was amazed at how much my six-year-old had absorbed and knew. She’s wise beyond her years.
Now when she watches television, Anna will ask if a show or a news program was recorded “before corona” because there will be more than 10 people in a group or people without masks. Sometimes it’s from “before corona” and sometimes it’s not.
Honestly it’s hard to explain to her why people don’t wear masks and she often asks me that very question.
I wish I could tell her that everyone wears masks, that everyone wants this pandemic to go away, that it will be over soon.
I want her to be able to go to school and have a school experience like we all knew “before corona”. I want her to be able to go to summer camps, dance class and every other thing she can.