Family life during the time of Covid-19
Here I am, back after several weeks in which I have not uploaded an article to this website.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, I have realized how rich and diverse the whole subject of child education and family life has been covered. Wherever one looked, inputs, activities for the home, ideas on how to explain the topic to children were published. Psychologists explained how to deal with it constructively, and kindergartens, schools and other institutions were extraordinarily creative in their efforts to provide children with exciting and supportive material for home schooling – all this almost overnight! There were also a lot of free offers for many online platforms for children and teenagers, and with that they too contributed their share during this time.
For me as a blogger, it was a time when I dared to tackle something that had been on my mind for a long time, but which needed a good deal of overcoming: no longer to limit myself to writing, but to include videos as well!
But now back to the topic: Family life during the time of Covid-19.
Who could have foreseen that our March, April and May would be so much different from what was planned?
Benny did not know if his business would survive this crisis; our family holidays in the South of France naturally fell through. No more school and no more meetings of any kind, all these were big changes, especially for our children.
As parents we were faced with facts and regulations that we could not change, a future that we could not foresee.
Of course the task now was how we would let these facts shape our lives, our family.
It was a perfect time to teach our kids where our security lies.
That no matter how much toilet paper we have in the house – we never fall deeper than into the hands of God.
Our kids asked Benny, as they overheard a conversation of someone’s business going down;
“Papi, what about our Business – will it survive this ?!“
He looked at them, and softly answered:
“I don’t know. The only thing I know is that we build our lives on a rock; this rock is Jesus Christ and all the promises we find in the word of God of how he cares and provides for us, how he has our lives in His hands. That’s what we know to be true even in this situation of the virus.”
He transmitted that deep peace and security to our kids (and to me) all throughout these past weeks. Him having such a peaceful, strong and comforting attitude made our whole home filled with these very same attributes.
On a personal level, I had to choose more deliberately what my focus was, to stay in this same peace.
I was outraged about the ways the mainstream media reported during this time.
The news were filled with horrifying predictions, fearsome reports all over the world – followed by a society that reacted with fear, panic and depression. I know from several people who contemplated suicide in the light of these news and predictions, being overwhelmed with hopelessness and fear. – You have my heartfelt compassion, if you also felt that way!
Others reacted with panic shopping ridicules amount of toilet paper and pasta or shaming and blaming the people they suspected had contributed to the spread of the virus.
Facing this reality, we took the opportunity to teach our children another important basic truth:
The media doesn’t report simple facts.
Articles almost never are carefully investigated journalistic pieces (in fact, individual journalists at the media are usually discouraged of digging deeper on a subject) – and most of the time lack the inclusion of trustworthy basic sources. Instead, it bombards us with headlines which often influence our thoughts and mindsets without us even realizing it.
As we don’t have television in our home, our children were never confronted with the news shown there. But one day, picking up a newspaper, I saw a young man portrayed on the front page:
“It’s gotten me” – three days in the intensive care unit” .
Reading through his story, this young man, perfectly healthy and athletic had spent 3 days in the hospital with covis-19. He talked about how those three days there seemed to take forever. There was no mention that his disease had ever been life threatening. However, the article elaborated on how hard the time was for him personally. The title of the article was:
“It can hit anyone!”.
Tell me: Why in the world would a big newspaper like that choose that cover and emphasize a story like that, if the statistical facts are clear that this man was not even among the risk group? To make people more careful? Well, I think people were already panicked. I certainly understand that the experience wasn’t pleasant for this young man. And yet, what drives a newspaper to make a serious issue out of something, when it actually isn’t one?
We used that particular article to show our kids what media can do with us. How we need to gather information ourselves, considering all possible sources, while getting as close as possible to the origin of them – and then make conclusions with our own intelligence, understanding and common sense.
There is some importance in knowing the government directives about the community guidelines. But when we fill our minds and hearts with these news from radio, TV and newspapers, it will inevitably fill our hearts and minds with fear and make us overreact on many levels.
- Have you ever felt that when you are worried, you struggle to be present with your family?
- Have you ever caught yourself overreacting by shopping excessively, getting irritated with your neighbour who doesn’t follow the guidelines as he should or shaming and accusing people who trigger even more fear in you (like those shopping without a facial mask to protect others)?
- Have you ever felt that your eating habits (or other compulsive behavior) surfaced more than normal?
Fear is a powerful force which affects us on every level of our being (soul, body and spirit) and we’ve been determined to teach our kids how to lead a life that is not shaped by what the media tells us – but by the truth of God over our lives. We’ve taught our kids how to be compassionate, emphatic and respectful with those around us – however, by keeping our common sense activated and not following blindly anything that is presented to us.
A couple of days ago, as we were talking at the lunch table, we were talking about social distancing at the stores. Our oldest son boldly proclaimed:
“Well, I am not scared to get infected, however I take care to keep those 2 meters and to disinfect my hands entering the shop because I want to respect those who are scared!”
Benny looked at me, smiling. That was a great attitude!