The “Vaccinated For the Holidays” Edition

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S1: Just to give you a heads up, one of us is bound to say something not suitable for little ears. Welcome to Mom and Dad are fighting late parenting podcast for Thursday, November 18th. The Vaccinated for the Holidays ed. I’m Elizabeth Newcamp. I write the homeschool and family travel blog Dutch Dutch Group and the mom to three little Henry, who’s nine. Oliver, who’s seven. And Teddy, who’s five. We live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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S2: And Jamilah Lemieux, a writer contributor to Slate’s care and feeding parenting column. And Mom to Naima, who is eight and a half. And we live in Los Angeles.

S3: I’m Zach Rosen. I host the Best Advice Show, a very short podcast featuring your best advice. I live in Detroit with my family. My kid, Noah is four, and my son, Amie has one.

S1: On today’s show, we’re tackling a bathtime showdown splish splash, where apparently screaming through the bath. Then we’re chatting with Dr. Syra Madad from Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs to answer all our questions about keeping our kids healthy as we gather for the upcoming holidays on Slate. Plus, we’re talking about our holiday plans. Join us to find out how we’ll be celebrating this year. But first, we’re going to kick off the show by sharing a bit about our week in a segment we call triumphs and fails. Zak Do you have a triumph or fail for us this week?

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S3: And this kind of transcends the parenting realm, but it is one of the great triumphs of my life and I’m not really even involved. But my dear friend Danny Fenster was just released from jail in Myanmar. He is the journalist who had who had been. Yes, he’d been unlawfully held there for the last hundred and seventy six days, and finally, through a series of interventions from politicians and the State Department and lay people in the family. They were able to secure his release just in time for Thanksgiving. He is on his way home to Michigan, and it’s really one of the best days of my life.

S2: A huge, amazing,

S3: yeah, Thanksgiving. It’s overwhelming and a huge relief.

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S2: Did you find out today?

S3: So we found out on Friday that he was sentenced to 11 years and then on Monday that he was being released. So it was quite quite a roller coaster. And no, whoa. Yeah. And Noah, our four year old like, knew she would often be like wed and getting out of jail, and she sang songs for him and she had a has a T-shirt and she’s she’s just excited, as excited as we are just to make the parenting connection there.

S1: Well, that’s amazing. New, impossible to tell, but yeah, what are you guys? It’s such a great. Yeah, yeah. Jamilah on top of that. What do I got?

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S2: What I got? Well, I was going to give myself a fail because we were in the school parking lot in the fire lane at nine o’clock this morning. Doing homework, listening to Wu-Tang Clan School definitely start to make money. So that was going to be a fail. No, that’s then I decided. I decided to be those next time we listened. So I decided to be more gentle on myself. And I’m going to take the triumph this week because Naima had her first COVID shot. Now I wasn’t there, I didn’t schedule it. I can’t take direct credit. This is her stepmother. There’s two kids and oftentimes these things are done together. But I’m just so happy and reflecting on like this entire ordeal since COVID started or since it became a part of our lives, you know, we for so long did so little. We were so restrictive. Naima hasn’t been on a plane in two years because of concerns over, you know, her not being vaccinated. And so we’re going to get to go see our family. We won’t be able to travel until January 30 first, because Nyame is performing in a whole bunch of dance recitals, apparently for Kwanzaa. I thought we were going to be able to like travel on Christmas and be out there for two weeks. That’s not happening, but we’re going to go for a week on New Year’s Eve, will be flying, will be at the airport and we’re going to see our family. And I just can’t believe that that’s happening. And that is absolutely a triumph because there was a period of time where I wondered if I would see both of my parents again, or we would see my sister and my brother in law, my nephew, and just really happy to know that not only is the answer yes, but that we have a date and time now.

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S1: Amazing. Just like the relief from the idea of the vaccine. I just when my I cried, when my kids got theirs because I was so overwhelmed, like just with the it, even though it’s the first like all of those things, it doesn’t matter. It felt so, so good. And I’m glad you got to go with her brother. I feel like it’s when I took all three. It felt like something they’re going to remember. And so I think it’s kind of nice that they did it together.

S2: I think that’s her and she’s her step mom. They did it at a Walgreens. She promised them anything in this store and she’s like, You know, I could have gotten like three packs of gummy worms if I’d ask. She said anything, you know, and she was also very proud of her restraint and asking for something very modest. But just so I know the offer was on the table, she could have had the whole Walgreens

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S3: at the triumphant side of triumph right there.

