Resources and tips for protecting our children from COVID delta variant and why wearing a mask is so important during these times for kids.
Adulting is hard… parenting is even harder, especially during this pandemic.
School has officially started here in Florida and sadly I just had to withdraw my children from their beloved public schools to enroll them into an online option at the Florida Virtual School. The reason… the risks currently outweigh the benefits when it comes to their education, safety, and health.
Oddly, I feel like I’m the only one who’s this worried.
- The 2021-2022 School Year isn’t Starting the Way we all Hoped
- Resources for Protecting our Kids from COVID-19
- Where to find Current COVID Stats Data
- Actions to Take to Protect Your Family from COVID-19
- COVID Statistics and Information for Parents to Pay Attention to in Florida
- Helpful Articles for Keeping Children Safe from COVID Delta Variant
- Resources for Families
At the doctor’s office today, there were rows of immunization records waiting for parents to be picked up. My girls’ public school was understanding when I asked for my daughter’s transcripts, I’m confident this wasn’t the first one to print today for a parent. However, my feed on Facebook is filling up with back-to-school photos as kids head back to school. Traditionally, this has always been one of my favorite times of the year and all those milestones of growing smiles.
So why do I feel like our family is one of the only ones feeling pushed to take action to prevent more cases of COVID in our local school district? Am I taking this too far? The final push to make our decision to keep our kids at home, was hearing that their lunch time would be 10 classes together in an already poorly ventilated cafeteria. We’re a fact driven family but was our decision based on my heart or my mind? The reality is that our local hospitals are reaching capacity for ICU beds, and it’s not looking good. Florida seems to be in it’s own world, with Texas close behind us.
Is anyone in a leadership position in our community watching the current statistic of outbreaks in Florida? It’s insane. Our local school board is taking a stand, but sadly they, along with our superintendent, are now in the national news and facing punishment by just requiring masks to be worn by all on school campuses.
I’m deeply concerned we are just the beginning here in our state and many states will follow due to the Covid delta variant.
Why is this so hard to ask for all who can to wear a mask?
Protecting Our Children from COVID 19 with Masks
As a mom of 3 and a former public school teacher, my decision to remove my kids from public school was incredibly heartbreaking to make. It took many sleepless nights, lots of reading from health experts, and tough conversations to come to this decision. I’m sharing these resources below with you to make it easy to keep up to date, things are changing rapidly. There’s a reason New Zealand just began a three-day lockdown after a single case is reported.
I know having a child attending a school, receiving direct instruction is best for them, especially after recent statistics published from this past school year. My girls are lucky, I work from home and have a background in education. I know this is a unique situation for our family. We even have a local online school option that keeps the funds in our county that we’ve signed our girls into. However, families shouldn’t be put in this position to make this type of decision. As soon as the number of positive cases drop and our healthcare system is not overburdened, my children will be right back to in-person learning. Keeping them protected is my job.
Can’t we just all agree to put on masks, get vaccinated, and follow the latest CDC guidelines to fight against the Delta variant? Clearly not, because sadly there are over 10,000 Florida students currently quarentined after the first few days of school.
Our current situation is putting parents into an impossible situation of having to choose between the health and life of their child and returning to school.
Florida’s Governor Ron Desantis and the Board Members of the Florida Department of Education are claiming that wearing a mask is a parent choice and is considered harassment to require masks on our school campus. A lawsuit has been filed by Florida parents on behalf of their children against Governor Ron DeSantis’s anti-mask stance.
Our schools are a location where the majority of our students don’t even have the personal option to be vaccinated. I’d argue the opposite, as a leader, choosing to create an unsafe environment for my child is a crime. Immunizations records are required for admission to Kindergarten, so adapting the same for COVID safety regulations is not a new concept for the better of our children’s lives.
We can get together and agree that it’s crucial to keep our student population safe. Can’t we?
All that’s happening right now before my eyes is so wrong on so many levels. We didn’t have to be finding ourselves in this situation. Cases and hospitalizations among children are on the rise, and the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus makes up about 90% of new infections among kids, according to experts. The recent data is showing that kids and teens represent about one in five new cases. Children under 12 are still ineligible for COVID-19 Vaccines, making schools a potentially dangerous environment without following the proper safety regulations.
