‘You can have a kid or a job. You can’t have both’: Blogger highlights COVID-19 burden on families

Connecticut Families

(WTNH/ABC News) — Getting through the spring, the summer, and now looking towards the fall, parents are worn out from juggling childcare and work. In a New York Times piece titled “In the COVID-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both,” Deb Perelman writes how working parents are facing a new dilemma as the economy reopens.

“We can’t keep up with this,” Perelman, a New York writer and food blogger, told Good Morning America. “Everybody is overwhelmed, and everybody has their hands tied.”

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Because of COVID-19, schools across the U.S. are deciding on what classrooms will look like. Some are considering rotating schedules where students will learn part-time in class, and spend the other half of their time learning remotely from home.

In the op-ed, Perelman, a mother and author, writes how her school district is considering sending kids back only part-time by physically attending one-out-of-three weeks.

She said this new schedule will not benefit parents who are looking for a normal routine.

“There are people who have to be able to hit the pause button on a project under the idea that September would return some level of normalcy in child care and not having your kids there all day,” Perelman told GMA.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released guidelines for reopening schools, saying they want kids physically in class for its social and educational benefits.

“We really need to be working hard as a country to really drive down the number of coronavirus infections and that’s going to make the reopening of schools in the fall much, much easier,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, an AAP infectious disease specialist.

Dr. Gilboa Deborah, a family physician and resilience expert, added “we cannot protect kids from all risk.”

“What we’re going to have to decide, week by week or month by month, is it riskier to send kids to school and have everyone’s health be in jeopardy? Or, is it riskier to keep kids home and have everyone’s finances and ability to pay bills be in jeopardy?” Deborah told GMA.

As for Perelman, she believes new school schedules have parents fearing they may have to leave the workforce.

As of now, Connecticut public schools will be welcoming students back to the classroom in the fall but parents have the option to choose online learning instead. Some activities will still be affected, continuing to impact parents and their jobs.

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