S1: Yeah, exactly, exactly. I love that so much. Knowing her owner straight well, I am also going to take a triumph for the week because this week I asked for like a ton of help from from friends. We have had kind of a crazy week. Henry’s getting infusions this week and it was supposed to be Thursday and Friday, but due to life it became Monday, Tuesday and I also had Oliver signed up to do this homeschool class at the botanical gardens. I typically volunteer at Henry’s school like teaching some kids some things on Monday, so it’s something that it’s not just like I’m there filing stuff. So if I don’t come, some things don’t get done. It just it seems kind of like insurmountable when when Thursday, Friday fell through for his infusions because someone needs to be with him. And luckily, Jeff is able to be very flexible with his schedule here to kind of get everything covered. But it was like, how do I meet all these obligations? Of course, I called some stuff off, but I didn’t want Oliver to miss out on this thing, and I didn’t want Teddy to miss out, and I just reached out to everybody. And of course, everybody said, yes. I mean, people even offered things that we didn’t need just to make life easier today. We started recording a little bit earlier, just like all those things, and even after I had had it solved, people were like, Listen, I can always grab Teddy for a play date or I can do this, or we can stay at the school and play to you get done. Like, I just was overwhelmed by the amount of help I got this week, and I feel like the success is on everybody else. But so often I don’t ask for help because I feel like I’m burdening other people. It’s like, Am I taking advantage of this friendship because I’m busy? And this is kind of my problem, not their problem. Even little things like one of Henry’s little friends, like, got all his homework, brought it here to him yesterday and made sure he understood how to do the math and then took the homework back. He was worried about all those things, and his friends took care of all of that. They came by on their way to school and picked it up. I just so and blown away by that, so I’m taking it as a triumph. But I’m not either. I mean, I asked for some help, but just a triumph on the community that we have here that have really stepped up to help us this week. And as a result, Henry’s had like a very stress free two days of infusions. In fact, Jeff just texted that he’s done and wants to go back to school, so Jeff’s taking him back to school for the afternoon. So I I feel like it’s it’s such a such a good, a good win for us.

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S2: It is so Elizabeth that that is a good win. It is a triumph, but like that’s a reflection of how you operate. So I’m not surprised that people were willing to step up and help you because I can only imagine how helpful you’ve already been to folks in the community that you’re always creating activities and things for kids to do together that you know, when it’s your turn to be in need of help, especially since you’re someone who doesn’t ask often that, you know, people would be more than happy to line up and help you all.

S1: Thank you. Thank you for that, I mean, it’s just hard to be like, take my burden, you know, and I. The funny thing is we talk about it all the time on the show, and I feel like I’m always telling people, ask me. Yeah, yeah. But I don’t always practice what I preach. But I appreciate that and I’m feeling there. There is nothing like the sense of love you feel when people help you like it is. I feel so just like hugs for my community here.

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S2: So. Thank you all.

S1: That’s that’s where we are. Wow. With all that good news, look at all that good news. We have

S2: so much damn

S1: vaccinations, community helping. Yes. Seems like a great way for all of us to kick off kick off the holidays, right? We are going to start, though, with our first listener question, which is being read as always by the fascinating Shasha Leonhard.

S4: Dear mom and dad, my one and a half year old hates taking a bath or getting her face washed. She screams and cries and refuses to even sit down in the bath. She used to love bath time. We’ve tried toys, food coloring, bubbles, bath and a sink, but nothing works when she’s playing outside. She loves splashing in the water, but once we’re inside. Water is a terrifying thing. Help sincerely. Bath time is a nightmare.

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S2: Well, I wish I had more solid advice for you because we struggle with hair washing to this day at times in a way that I feel maybe a little bit more profound than what other kids are dealing with. But I am curious to know letter writer like what changed at one point. Your kid loved bad time, and then it stopped. So was there an incident in which maybe the water was too hot and she got, you know, it was uncomfortable? Or did she have an axe in the bathtub? Like, try if you can. I know it’s hard because the one and a half year old can’t really communicate so much to identify what might be the source of the bad sign trauma if that’s possible. Talk to her about water, you know, like play in the water where maybe you’re on your knees and she’s standing and you all are just playing with toys in the bathtub, you know, like, let her react Lemieux herself with that space because something changed for her. I think it’s good that at one point this was something that she used to love, and maybe she just wasn’t old enough to be scared. Yet there’s the possibility that she can be welcomed back into it. You know, what are the things that she likes doing with water outside? You know, like, are you doing these things during bad time? And now you’re saying you’ve tried everything doesn’t seem to be working, but I would try first react, limiting her to the bat without it being a bath. You know, like there’s bubbles in here. There’s food coloring. We’re just here. You don’t have to get all the way in. And also, maybe there’s something that you can put inside the bathtub if your tab is large enough and if she’d still fit like a bath seat, you could even maybe find like a plastic chair for a child her size, you know, that can get wet so that she’s not directly in the bathtub, and you can run water over her and she can get used to being in that space, and maybe that will help her to feel more comfortable there. That’s all I’ve got. What do you all think?

