Take A Deep Breath

Today is a day that parents all over New York State have been anxiously waiting for.  Governor Cuomo is scheduled to announce whether at least some schools in the state will be allowed to open.  People are generally anxious and soewhat frightened about how his decision, and those of their school district, will impact their children and their family as a whole.  Their first concern is the welfare of the children…..will they be able to be safely protected from the COVID-19 virus?  But the associated concern about whether parents, especially of single-parent families, will be able to go back to work or not, looms just as large.  While some can financially “get by” for a few more months, whether on unemployment or what savings  they have, others cannot.  And they worry how long these children can go without having permanent effects from lack of free play and social interaction, and the burden of fear they carry at a young age.  Some are lucky and parents have been able to counteract resulting loneliness and depression. But some children keep it buried deep inside, and some parents don’t know how to ask.

We encourage our readers to take a deep breath and be patient for just a little more time.  As states go, New York has been one of the luckiest places to be if you’re going to be in a pandemic in the US.  Careful step-by-step planning is what kept us safe.  And careful step-by-step planning is what will get children back to school safely.  In most cases it will be a hybrid of continued video study from home and little by little entrance back into a classroom. But also, in most cases, if parents are reluctant to have their child back in school, they will have the option to do home study with them.  There will be at least one more stimulus check coming to help ease the financial burden.  Meanwhile each school district is formulating a plan they believe is best for their students.  And for parents who cannot wait to go back to work, child care options and financial support for them are popping up. And a vaccine will be on the way, as soon as it is safe and effective.  This nightmare may be over relatively soon, if we are patient. Be patient with your children. They may be feeling more stress than you know. Tell them it’s ok to worry now and then, because that is how we learn to work through problems and get past them.

So, we have had enough worry over the past 6 months.  Take a deep breath.  Better times are coming.

Where Will The Money Come From

The amounts of money already doled out during this COVID crisis are astounding.  Of course much of it was needed to keep the wheels of busiess and government going, save people’s lives, and make sure that those who are in unfortunate circumstances are fed, clothed, and have a place to stay.  But now more and more programs are coming out of the woodwork….. to cover months of back rent (whether it was paid or not), to help not just the homeless but those at risk of becoming homeless and other COVID related stress.  Hospitals are spending massive amounts of money on advertising, sometimes because people are reluctant to go where they think the virus might be, but more often because they fear the cost.  The State of New York now says it will give $1.7 Million to hospitals that have been financially stressed by the pandemic.  Lose of sales tax will be a burden on towns and will be passed on to their residents.

When does it end.  Just where is all of this money going to come from.  Likely it will be paid mostly in taxes paid by you and me.  Some of the giant corporations will contribute big checks here and there, but if you are not one of the lucky ones that will benefit, well, too bad. 

Recent statistics show that barely a handful of Orange County cities, towns and villages have increased their population over the past few years.  Almost ALL have lost homeowners.  Why?  It’s not because this is not a nice place to live.  It’s because they simply cannot afford to stay.  Sure, some residents are moving up from the city and suburbs, but will it be enough to cover the massive costs the rest of us have borne, and will bear due to likely rebuilds of schools and hospitals to make them more virus safe. 

If you think many or at least some of these costs will be shared by the Federal Government, you may be right.  But don’t be fooled that you see one hand offering goodies, while the other has already taken them back. We pay for it ALL.

A Return to Some Normalcy

With the New York Air Show and Little League games scheduled in the near future, life feels more normal for many than it has for more than half a year.

A version of going out for dinner and friends, and going to the mall for a shopping spree is putting smiles on many ladies’ faces. Grocery shopping may not be 100 percent normal, but the shelves are much better stocked, face masks are getting more attractive and more comfortable, and new virus treatments and a vaccine are not that far away.In general, going places does not feel frightening as it did a month or two ago. In fact, we are (most of us) having some actual “FUN”.

But we’d better not take these new freedoms for granted.  We got them because most people in New York used good common sense and followed safety precautions.  But there is plenty of virus still around.  If we continue to follow sensible guidelines, chances are that we can move forward to holiday gatherings with family and friends, some privacy time for parents with children in school at least part-time, successful return to work, and yes normal life celebrations .

Or, if we toss caution to the wind for a day or two, we could lose it all and take a leap back to the horrors of March.  So let’s broaden those smiles a little, enjoy our new freedoms, but don’t lose sight of how high the stakes are.

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