Imagine your house during lockdown... without your parents there!
Our parents are in the healthcare profession: doctors, nurses, PAs, medics, Hatzolah, first responders, lab technicians… all the people who take care of sick people. Usually this can be a hectic job, but since March, it’s been like living in an alternate reality. Healthcare workers have been going nonstop since the start of the coronavirus, while we’ve been waiting for them at home.
We’re really proud of our parents! The whole world has been saluting them and thanking them as heroes. And they are. They are the ones who have not been able to take a break in months. When COVID-19 hit they were just as blindsided as everyone else, but when everyone else got to hunker down at home and get their info from Jewish news sites, they had to run to work and try to figure this virus out, all while trying to protect themselves. Not only that, but many workers had to pull extra shifts because offices and hospitals were so understaffed because of the workers who had gotten sick.
You know what your house looked like at the height of the lockdown? School conferences, classes around the clock, meals and snacks around the clock, younger kids needing to be entertained… now try to imagine what your house would have looked like without your parents there! That means YOU would have to be in charge of all those things; all the conference numbers, your brothers getting on their classes, breakfast, lunch, supper, fights, boredom, etc. Imagine if you had to juggle that all day, day after day — when you have classes yourself! Well, that’s us.
We went through the past few months hearing about so many doctors and Hatzolah members who were on the “front lines” and didn’t make it. Do you know how scary that was for us? We watched our parents go to work every day not knowing if they’d catch the virus. Our parents were exposed several times, and that meant that even after things began to ease up, we all had to quarantine all over again. Also, because our parents are in contact with unwell people, we always had to be more careful not to allow ourselves to be exposed so that we didn’t pass any germs on to our parents.
We’re just kids. We had all the same fears, emotions, and lack of security as everyone else, but most of our friends had their parents home with them to give them that extra security. We didn’t. And when our parents do finally come home, they are wiped out and exhausted — physically and emotionally. Yes, we know our parents are heroes, and we so appreciate the chalk mosaics and Shabbos flowers and candy platters that concerned and wonderful neighbors sent to honor our parents. We’re really proud of them for what they do. We just wish that people would recognize that we’re also sort of heroes for what we had to do and endure over this time. We were thrown into a situation in which we had to rise to the occasion and step up to the plate. We tried to do that as best as we could and wish people would notice that too. We don’t need air shows or parades, but a little acknowledgment would go a really long way!
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 824)
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