I pushed my kids along this past school year as we trudged through the virtual school provided by my daughters’ public schools so that we’ll get to go back to the brick and mortar school this fall, once the vaccines are made available. I naively told them that the COVID-19 virus will become to be less positive cases, but it’s completely the opposite. Now they are even at more risk as a child.
My children put aside so many self-interests for the better of the community only to be restricted again to our community members’ negligence to get educated and stop listening to falsehoods.
– mask wearing
Why wouldn’t we be doing all we can to stay healthy and avoid risking our children’s lives. They have so much ahead of them in their futures. And now because of your choices to not vaccinate, my children (and sadly others too) will have a very strong memory of the nearly two years they were at home due to a virus that scientists worked miracles to create a vaccine for, several in fact, and yet less than half of all adults and teens are choosing to not get it.
How could expert medical advice become so sided and optional?
How did politics become so sided and involved in our school districts?
The 2021-2022 School Year isn’t Starting the Way we all Hoped
Going Back to school is already a very exciting and anxious time for our kids. Sadly our Covid postive numbers are higher than ever before, especially here in Florida.
Our local health experts are telling people how to keep the rate of infection down, but based on the numbers it appears that only half of us are listening. I heard in last night’s school board meeting that we currently have an incident of a parent knowingly to be positive, dropping their kids off at school. There was also a report of parents taking their potentially positive child to school, waiting for test results, because they had to go to work. As a community we need to find a better solution. This can’t continue.
We need our children to have access to the vaccination and proactive health safety plans in action before we place them in classrooms full of potential outbreaks of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Didn’t you see how badly in India the COVID-19 delta variant cases and deaths were?
We’re not immune to tragedy in America….. take action NOW!
After seeing these horrific images, perhaps every American will realize the truth: that the Covid-19 vaccine is what separates India’s ongoing tragedy from our present reality. And hopefully, they’ll decide to get vaccinated.”Robert Pearl, M.D.
Resources for Protecting our Kids from COVID-19
In July 2021, the CDC recommended that all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools wear masks while indoors, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated. They also recommend that everyone who is eligible for vaccination get the vaccine.
A huge acknowledgment to the many parents, teachers and students working to make this happen now in our schools. I see you with your mask and germ gel and spaced out classrooms. I know you’re trying the best you can with the situation at hand.
There are several other prevention strategies that, when layered together, should minimize the spread of COVID-19 in schools. These include physical distancing; screening, testing, and contact tracing; staying home when sick; and frequent handwashing.
- Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
- Coronavirus outbreak and kids: What needs to happen for schools to open safely?
- ‘This will be a tough year’: Thousands of kids are in COVID-19 quarantine across the US, and school has just begun
- COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools from America Academy of Pediatrics
- COVID-19 (coronavirus) in babies and children
- FDA grants full approval to Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
- Kids Can’t Get COVID-19 Vaccines Yet. But We Do Have Ways to Protect Them
Schools should also do their best to improve ventilation, by opening windows and doors, for example. Decisions about some of these prevention strategies may depend on levels of community transmission. As well as many school districts are restricted based on their public safety act policies.
What we’re asking of our teachers has gone above and beyond their contracts. They did an incredible job maintaining digital academy classes this past year. My heart breaks seeing my teaching friends and how stressful their daily lives have become at work. Our teachers deserve a working environment that is conducive to learning and safe for all, that’s not what we’re currently providing them.
Where to find Current COVID Stats Data
Know your local county statistics and surrounding areas.
Know the guidelines from the CDC. Are they being implemented in your child’s school and your local community, if not…. get writing! Make a call. It’s time to contact your local leaders and tell them how you feel. Use your voice to help to tell your local leaders what you want them to support. Share the research-based facts with them.
Actions to Take to Protect Your Family from COVID-19
Who to contact?
