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Challenge: Pandemic Parenting

Medical Parenting HAS to Look Different

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“Just stay home.”

If I had a dollar for each time I’ve recently heard someone say “I’m not gonna let a virus with a 99% recovery rate stop me from living my life” and “I won’t live in fear, if you’re scared you should just stay home”, I’d be living on a private island in the Caribbean and I wouldn’t have to listen to ignorant, selfish “patriots” pontificate about their “personal liberties”. As I’ve said before, staying home is not an option for us, nor any of our medically complex friends.

I’m preparing to schedule a cascade of appointments and procedures for the spring- things we’ve had to put off due to early covid closures. Cardiology, neurology, audiology, ophthalmology, developmental pediatrics, g-tube change, nutrition, pulmonology, a sedated bronchoscopy and stoma revision, and sleep study. Each appointment is a different opportunity for exposure. Several are at outpatient clinics where adults are seen with respiratory symptoms as a first line of defense. Two are inpatient at our hospital which houses adult covid patients. BUT WE CAN’T STAY HOME. We have to meet our child’s long overdue medical needs.

Vaccinations aren’t mandatory, but they are necessary. Our healthcare team is exposed at work and in the community every day- the ripple effect of toxic individualism is relentless. When you choose to “exercise your right to freedom” and encounter one of Lily’s providers at a gas station, grocery store, post office, etc, you’re sending the message that you don’t care about anyone but yourself. And that’s a damn shame.


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