Happy New Year.......Covid...we are coming for you...
May Health, Peace, and Joy be ours in 2021
Students: Your parents, teachers, and family know that you are being asked to academically function and perform in the black hole of remote learning. We know that you are missing out on huge aspects of the school environment, the fun moments. We acknowledge that there is no way to measure the impact of the relationships you are not being afforded. We know that what used to be in-class work is now additional homework. The non-existent office hours between you and your teacher, at lunch or after school. Popping in to follow up with a question that you didn’t ask in class. Touching, smelling, eye contact - and seeking approval of authority figures is so important to us humans. Doing projects together, making art, poster boards; that three dimensional, hands-on...and rapport building. The laughing and flirting. Collaborating and trusting. You have never met most or all of your teachers, and perhaps never will. We are so sad about this. Those are relationships that you may have had for the rest of your lives. You haven’t been able to hang out with friends after school, grab lunch together, or carpool. We know that some of your friends think schoolwork is optional right now, but it is not! While you are only getting the bones of education right now, the carcass, you are STILL lucky. You have to believe us. We’re asking you to buy-in and do some thing that you simply cannot comprehend right now. Do your best. It really matters.
"First, there is a natural tendency to believe that the way you see the world is the way the world really is, which psychologists call “naïve realism.” Most people don’t believe that their view of coronavirus risk is simply one of a range of possible perspectives. Instead, they believe their view is reality, and all other perspectives are clearly wrong. Few people like to have their perceptions of reality challenged. And telling people they are biased doesn’t work either; when people learn about biases, they are believe that others are biased than that they themselves are...Instead, a better approach starts with appreciating that family members, friends, and neighbors have genuine differences in how they assess and tolerate risks related to this disease. Their views are as real to them as yours are to you."
Such a painful and tragic story. Sports Section, Sunday, Los Angeles Times, August 16, 2020
As friends and loved ones grapple with Miller’s death, the community at large is wrestling with a related issue: how to keep kids out of trouble amid a pandemic, which some claim is leading to a summer of increased violence and bloodshed.
Los Angeles Police Department records show 184 homicides happened citywide from Jan. 1 through Aug. 8, a 17.2% increase compared to the same time in 2019.
Because of the pandemic, programs intended to curb violence, such as the Gang Reduction and Youth Development Foundation’s “Summer Night Lights,” have been canceled or moved to a “grab-and-go” or virtual format.
“Let’s do something that engages young people and increases their talent in person, but keep them safe at the same time,” he said. “I do not like the stance of, ‘Oh, let’s all stay inside until the numbers go down.’ They may not go down in the immediate future, so we need to work our way around the current situation.”
Focusing attention to the recent mega public discussion on child and adolescent gender reassignment, specifically, the transgender population, here are provocative, and I would suggest, intriguing points of view that are delicate and controversial, yet necessary.
As of now, the professional front line helpers do not follow a standardized protocol in facilitating these families. Our children deserve an educated professional - and the brave conversation. My professional ask is that the mental health field establish additional licensure (perhaps a hybrid of medicine and psychology), on-going supervision of attending clinicians, and a psychological screening allowing a therapist to clinically treat and support this vulnerable and specialized population. No credentialing exists to date so each therapist is left to their own bias, best guess, and warm feelings of acceptance.
That may not be enough.