- local school board members
- county commissioners
- house representative
- state department of education
- local news station
- local newspaper
Will you RISE UP and be a VOICE? Here’s how
An estimated 1.5 million children worldwide lost a mother, father or other caregiving relative in the first 14 months of the pandemic, according to a new study. More than a million lost primary caregivers.”New York Times
As the numbers rise in the State of Florida of cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 the tension rises of school requirement masks. Why is this even a conversation?
Isn’t this our job… to keep kids safe and to provide the best care possible? Regardless of what role you play in a child’s life? Parents, teachers, pediatricians, school board members, department of education leaders, county commissioners, the mayor, and even the governor.
Sadly many of these are not currently aligning, especially within Florida.
As of August 2021, there is an alarming climb in rate of pediatric cases in Florida. Actually in the US and overall with pediatric cases increasing the most. As much as we want to pretend it doesn’t impact kids as much as adults, the reality is it’s even scarier. The reason is our kids aren’t supposed to die. Period. They are expected to live a full life. Yet current conditions in our health crisis are forcing our children to literally worry about sickness and death at alarming rates.
We need to talk about the pediatric bed situation in the USA. Because things are going to get really bad, real fast, unless people doing things to stop it.”Denise Dewald, MD
The first day of school approaches for all around the world and we’re worse off than we were a year ago this time in terms of the safety of our children as it relates to COVID-19. How can this be when scientists literally moved mountains to create a vaccine against COVID-19. In fact, they have made 3 vaccinations for US patients alone with many others available in other countries.
If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated.
Together we have an obligation to each do our part to prevent further transmission of COVID-19.
COVID Statistics and Information for Parents to Pay Attention to in Florida
(and frankly all families throughout the world)
I’ve put together a collection of articles and resources for parents to grasp the current conditions in Florida as it relates to the status of the spread of Covid-19 including the Delta Variant. If you have any other great sources you’ve found, feel free to add them below in the comments to share with others too.
- Hospitals in Southern U.S. Report Record Numbers of Children Hospitalized Amid Delta Surge
- 16-year-old dies of COVID-19 at Jacksonville
- Florida teen on a ventilator after COVID diagnosis
- School districts get creative in working around Florida’s mask mandate ban
- Some Florida School Disticts push ahead with mask mandates, defying DeSantis’s Threat to cut funds
- Delta and vaccinated parents: What people with kids under 12 need to know
- Florida governor’s office says state could withhold salaries of officials who enact school mask mandates
- Florida leads the nation in kids hospitalized for COVID
- Florida Gov. DeSantis promotes Regeneron, a COVID-19 treatment connected to one of his largest donors
- Florida and Texas had one-third of all US Covid-19 cases in past week
- A week of school mask mandate chaos
- After months of vaccine incentives, nation changes course (For the unvaccinated, life is about to get harder)
- Governor DeSantis Issues an Executive Order Ensuring Parents’ Freedom to Choose
- Biden Tells States That Ban Masks In Schools To Brace For ‘Legal Action’
- The Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s Students
- Florida’s COVID hospitalizations now exceed 17,000 and take up 55% of ICU beds
- Education Commissioner Recommends Sanctions Against Alachua School District for Mask Mandate
- Three More Florida School Districts Impose Mask Mandate After State Sanctions Two For Doing So
- State DEO Orders Alachua Broward Schools to Drop Mask Mandates
- Education secretary calls to encourage Florida superintendents in battle over masks
- More than half of Florida’s students now go to schools mandating masks in defiance of DeSantis
- Governor’s school mask-mandate ban illegal and unsupported, judge rules
“What if we, as a society, decided to take a more middle of the road approach? What if we looked at the data rather than our narrative? What if we listened to people caring for COVID patients and actual scientists dealing with the data more than we do Jim Acosta or Tucker Carlson (or our Facebook friend who found some “secret data”)?”Justin Qualls
Helpful Articles for Keeping Children Safe from COVID Delta Variant
We are in this together, and each and every one of us plays an important role in furthering the health and safety of ourselves, our neighbors, and our loved ones. It is the right thing to do — and medical experts say vaccination and masking are the best ways to do it.
