Sunday, December 26, 2021

What We Are Teaching About Consent Through the Pandemic

Kids are like sponges and whether we like it or not, they learn so much from ACTUAL EXAMPLES WE GIVE THEM. And I don't want to bring this up, but we need to talk about consent during the pandemic. 

And let me tell you, we have not been doing a very good job with consent and having good, full conversations. We have just been reacting in our home and echoing the CDC recommendations.

And, honestly, how can we not. It's very hard navigating public spaces, updates to our usual routine, and an overwhelmed medical system. We avoided crowded playgrounds, and we sanitized and washed our hands.

We did not talk about consent, although it has been a topic of great importance in the parenting circles that aimed to raise self-aware children. We have not conversations about how our behavior affects other people and how defeating this virus depends on people having many good options to stop the spread.

A big part of consent is saying yes to the conversation and having the conversation with transparent facts, goals, and focus. Will it bring up questions about vaccine mandates if your kids are old enough, yes, as it should. Are kids required to have other vaccines in order to be in public school unless there's a faith based exception, yes. Are kids making these choices about what is going into their bodies? Most often they are not. 

How do you as a human being feel about vaccine mandates for professionals in specific fields or even a blanket mandate? I am all about individuals consenting to what goes into their bodies at their own accord. It seems in line with the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. And while, yes, I do feel that the risk of transmission increases when there are more individuals choosing and consenting to the risks of not getting vaccinated, I don't think anyone should be forced to have any medical procedure against their will. Will I change my mind about this? I am not sure, but I do know that I am trying really hard to teach good consent rules to my kids, and this seems in line with rules of consent. 

Now do I think that masks should be required in some public or private spaces? Yes, yes I do. While they may be uncomfortable, they are also similar to already existing requirements, such as seat belt laws. Did people think that seat belts were uncomfortable? Yes. We also wear a lot more protective equipment than we let on in our society. We constantly choose to wear rubber gloves when we wash our dishes. We choose warm clothes to protect our bodies. We choose to wear sunglasses when it is sunny. These choices can also be required, like when my husband had to wear scrubs to be at the operating room with me. That was not an option. He chose to be in that space, and he chose to wear the scrubs to meet those requirements.   


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