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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

How to burst your bubble...

Ready. Set. Go. Think of three words that describe a bubble; i'll give you 30 seconds {insert Jeopardy theme here}.....


Magical - Delicate - Iridescent ; perhaps yours are more concrete and less airy.


There is actually a website dedicated to bubble descriptions and has over 945 words to choose from. I clearly have no excuse next time I am forced into a team building exercise that asks for three words to describe myself. I would like to think I am more complex and interesting than a bubble; however as it takes the average reader ~ 7 minutes to read 900 words and my blogs average ~ 5 minute reads.... In the spirit of growth, I am just going to assume that I am surrounded by above average readers.


In the world of COVID the delicate nature of a bubble has been replaced by the reinforced security of Fort Knox. You want to be in my families bubble; I will require a dossier of all the things. Do you know how to don and doff a mask? What song do you sign while washing your hands? How many years have your hands aged thanks to hand sanitizer? You know, those typical getting to know you questions. You could be a serial killer; however, if you answer those questions correctly, your passport just might be stamped for entry.


We spent the past seven days in a bubble away from our bubble. We all needed a change of scenery even with work needing to be done. A few days of not having to reinforce social distancing or look like I am about to rob the grocery store or my colleagues. As I have shared in previous posts my husband is immunocompromised and an asthmatic. A medical over achiever. I watched him almost die on three separate occasions last year. So I take our bubble seriously. Responsibly. Fiercely.


Now school is back on the horizon and I have two children under the age of 8, one of whom has special needs. This weekend my daughter asked my husband if he could stand in 30 feet of water; yep, these kids really know what six feet means. For the record my husband is over six feet tall, a walking daily reminder of social distancing, my children still ask if he can stand in 30 feet of water. My kids are pros at hand washing; the bizarre parent that I am , I taught proper hand hygiene. However, my child with special needs can't keep anything out of his mouth and catching a cough or sneeze is non-existent. We have been reading the school notices on precautions they are taking for the school year and how they plan to minimize exposure. On paper the plans are great and cross t's and dot i's. My concern, not every family follows COVID precautions.


Raise your hand if you have been in a store where people aren't wearing masks;

Raise your hand if you see people touching their face while wearing a mask;

Raise your hand if you see people in large groups closer than six feet and not wearing a mask; if you didn't raise your hand, please message me, we are moving to your town.


We have kept our bubble small. My children as essentially hostages as is my husband. I am the only one who leaves the house to work or run errands. No one is allowed to enter our home, except the nanny. The rare occasions we have take way, it is left on the porch and no human interaction occurs. I am starting to sound like the next episode of Dateline.


The idea of school and thousands of bubbles mixing in the bubble machine who have never interacted, terrifies me. In my personal opinion I believe there are still too many unknowns and not enough data to provide concrete support on children and COVID. Also, there are adults working in the school system; what if they get sick and their colleagues get sick and their significant others get sick.......bubbles will start to burst.


Where I work if you have a colleague who tests positive for COVID and you spent more than 10 minutes with them, under six feet of distance, and without a mask, you are furloughed for two weeks. What is the contingency plan for when that happens in the school system? I fully appreciate that on most days we are all winging this as none of us have ever experienced this. There was no training on " what to do when a pandemic strikes," "how to keep up morale when a pandemic forces a pay cut or furlough," "how to teach your kids that they can only love people from six feet away." My six year old daughter will likely be running for mayor in the next election. She is verbose, overly confidant, strong willed, sassy, and runs in overdrive. These traits are also a work in progress and refinement. She loves with all her might. She is not a sit at this table and look at your friend six feet away compliant individual.


Working in healthcare I know enough to be dangerous. How do I make first grade, second grade, and my husband a priority? How can I ensure the health and safety of all three of them? Every parent knows that their child will likely get some kind of bug during the school year...pink eye, cold, flu, stomach flu, and my personal favorite, head lice. Which yes, I had head lice three years ago thanks to my son who got it at school......my mommy had to treat me for lice at the age of 32. Multiple times. Never again.


Whether you are a card carrying member of team anxiety or not. this is one hell of a decision. The shitty part is that there isn't a great answer. The first half of 2020 has been hunger games; the start of the school year literally seems like Effie is about to tell us "may the odds be ever in your favor." How do I prepare my kids for back to school without terrifying them of the potential repercussions if you cant socially distant or your friend cant or *gasp* you teacher had to get within six feet to teach you. This isn't head lice. This is a likely ICU stay for daddy with intubation... I can still hear their little voices asking if daddy was going to die last year. You don't unhear that or unsee those little faces and terrified eyes.


We have crafted our magical bubble. Iridescent and delicate. We are slowly floating and learning to enjoy our speed. Sending my daughter back to school in 5 weeks at the moment seems like placing her in front of the firing squad. Will she be able to dodge and weave the virus? Is this like modern day frogger? Do I have to pick which kid needs to be in school more?


When your bubble is fragile - you do all you can to protect it and yourself. Is something going to come along and want to pop it or chase it. Will something happen to turn a fragile and delicate bubble into a frozen sphere of impermeable illness.


Perhaps we will become homesteaders and i'll learn to do homestead things. A modern day Green Acres. Perhaps the next Grant Wood will depict us in an American Gothic(esque) painting.


...who am I kidding...unless I am allowed to have goats.


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Josephine Schmidt
Josephine Schmidt
Jul 13, 2020

I wish I could kiss you and make it all better ... ❤️️

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