It’s important to stay up to date with the latest science, here are the most recent publications to help to protect our families, especially how this is impacting our children.
- Delta and vaccinated parents: What people with kids under 12 need to know
- Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
- How To Keep Your Child Safe From The Delta Variant
- Kids do not need N95, KN95 masks at school amid COVID-19 surge, experts say
- School openings so far reveal science is right — masking works
- When school isn’t safe: ‘You feel like you are sending your child into a lion’s den
- Children hospitalized with COVID-19 in U.S. hits record number
- Our children will suffer if adults can’t get school Covid precautions right
- As school resumes, UF Health pediatrics expert gives advice on COVID-19 safety
- Protecting yourself against the delta variant
- What we now know about how to fight the delta variant of COVID
- How the COVID-19 delta variant affects kids
- Delta Variant: What We Know About the Science
- What’s your risk of getting Covid if you’re vaccinated?
- UF Health psychiatrist talks about the mental health challenges posed by COVID-19
- Doctors Debunk 9 Popular COVID-19 Vaccine Myths and Conspiracy Theories
- The Delta Variant Isn’t As Contagious As Chickenpox. But It’s Still Highly Contagious
- Still Confused About Masks? Here’s the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus
- Protect your child by getting them vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible
- Protecting Our Children: COVID-19’s Impact on Early Childhood and ACEs
- Three things to know about the long-term side effects of COVID vaccines
- Elementary School COVID Outbreak Shows Why Layers Of Safety Precautions Are Necessary
- How Does Wearing A Mask Protect Me (And Others) Against Covid’s Delta Variant?
- Teens Asked, We Answered: The Truth About COVID-19 Vaccines
Disclosure: This article was not written to provide medical advice. Medical issues should be handled by an appropriate medical professional instead of relying upon our website’s content as a substitute.
I’m so proud of the school districts across the nation that are standing up for our children to ensure their learning environments are safe by mandating masks. We can do this together when decisions are based on science and not politics. And if needed are providing virtual options for students having to be away from their classes due to exposure or illness.
I know things will return to a more “normalness” one day, just not yet. We need to be patient and listen to our health experts as we navigate this virus. Together, educated, we can reduce the lives impacted by COVID.
It can be so hard to know what is “real” or “true”, and how to make the best decision for you and your family. It is important to get good information in order to make the best-informed decisions possible. These days are so challenging to navigate, especially when it is life and death that could potentially be on the line.
I put together this guide to provide you with information to help make a difference. My heart is with everyone right now as we navigate through these challenging times as a parent. I wish there was a way to wave a magic wand and make our kids forget all that’s happened this past year and make it all better again. The truth is until we face the realities in front of us now, nothing will change and many more lives will be impacted.
Be safe and wear a mask for our kids. Have your child wear a mask.
Get your vaccination and encourage others to do their part too to protect our children and loved ones.
Resources for Families
- Helping Kids Cope with Changes due to COVID-19
- How to Work at Home with Kids during Covid-19
- Tips for Balancing Work and School at Home
- Helpful Tips for Staying Active at Home with Kids
- Survival Guide for Single Parents during Lockdown
- How to Talk to Kids About Tragic Events
- Play Will Be More Important Than Ever in Preschool This Year
- Elementary School Daily Planner
- Daily Preschool Schedule Samples
- How to Teach My Child to Wash Their Hands
- Advocating for our Childrens Tomorrow: Tips to Get Involved
- 30+ Virtual Field Trips for Kids
The three videos about COVID-19 and the mRNA vaccines are on the STARDUST MYSTERY YouTube Channel. The work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation.
- A Coronavirus story for Kids 1: How Grandpa Got COVID-19.
- Explaining COVID-19 mRNA vaccines: An Animated Story for Kids.
- Explaining our Bodies’ Factories: An Animated Story for Kids.
COVID 19 has upended the lives of children worldwide. With many children in jeopardy, I appeal to leaders at all levels to do everything in their power to cushion the impact of the pandemic – and protect our children.”António Guterres, UN Secretary-General