So many of my clients and myself as well had high hopes at the beginning of summer this year that the fall would bring much needed normalcy to school going and to life. We have, once again, been bitterly disappointed.
Cases here were fairly minimal at the beginning of summer. We had no mandates of any kind here. People were free to get out and enjoy their summer. And enjoy it they did in record numbers to our state parks and festivals.
The cases did not start to increase with this newfound freedom. Most people were outside with distance and likely not spreading the virus as much. Only about half the population of my state is fully vaccinated. We are very rural in so much of the state and have very few people who live here only one million people in the entire state.
The cases started to creep up very slowly as summer went on. As we got closer to the start of the school year, they started creeping up even more. We now average as of this writing about 350 cases a day in the entire state that are new. We have very low death numbers in the single digits most days and our hospitalizations are about 200 with COCVID for the entire state currently.
The public school districts in the bigger towns and cities and by bigger I mean more than 25,000 people, have implemented masking all day in schools. Last year at the end of the year there were no mask mandates here. Sporting events are having limited spectators, two per athlete. No assemblies at the schools. Those not wearing masks, students and teachers are not being allowed in schools where there are mandates. In smaller communities there are no mandates here.
There will be no school dances, no homecoming parades, and if athletes have a rise in the number of cases there will be no sports. If this goes on into next year there will be no prom, no graduation in person and on and on it goes.
My school age clients are suffering emotionally from the constant loss of normalcy in their lives. Things that those who will graduate this school year have worked 12 years to be able to do and experience. School constantly being disrupted with quarantining and education that is constantly interrupted making learning and retention very difficult. Plus all the social disruptions.
It is very hard to help clients work through this as it is not something they can have control over this loss of normalcy. It is what it is. So we try and work through the emotional parts of it working on acceptance of what is and letting go of things we cannot control and will not be able to have.
I see anger, frustration, sadness, and grief. Lots and lots of grief. And for grief there is nothing but going through the process that continues to be present day after day after day. There seems to be no moving on from it because it just keeps coming in waves and waves.
Unfortunately, this is not a blog about how one can manage this lack of normalcy. It is about how we just keep going. Acceptance, letting go, and keeping on walking. Grief in an ongoing process just keep walking.
No situation ever stays the same. Change is constant.
And we have to hope that one day this too will change for the better and normal can come back to our lives once more.
Until next time be well, Deborah