By: Chardelene Reyes
For most of us, our last day of school came early. Due to the pandemic, many districts resorted to remote learning for the safety of their staff, students, and families. However, as the amount of COVID-19 cases began to surge, many of us grew fearful for the health of our loved ones—especially those who are more at risk for contracting the virus.
As the ‘Back to School’ season approaches, we must consider the different ways this pandemic has affected us. While some of us spent copious amounts of time in our homes deciding which Netflix show to binge next, others were grieving the loss of their loved ones. Many have lost their mothers, fathers, grandparents, even siblings to COVID-19 without having the chance to say goodbye.
Whether we will be returning to the classroom or logging onto Zoom, we must be mindful of our actions and our words. If your biggest problem was boredom, please recognize your privilege. If you have a friend who confides in you about their loss, please listen to them. Active listening is an incredibly important skill to have, and is a vital tool for helping a friend or family member grieve. Read more about active listening here!
If you happen to be working with children who have lost a loved one during the pandemic, recognize the ways in which children grieve differently from adults. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, when grieving, children may lose interest in daily activities, imitate the person who has passed, withdraw from their friends, state they want to join the person they lost, or fear being alone.
So as we go back to school, please remember to be kind to those around you and be there for those who need you.