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S1: I love this idea of re acclimation and that like something must have changed. I think that’s such a good way to look at it, like in it’s time for some indoor water play. That’s not a bath. I love that Zak. What do you think?

S3: Yeah, I’m kind of building on what Jamilah was saying. I wonder if, like if you just got in the Bath parent solo and just have them, not in the bath you have like they they kind of get to watch you and watch you have a ton of fun and get a little, you know, FOMO or jealousy, and you’re just showing them you’re willing to go in like, you’re not getting burned, you’re not getting, you know, freeze by the water or whatever, whatever it was that happened. But you’re loving it. So just kind of make it so fun that they just want to join you. But also, you know, it’s quite possible that you’ve tried this. My friend, her kid, will only let her shampoo him if he’s wearing goggles. Maybe if you just kind of like, make your bathtub like the community pool, you know, in talking about toys like bring in a floaty put goggles on them. One and a half might be a little young for goggles, but I mean, you might be desperate to try it. So, yeah, just like bring the beach into the bath, the bathtub, you know, bring the pool into the bath and bring summer into it. And also one and a half, I don’t know where they’re at with screens, but I found this. It’s like an animated show called Jack Cousteau’s Ocean Tales. So maybe you like, put that on the iPad, you know, not too close to the water. It got it. Got good ratings on common sense media. And like, you’re looking at fish and marine life and you know, you’re having you’re having fun. You’re like in the life aquatic.

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S1: I love this actor nuts. Acting nuts would be a good for this, for this adventure as well. OK, I’m going to give an unpopular opinion. Just stop pushing the bath. They don’t need to be washed that off. If it is a huge fight, just stop. I mean, they need to be washed some. But there are other ways to wash your kid a soap and a washcloth. I think all of these ideas are great, and you should do these to re acclimate into the bath and to try to do this. I am just a big believer that if something is causing a huge problem in your routine, see if you can cut it out for a bit. So I mean, stalemate is closer. Yes, we are just not a the children don’t bathe very often like we bathe enough. And obviously Henry now needs to be more. He’s nine and he gets dirtier and taking care of his body. But these little ones don’t get that dirty smell so good.

S3: No matter what.

S1: You can clean their bums and you can clean the parts that get dirty. Using a washcloth or a kitchen sprayer any of those things, their hair doesn’t really get that dirty if you get something in it. Sometimes, if their hair’s real short, you can even just wash it with a washcloth. Those Bath puppets were big because they hold enough water to just kind of get the get the head clean. I know a lot of people are daily. We give our kids daily baths. That’s totally cool. We just have never, never done that. I am. I believe in all the good, healthy bacteria. I don’t know. Maybe it’s disgusting. I love all these ideas, though, and think you can do that simultaneously with my idea, which is like making bath time fun again before you make it kind of this chore. And I do also wonder, like, are you always doing the bath before bed? And so if that is the case, is the protest, the bed you’re getting the bedtime protests mixed in with the bath time protests. So maybe if you can also move the bath time re acclimation to more of like playtime or in the morning or when you know they’re in a really good mood as opposed to like at the end of the day, when most kids are just like Dan, most parents are just done. So you have such a lower tolerance for like the protest. I also just think release yourself from this burden and that is daily baths if they are screaming.

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S3: Elizabeth, where do you do the sponge baths?

S1: So when they were little, we did them. We had like a bigger kitchen sink. I’ve also done them in the bathtub, but without water. So I think you could do them in the shower too. I think it depends what you have. I had we don’t have in this house, but in our Florida House, we had like the shower that came off so they could be in the bathtub. And I was controlling when the water was on and off and where the water was. But if they’re small to like, they usually fit in the kitchen sink, so you can just kind of sit them by the sink. And if it gets if it gets wet, they’re right. Like, it’s that’s fine. There’s all kinds of things too that block the water from getting in their eyes. We’ve never used that have always just kind of pulled their head back and

S3: the visor thing

S1: the water to not go into their eye. Yeah. Have you guys ever tried one of those the visors?

S2: Absolutely. Big O fail. We have. There was one that worked OK, when she was a baby, but it it was so much work to like, kind of hold the visor at the same time as holding the water that it, you know, it was kind of a pain.

S1: Is IMAs hair washing a nightmare? She does, yes. Does she not like the water in her eyes or it’s just like the whole process?

S2: It’s the it’s the water in the eyes and the detangling. Naima has a lot of hair. It’s curly, gets very tangled, you know, especially if she’s watered down even once, which she always wants to do and which we never let her do. But even with it in braids, somehow it’s just and she’s very sensitive to discomfort, you know, very sensitive. Yeah, hair washing is a nightmare. I’ve wanted to do it in the sink and she’s like, Where my neck will hurt. Do you remember the last time we did that and my neck was hurting? I was like, OK, I forgot. I thought it was easier, maybe. So what we do is she sits in the bathtub. I take down the showerhead and struggle and struggle.

