Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

When COVID-19 Hits Close to Home…

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I’m gonna start this post out with something nice before it turns morose. I asked my kid last night, after she did her daily “it’s not fair that we’re living through this self isolation thing” (a totally justified daily frustration) what are the things she would want to do on the first day back… and she said immediately “host a hugging Party” with her grandmas and friends and cousins.

For days now I have been wondering why education has been so focused on how do we “keep going” despite everything and not focusing enough on the socioemotional elements of what’s going on (I’ll worry about the economic longterm ramifications later) and the looming fear of losing a loved one or getting infected ourselves.

I always had in the back of my mind that perhaps someone at WHO has OCD and that we will discover this is an exaggerated experiment in human surveillance and body control, but the infection rate and deaths and impact on healthcare systems worldwide is showing this threat is real and frightening and not some form of political health-terrorism

Last night it hit home. Someone I know (a close friend of many of my close friends, but someone I know casually) passed away from pneumonia…and people suspect it was coronavirus but it hadn’t been diagnosed and deteriorated so fast that they were not able to save her. Now, first of all, I’m Muslim and I have faith that God has a plan, that she’s in a better place, that He knows best and this is His plan for her and her family. But of course it’s tragic to hear and suddenly it’s not something that happens to strangers and elderly people but people you know and the impact on empathy is so so different.

Aside from everything I wrote recently (here and here) about prioritizing kindness and equity in all this, we need to remember that some us may lose loved ones throughout all this. That social isolation may not be our biggest problem, but rather be something that exacerbates our grief when we or loved ones fall sick or worse. I think we thought modern medicine was beyond this kind of scale of spread of infectious diseases? The H1N1 and similar never reached this scale. I gotta go now. But needed to get this out. Sorry it isn’t deeper.

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