Schools here are giving the option for in-person classes or virtual classes in the fall. Several friends around the country say they're being given the same options. We opted for virtual for obvious reasons.
But we're not a normal family. Both my wife and I work from home. We can be at home and take care of the kids during the day. It's not easy–not by a long shot–but we can do it and still get our work done (barely).
A lot of parents are going to face a gut-wrenching decision this summer: send their kids to school where they'll likely get sick, or sacrifice one of their careers so they can homeschool their kids.
Given that this situation was created by Republicans–a Republican president who keeps saying the virus will magically go away, and a Republican senate that refuses to pass additional relief packages–I have to believe this is a feature and not a bug of our government's response to the virus.
Republicans have wished for ages that they could turn the clock back, destroy the progress of feminists, force women out of the workforce and back into the kitchen. When a family faces the reality of having to pick one person's career over another's, which will they choose? The man's, which likely pays more? Or the historically underpaid woman's?
Women will lose out. They'll sacrifice their jobs to take care of kids. And that's by design.
Even worse, though: what will single-parent families do? What will families do if there are two moms taking care of a baby? How will they decide? Can they decide? They may not survive without two incomes.
And this says nothing about the millions that have been laid off since the pandemic began. They don't even have the option of choosing whose career gets destroyed.
A lot of people have been talking about how the virus presents a chance for change, an opportunity to redefine the status quo away from sexism, racism, and so many other social ills. I worry that the result will actually be a turning back of the clock to a time when straight white men ruled with an iron fist and women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community had no rights.