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S1: Struggle. Is she better after the take, like with Eddie doing after the detangling? Or it’s like the whole process?

S2: It’s kind of a bummer. From beginning to end, I will say she asked me to put on Protect Your Neck by the Wu-Tang Clan last time, and it played about eight times while I washed your hair, but it calms her down. So I think if you go,

S3: let her editor listen to that. Put them

S2: put on. Protect your neck, give the clean version.

S3: And hopefully your little one pun intended there.

S2: Maybe, maybe a clean version. The clean version.

S1: Sorry, breakfast. OK, I apologize. Listen, you could have another eight years of hating baths. I’m sorry. Hope. I just hope that doesn’t happen.

S2: It’s entirely possible.

S1: It’s entirely possible. Well, bath time is a nightmare. Thank you for writing in. Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas. Maybe we’ve also made you feel like this is going to go on forever, and we apologize for that. We would love to know, though, how you made it work, and I know we actually had another bathtime question that was on the Facebook group that got lots of suggestions. You can also go check that out or let us know how your new bathtime routine is going for the rest of you. Help us help you. Send us your parenting dilemma at. Mom and dad at Slate.com. The holidays are quickly approaching, which means many of us will be traveling and gathering to celebrate while COVID vaccines for kids are available. Most kids will not be fully vaccinated before Thanksgiving and the littlest ones are still not eligible. So how do we keep our kids healthy as the holidays return? Joining us to answer all of our questions is Dr. Syra Madad. Dr. Madad is an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the NYC Hospital System. Welcome, Dr. Madad.

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S5: Thank you so much for having me on.

S1: We’re so glad you’re here and we really want to start with the holidays. This holiday season is going to look a little different than last year, but we’re still not really back to normal. So how should we approach the holidays this time around?

S5: Well, I think the first is we want to continue to be vigilant. The pandemic is still in full swing. It’s better than it was last year. So if we were to just compare this time last year, we were averaging double the amount of cases per day. So about 160000 new cases per day. And now certainly we are in the upswing of new infections per day. So now we’re averaging about 80000 currently. So it’s not where we want to be, especially before the holiday time when we know people tend to get together mixed families indoors. And that’s exactly where the virus loves to thrive. It loves to thrive in indoor environments, with a number of individuals coming together, poor ventilation and crowded spaces, things like that. So those are ideal scenarios, but we’re also in a much different time and place than we were last year because we have safe and effective vaccines. We have better and more accessible testing capabilities. We’re much more attuned to risk reduction techniques so we can help reduce the risk and help make gatherings safer. So it’s great to know that we can do that now.

S3: What would you say are the top three things or so we can be doing to keep the kids safe at family gatherings?

S5: Great question. If I were to just choose a three, I think the number one would be vaccination really, really important. So vaccination, what does vaccination provide? Will provide protection at the individual level. It also provides protection at the community or the family level. So if you’re having a gathering, it’s not only going to protect you from getting exposed, contracting and, you know, suffering from severe illness, it’ll also help prevent you from spreading it to others. So vaccination is key, that’s number one. The second is testing. So regardless of your vaccination status, whether you’re partially vaccinated, fully vaccinated or you’re not vaccinated at all is really to get tested. My recommendation is to get tested three days before the gathering and the day of the gathering, if you could only do one testing. I would say prioritize the day of the gathering, and this will tell you whether you’re actively infected. And if you are, that means don’t get together with other people. Stay home, isolate, seek health care services, let provider know, but don’t get together with other individuals. And the third that I would say, is masking, and it complements vaccination. So we’re now, you know, in a time where depending on where you’re living, there’s still a lot of virus spreading in our communities. And if you’re indoors, that’s another high risk situation. So masking regardless also of your vaccination status is great. If everybody in your family is vaccinated, then masking becomes less important. But if you have a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated or people haven’t been tested before time or ahead of time, go ahead and make sure that individuals are masking. And that becomes a little bit more difficult because holiday times is when people eat. Obviously, you’re not going to mask when you’re eating. So just have good ventilation. So if I were to pick four, I would definitely try to squeeze in that ventilation because that’s really important.

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S2: As well as thinking of families where there’s a child or children that are old enough to be vaccinated and kids that are not young and rather that are too young to have the vaccine and how eager some of us have been to get on the road, to go to family gatherings, to see people that we haven’t been able to see. So what if I’ve got a house full of vaccinated adults and vaccinated children, but we’ve also got these little ones that are unvaccinated? What are some of the things that we should be thinking about, or should we be bringing unvaccinated children to family gatherings at all?

