Molly Livingstone

New Government…Same Old Tricks

His one day of fun.
His one day of fun. (courtesy)

One day. After a year or years (how do we even count this anymore, especially when Corona years are much longer and draggier than the average) and lockdowns, quarantines, Corona tests, missed birthday parties, flights, family events and whatever else I can’t even think of in this Delta fog.

After one day of summer camp, my son is sitting right back in his quarantine jail cell. Sure the sentence is shorter this time, seven days compared to the 14 we spent last summer…but the chains are still just as tight.

One day is all it took to take us right back to where we started. In fact a year ago, almost to the date, we were halfway through our first quarantine. Torture. Wine. Because it was 5 p.m. somewhere, and in my world time had stopped anyways.

The kid went to one day of summer fun. This disastrous school year: online learning, then hybrid, masks, no water fountains, different schedules everyday. Different rules. Different teachers.

And then school summer camp, which is really just a fancy way of saying summer school.

But this week, he was all packed and ready for the real deal. A year of real summer fun. He had learned some of his new friends’ names on the first day and would find out more on the second day at the pool. A pool! A real live pool! He had his swimsuit and smile already on. The kids all ate and prepared to walk a block over to the recreational center, and suddenly, just as quickly as he had drunk his sugary drink (that his mom would never allow him to have at home), they were told to sit down and wait. They were told they were not going to the pool. They would be going home.

The camp had recommended kids get tested for Corona before they started camp. And for most, that means you test your kids and wait patiently for the results. But for the few who do not care for society’s norms, they do not wait for anyone or any results. And so, yes, these parents sent their kid to camp, having tested the child, but not actually knowing if he or she had Corona.

One day was all they had to wait to get those results. But they didn’t. So now one day is all my kid got to have for his summer camp. Instead he is confined to the walls of our apartment. No outdoor space. Just him and Corona time.

It is almost a form of time travel, but the Jewish ironic kind, where you are somehow stuck in that awkward puberty stage instead of your beautiful youth.

It’s a whole year later since that first quarantine (we are now on number seven) and even a new government, but has anyone really seen a change? We were promised a better life with the vaccines. Less mask wearing and more travel opportunities. But, here we are still counting the sick and already mentally preparing for the next lockdown.

How does the government continue on without a clear plan and so clearly trampling its citizens? The camp staff tells me they are just as confused since there are no clear rules to even try to abide by. Those in quarantine don’t know what test to take or when and why it matters. The questions seem endless, and I am afraid that time will shortly seem that way too.

And I get it. We don’t want to overwhelm the healthcare system or it will crash. But what about those that suffer emotionally and mentally? And the education system and the kids that aren’t really learning? And the unemployed who don’t have unemployment money and can’t look for work because it’s August vacation time, September holiday time, and October Lockdown time? And Corona…all the time.

That sounds like a system crashing too.

But for our leaders, they don’t face any of that, or us. They seem to struggle to get their shit together to make basic budget decisions or if they will sit in the same room with each other. They have plenty of money with their inflated salaries that we pay for in high taxes. They probably have therapists too, vitamins that they don’t have to order from iHerb and be careful not to hit their $75 limit. And we all know that at Rosh Hashanah, while we may celebrate the new year locked in an old cell, they will loosen the rules and their masks to be with family.

I might sound cynical. Might…OK I am. But as a parent in a pandemic, that doesn’t seem to end but merely shift form, how else should I feel? This was supposed to be their summer of fun. Not their summer of one and done.

I can’t be the only mother with this tale of woe. There must be fathers out there wondering how many sick days they have left? The parents who gave up on a flight to somewhere, a weekend away, and now can’t even go to the beach?

New government, but same old tricks. Where are you with a strategy? And not something that resembles one of Snow White’s dwarfs. I am of course referring to the happy badge. Instead of a badge I would prefer my leaders to wear their thinking caps, and take action instead of playing the defense. Suit up, if we are still running with that theme and make a plan that you can stick to. And maybe one day things will be different.

Instead of one day away from our next Corona test. Quarantine. Lockdown. Or disappointing our kids. Or ourselves.

“One day” used to be the way we started fairytales. Now it seems to be the way we end an angry blog about our kid’s one day of summer. 

About the Author
Larry David once said, 'I'm not an inventor. I'm an improver. I improve things that are broken.' Whether it’s improvisation, comedy sketch, or stand up, Molly Livingstone is improving life in Israel one chuckle at a time, with an honest and hilarious view of the Holy Land.
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