“What a drag it is getting old” –  

Oct 3, 2020 – That [message] is from a mother in California in early September, when she was trapped inside with her three children for days because the air was so thick with smoke that it was unsafe to breathe outside. Since the pandemic began, members of the group have experienced job losses, wildfires, weekslong power outages from tropical storms, political unrest, elderly parents with Covid-19, a news cycle on turbo and unending days filled with educating, feeding and caring for their children while also trying to fit in eight or more hours of work.

And we’re the lucky ones who can meet our children’s basic needs. Somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of parents of children under 5 have worried about their children getting enough to eat since the pandemic started, and many who cannot work remotely are scrambling for coverage with the fitful reopening of day care centers and schools.  The increase of substance use among parents is “just kind of understandable,” said Jonathan Metzl, the director of the department of medicine, health and society at Vanderbilt University. “This is an incredible, once-in-an-epoch stressful situation, and the kinds of outlets people usually have in their lives are just not available.” We can’t go to the office, we can’t go to the gym, we can’t really see friends or family, and we never get a break.” “My hobby is doom scrolling and learning the science of Covid and smoking weed and sitting on the toilet staring at the wall,” said Julie Kortekaas, 36, a mother of two children, ages 10 and 18, and a health-food restaurant owner in London, Ontario.”

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