S5: Well, you know, I think that if you’re in a gathering where there is everybody that you know is vaccinated, then the chance of transmitting the virus is much, much lower because one’s first when you vaccinated, your chance of even getting infected is much lower than compared to an unvaccinated person and then your chance of even spreading it is also lower. So I would feel much more comfortable and I am in that situation. I have a kind of a mix of my family. I have all the adults vaccinated, my two children between the ages of five and 11. They have their vaccination appointments this week, but then I also have a one and a half year old that’s not eligible. And we do plan on getting together with other family members in the holidays, and I’m just making sure everybody that’s around her is also vaccinated and that if we can couple that with testing, that would make me even more comfortable.

S1: You mentioned testing, but there’s all sorts of different kinds of tests. Does it matter which kind we’re getting like, for example, in I live in Colorado? They actually sent everybody these home tests. Is that OK to test? Do I need to be going to get a PCR test? Like, what should we be doing?

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S5: So when we look at Rabbitt rapid antigen test? These tests are great, but I’d like to do it twice because it will give me that assurance that yes, the result that I’m getting is truly whether it’s negative and positive. And that’s where I had mentioned that if you’re going to, for example, get a rapid test, do it on a day like basically three days before the event and then the day of or two days before the event and the day of and that way, you know that the result is at least pretty close to being a very, very accurate. And these tests are typically accurate because I do tell you when you’re most infectious. PCR test, as we know as the golden standard, they may not be, you know, as when I say, accessible, it’s you know, you have to go to a clinic, for example, or you would have to send your specimen in and it can take 24 to 48 hours. But they actually do have rapid PCR tests. So my child actually got how it came down with a runny nose and a cough last week, and I had to get them, get them tested for COVID 19. And as a working mom, I knew I couldn’t take off 48 hours from work, and so I went to the nearest clinic that did a twenty four hour rapid PCR test, and I got the results within 24 hours. Luckily, he was negative, but those are also options. They’re a bit harder to find, and you have to see if your insurance covers it, because that was one thing that they also told me is, Hey, you know, just make sure there may be a co-payment, but we just want to let you know as an employee. So see what’s being offered.

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S3: Dr. Madad. A dozen and a half of us are going to my mom’s. It’s called Where in Michigan? What do you think about opening the doors and windows? And just like layering up, is that going to make a difference, you think for ventilation? Absolutely.

S5: Absolutely. Ventilation is key, and I think that’s the one thing that we unfortunately learned a little bit late in this pandemic is how important ventilation is or bringing in fresh air. And so it could be as simple as opening doors and windows in the place that you’re gathering indoors. But if you have kids like, for example, my one and a half year old, I wouldn’t feel comfortable opening a door window because I’m afraid she’s going to fall out. And so in those types of situations, you can get a portable HEPA filter and that can also help with, you know, filtering out the the air. And these are much more accessible. You can go to a local pharmacy and sometimes they have it. I went to my local grocery store and I actually bought a portable HEPA filter myself, as well as a rapid antigen test. So they’re they’re more easier to find now.

S3: Good to know.

S2: I have a question about cold season, which were also in the thick of when it comes to the flu shot. What are your thoughts about kids getting both the COVID vaccine and their flu shot on the same day? Is that something that needs to be split up? Is it based on the kids temperament?

S5: The good news is you can do coadministration of a COVID 19 vaccine with, let’s say, a flu shot or any other routine immunizations that your child may need so you can get. At the same time, we’ll use different locations, and if your child can tolerate it, it’s even even better. So I know with with my kid, it’s a really big challenge to get that one shot and then to get that to the second shot is sometimes even worse. And so for me, sometimes I would space it out. But also, if I’m pressed on time, I would just do it in the same appointment and you have the luxury to do that. So it’s more of a personal choice of what you feel comfortable with.

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S2: What are some things we need to be reminded to keep in mind with try and discern between? Is this COVID? Is this a cold or is this the flu?

S5: Well, I mean, I was in that same boat this week. My my kid came home with a runny nose and cough, and he was negative for COVID. And so sometimes it is hard to tell whether they have, let’s just say, the common crud that’s going around or flu or COVID. And the best way to tell is obviously to get tested. But I think the general rule of thumb is if you feel sick, do not get together. So regardless of whether you think you have the flu, whether you have a common cold or COVID, if you’re not feeling well, do not get together with other people. And if you would like to get tested to find out which virus, for example, you may have go ahead and obviously find, you know, an area that can do testing and there are places that actually can test you for both at the same time, using essentially the same specimen. So that’s also an option. But if you want to give your health care provider a call and say, Hey, you know, I want to get tested. They can also provide some guidance. But the best way is obviously is to get tested to see which one you have, but stay home and don’t expose yourself to other people.

S1: I feel like we all just have this feeling that we want COVID to be over right, like we just want the pandemic to be over. But it just it really seems like it’s actually more here to stay and we’re going to have to kind of learn to live with it as it evolves. How can we prepare our kids for life with COVID?

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S5: Yeah, that’s a great question and something that I think all of us that are part of the actual COVID response are getting is one is it’s going to be over. And what does the end look like? And I think generally, you know, the the pandemic is not going to end in a bang, it’s going to end in a whimper. So no one’s going to make a big announcement saying the pandemic is over because we know this virus is going to be with us, you know, moving forward. But it’ll look very different because right now we’re in the acute phase of the pandemic where we’re seeing eighty thousand new infections per day. We have 47000, you know, for example, individuals hospitalized over a thousand deaths. That’s not living with the virus. That’s that’s more of the emergency phase that we’re still dealing with. And so when we transition into the endemic phase and it’s hard to tell when and if you know, we’re going to transition, whether it’s going to happen any time soon and over the next year, I think we’re getting there, but I think it’s really hard to predict exactly the timeframe. But I will say right now, looking at the current stats, that’s not being endemic. When we look at a disease or a virus being endemic, it’s something that will be with us, but it’s not going to cause as much morbidity and mortality as it currently does. It’s not going to overwhelm hospitals and strain health care workers as it is right now. So I think we’re getting there because of vaccinations. And if you actually look at where some of these hotspots are occurring, you are seeing that in places where they have generally a high vaccination rate within communities. They’re fairly protected. But I think the other thing to also understand is when you are in an area with high community transmission, even if you’re vaccinated, you’re going to see more breakthrough cases that are going to contribute to the case count. And so I’d like to look at hospitalizations and see what do hospitalizations look like and and how is that changing over time? So luckily, I think the data is a little bit more comforting that hospitalizations generally are steady and going down. But that may change because, you know, I think one thing that we we all understand is we need to be humble in this pandemic and forecasting and protecting how this virus is going to react is a little bit different. But what we can control is that human behavior. And I think that’s really important to emphasize.

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S3: But one thing I was curious about was what the data is telling us now about unvaccinated kids and hospitalizations.

S5: Yeah. Well, I think if you look at generally, so right now, if we just look at, you know, all children, for example, under the age of 18. So from the beginning of this pandemic, we’ve had, you know, over six million cases reported. And if we’re just looking at, for example, over the past week or so, we’ve seen over 100000 new cases being added and children are representing about twenty seven percent of all weekly reported cases. So children are unfortunately getting infected. They are spreading the virus. They are experiencing long COVID or post-COVID conditions. And so this is something that I think that we need to continue to be very vigilant on. And as I look and I discuss the impact of this virus, I usually look at it from the direct impact and the indirect impact. So the direct impact is it is translating into hospitalization. It is translating into, you know, children dying from from this now preventable disease. For those over the age of five, that where we have a vaccine for it is translating into kids having this post-COVID condition and the indirect impact is on their social circles on schooling, decrease activity. And so I think it’s important as we talk about, for example, vaccination and preventing these types of impacts. It is through vaccination and it’s through these preventative measures that we can help reduce the risk.

S2: Is there anything about COVID that parents are just still getting wrong after all this time? Like if there’s just one thing you’re like, I just keep coming across this and it’s been almost two years and we still don’t know that just one big misconception that you’d like to clear up.

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S5: So I think the biggest that I often hear from so many folks is that children are not affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. And we have learned and we now have data to show that children not only are infected, but it can also spread the virus. So before, you know, we didn’t have enough data to show that they were actually able to also spread it as much as adults. But now we actually have science and data that show that not only are they likely to get infected, they’re just as likely as an adult to actually spread the virus to others. And so, you know, it’s really important that we do emphasize the, you know, the science that we have learned what the data is showing us so that parents and caregivers can make informed decisions on how to protect their loved ones.

S1: Before we finish up, we just want to ask you what you’re looking most forward to this holiday season.

S5: Yeah. You know, for for me, I think there’s two things first, I am looking forward to getting my two boys who are eligible for vaccination now to get vaccinated. So this week I’m definitely looking forward to that vaccination appointment. I’m also looking forward to getting together with my family. It’s been a while since we’ve all gotten together and my daughter is, you know, going to be turning two, and I actually had her January of 2020. And my story, in a nutshell, is I was monitoring the pandemic from December 31st when I contacted our local health department saying, Hey, what should we be doing differently in health care systems? And I delivered my baby two weeks after that, and then I went to work a week later. It’s been like nonstop, and so it’ll be great to have my family together and to spend some time with her as well. So I’m looking forward to that and I am planning on, you know, having my gathering safer by the risk reduction measures that I shared with you earlier.

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S1: Dr Madad, thank you so much for joining us. I just feel like hopefully we’ve set people up to be able to have a safer holiday season and still, like you say, get together and see people, but without increasing our risk.

S5: Absolutely. We can do it safer together.

S2: Thank you. Thanks a lot. I appreciate you. Anytime.

S1: All right. Well, now we’re on to recommendations. Jamilah What do you have for us?

S2: I’m super excited about a new book that I got for Naima called Route Magic by Eden Royce. It takes place in nineteen sixty three in South Carolina against the backdrop of school integration. It deals with a family that uses African-American folk magic, oftentimes referred to as hoodoo. These are Gullah Geechee people. There’s actually been talk about the Gullah people of South Carolina in the news recently because their land is being taken over by tourists and they’re being pushed out. And that’s a region where free African-Americans gather during slavery and had independent community. And they’ve got a really rich and interesting cultural tradition. And this is just a super cool book that deals with the supernatural and love and family and all types of cool stuff, and I’m really excited for Naima to dive into it. So if you’re looking for a chapter book for a big reader, it’s recommended for ages eight to 12. Route Magic by Eden Royce Super cool.

S1: That sounds really cool and actually right up Henry’s alley. So I’m going to yeah, we’ll pick that up for our trip. Sounds great. What do you have for us?

S3: This is a kind of peripheral parenting recommendation, but I find that whenever I can kind of declutter my head and how I can parent better, and I’ve been on a kick of just unsubscribing to most things like my inbox is full of shit. I guess I subscribe to at least a fair portion of this stuff at some point because it’s, you know, it’s serving my hypothetical interest, but it’s like, I don’t have time. I aspire to be a kind of zero inbox person sometimes there, but 90 percent of the stuff I get now is crap. So I’ve just been on a tear today, just unsubscribing left and right and just the the act of clicking that unsubscribe feels really good. I recommend it.

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S1: I feel like around the holidays too. It gets so much worse. Like any mailing list you’re on is going to hit now. Yeah.

S2: Pre Black Friday pre pre writing enough.

S1: Already, I know I’m in that deep because to get any like free homeschool printable you to sign up for the newsletter. And so I what I did is I created a whole nother Gmail account, which I only used to subscribe to things and I never check it.

S3: So that’s a nice Zak.

S1: I just don’t. Who knows if you’re emailing me on that? Sorry, I don’t check it suckers. Yeah, yeah, suckers.

S2: Oops.

S1: It’s only a problem when you accidentally put that one for, like the school or something, right? And then they’re not strong. So don’t know. Well, I am. I’m coming to you with a full out Newcamp recommendation. We are growing mushrooms in our kitchen and it’s awesome. I am using a kit from back to the roots. We got their mini mushroom growing kit and it’s awesome. It’s like having super fast. It’s fine, you water. It kind of like a plant you grow. They have all different kinds you can grow and then it has like recipes,

S2: all different kinds, Elizabeth,

S1: different kinds of mushrooms. I’m only I’m I’m not growing those kind of mushrooms, unfortunately, but I’m growing ones are going to add into. I don’t remember what I told me to do with them, fry them or something. We set up a like a time lapse camera overnight and could actually see them growing because they double once they come out of there. I don’t like their spores. You kind of water them and then you set the box up. Once they start, you sent the box up vertically and then they double every day in size. So even if you just set it up for like two hours or something, your time lapse, you can actually see them moving, which is super cool. So we we, despite everyone wanting to water them all the time, they’ve grown pretty successfully and they don’t. You can grow them inside in any weather because they need just indirect light. So you just set him on your counter and grow them. So I highly recommend could be a fun project. When you have everybody home over the holidays and you’re kind of wondering what to do, let them let them grow some mushrooms and then serve them to your family. Very cool. Everyone, go grow, go grow your own food. This is not very much food, but that’s it for our show. Before you go, please subscribe to the show. And if you have a question for us, you can always email us at mom and dad at Slate.com or, of course, post it to the Slate’s Parenting Facebook group. Just search for Slate Parenting Mom and Dad Are Fighting is produced by Rosemary Belson for Zak Frozen and Jamilah Lemieux. I’m Elizabeth Newcamp. Thanks for listening. All right, Slate, plus, listeners, welcome back. Well, we are a week out from Thanksgiving and we just wanted to take some time to share with you what we are going to be doing this holiday season. Jamilah, you mentioned that you’re headed off at a trip sort of at the end of the holidays, but what do you have planned before that?

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S2: I have absolutely nothing planned for Thanksgiving. I think I’m just going to let Naima do the day with her dad and just have a break to clean or sleep or do nothing. The kids get the entire week of school off here, so that’ll be great for my productivity. I’ll be there. They’ll be like Zoom school all over again. So I still come up with some activities and stuff for us to do next week. And then they get three weeks off for Christmas because my name is doing a dance recital. We can’t travel until the 31st, but we’re going to go spend a week in Chicago with our family. Oh, I’m leaving out a very big thing. I’m going to New York for a week and then my mother’s coming to town on like the 16th or so, and she’s staying so couple of days after Christmas. So, yeah, so Nina’s holiday will be lovely. Grandmas tickets have been purchased all as well in her world.

S1: Zak What are your plans?

S3: Fantastic. So we’re going to go to my mom’s. There’s going to be, I think, 18 of us. We’re all getting tested three days before. And we’re also committing to not being indoors with people outside of our pod without mask the week prior. So those are a precaution that we’re taking. And yeah, we’re going to a potluck at. I’m going to make this Edna Lewis corn pudding that I’ve been eyeing and have never made before. Very excited about that. My wife’s three older siblings are going to be in town, so hopefully they’re going to take some child care off my hands because they don’t see their niece and nephew very often. So I think it’ll be mutually beneficial. And yeah, just just hanging out with the family and hopefully well-ventilated living room.

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S1: Do you have to spend the night there or are you are able to just drive visit for the day?

S3: So I don’t like to brag about this, but I also kind of like to brag about this. We have six grandparents because, you know, my parents are divorced and remarried and my wife’s parents are still together and they all all six grandparents live within a mile of one another. It’s kind of crazy. God, I feel like an asshole saying, that’s but yeah, it’s it’s amazing and we live. So we live in Detroit, they live in the suburbs, so they’re about 30 minutes from us. So I think we will spend the night at one of their homes just because a bunch of family will be in town and it’ll just be nice to to see everyone. But we we don’t need to.

S1: But we will have more fun if you do.

S3: Yeah, totally.

S1: I love it. Well, we are backing all tradition of spending holidays together now. OK, so pre-pandemic, my parents gifted Henry very generously when we started all this infusion and stuff a trip with them to the Galapagos, the little oh little to go. So him and I were going to go, then cue COVID. Well, it has been rescheduled for over this Thanksgiving. So oh my god. On Thursday, Henry and I are leaving the little ones with Jeff and headed to the Galapagos Islands with my parents and my sister and a couple of my parents friends. And so of course, he’ll be like first shot, fully vaccinated, which will be awesome. There wasn’t enough time, of course, to get the second one before we had to go, but I have been like just hoping that this would happen and we are in now. The process of like all the testing, there is so much testing, which is good. Of course, the the ship that’s going there is very we get tested when we get there, we get tested on board. It’s it’s where your masks, except when you’re outside. So I’m I feel good about that. It’s pretty small. Jeff, you know, cannot not have something put just so he is taking Oliver and Teddy on his own to the YMCA at Estes Park to do all kinds of family activities. They’re meeting another family like a family friend up there. Then they’re coming back because he has to teach. So they’re doing that this weekend, coming back because he has to teach, and then he’s apparently driving them to Santa Fe to do something there because he is like, Well, I’m not going to be. If we’re not all going to be together, I guess we’ll keep

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S2: you busy as

S1: well. So we are just completely basically ignoring Thanksgiving. I presume that none of us will have any sort of Thanksgiving meal, but we’re all kind of excited about the adventures. And then my parents and sister are going to come out here for Christmas and we’ll have a nice Christmas here. There is a small chance that Henry’s going to have a terrible Christmas because he may be getting his tonsils and adenoids out and. We were not really sure where we are on that, but when we when we knew that that was a possibility to happen over Christmas, my parents suggested that if they if they came and my sister came, then basically we have tons of adults and so someone can kind of be on Henry duty and making sure he’s having a nice time and other people can be keeping the other kids out of the house. So I think whether or not that happens, it’ll it’ll be nice. There’s going to be a lot of Elizabeth’s family fun, which is great for me, and Jeff will well make it work. He loves my family. But you know what? It’s not your family. It’s like a whole different thing. So I’m I’m looking forward to it feels like a lot of things that we had planned and put off are coming to fruition, so I’m excited about how

S3: we photograph some turtles for us.

S1: Yes. Yeah, we definitely. Well, Henry, you know, is very into like being a naturalist. And so he’s he’s very excited about all of us and it’s he wants to be a marine biologist. So this was very much up his alley and so generous of my parents that I’m excited that he’s going to get to go do this, and I’m even more excited that I get to go with him.

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S3: There’s an amazing episode of Radiolab from many years ago called Galapagos, where the producer goes to the Galapagos Islands on his honeymoon.

S1: I just downloaded that for Henry to listen to on the plane because I was like, perfect on the podcast searching Galapagos, you know, to to kind of get him all excited. And I’m a huge fan of Radiolab for the kids too. It’s just such a good way to like they do so much. Science is such a fun way.

S3: Totally. Yeah, that’ll be so fun to listen to on the plane. Perfect.

S1: Well, that’s our holiday plans. Feel free to join us on the Slate Parenting Facebook page and share your holiday plans.

S6: Thanks for listening! We’ll see you next time.