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Teenager vs. Mom vs. Covid


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I've been so proud of my kiddos.  I mean....  seriously.  They're amazing.  Self-sufficient, patient, smart, hard working, loving.  But this quarantine may break me and my son.  

He has had major issues with anxiety and fear and depression all his life. 


He is TERRIFIED of Covid.  Like..  he won't go out.  (He's 19)....  He won't look for a job.  He's not taking college classes this Fall.  He won't even talk about going out to dinner.  He wears his mask anytime he's out. Said we shouldn't have our landscaper working right now.  He insists that the virus is "just getting started" and we need to be far more careful than we've been.  


Our Northern CA city of about 75,000 people has had 20 cases since February, all in people over age 65.  I am cautious, but not paralyzed with fear.  (all along I've been far more worried about the economy than the virus).. 


I think he's over-reacting and letting his fears and anxiety get the best of him and watching him suffer makes me miserable.   


He told me today he thinks I'm stubborn, ignorant, selfish and irresponsible.  He's struggling watching me be so cavalier.... 


i suppose there are truths to both perspectives.. but it sure hurt to hear him say those things about me, to me.....  been crying for 2 days now.....  






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If he's watching a lot of media/social media coverage. it can get overwhelming and obsessive.  There is very little in the news these days that brings joy to a person.  If you can suggest limiting his online time for his own happiness (I know not easy), there may be a benefit to the results.  Spending time together doing things inside (board games, exercising, etc) may allow you both to share some positive time together without compromising his fear of going outside.  These could be baby steps to him getting the happy chemicals moving in his brain again.  You may have already tried these things, just thoughts of things I might try! Good luck

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It's such a tough time in so many ways, and fear lives in many. Sadly, our kids have already experienced worst-case scenario in the loss of a parent. Perhaps he is scared to lose you, too. That feeling could be paralyzing...



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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it’s a control issue generally. The pandemic is causing irrational levels of stress and anxiety for many people not just teens. Your son can control going out or choosing to do something or nothing due to the virus.


I have a young adult and a teen myself and I use a lot of misdirection just like when they were kids so they can focus on something else. Lately it’s been, “we are so very lucky we have a home and I’m working. What can we do to help small family restaurants and businesses in town?” I have them research local, family owned restaurants we can purchase meals from 2-3 times a week so we are helping our community. We’ve now been to some restaurants we have never tried in the 20 years we’ve lived in town and found some new places to us. 


I have them check the website on what the local food pantry needs so when I go shopping next we can buy extra. 


I also had them decorate our windows to be colorful with cut paper and such. People just take walks around the neighborhood. It’s sort of fun to see how people are artistic or creative. 


We can make smart choices and do what we are comfortable doing. These are also things we can control in a safe manner. So try some diversion tactics. It can’t hurt to try. I hope you can find some balance with your son. 

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I don’t think it is unwise to be very cautious. I have a background in health care and I know many people on the front lines in COVID heavy parts of the country. I live in a rural area that has not been heavily impacted by the actual virus and everything has reopened with some restrictions. But very few people are observing effective social distancing. All we need is one case in an environment where people live or work in close quarters and we could become a county full of disease like the meat packing or prison counties not that far from where I live. 

I also work in higher education now. Many of our students are not liking the online format and really want the on-campus/face-to-face college experience. It is going to take time, but we will learn to live in a changed world and eventually, this will pass. I can understand that some students are delaying their college education until after the worst of this pandemic have passed. We aren’t there yet. 

Hang in there!  


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  • 2 years later...

I still mask up in indoor public spaces.  N95 is my daily driver.  I picked up a bakery order yesterday. The person who helped me told me to pull down my mask. I did not. Got my order so it's all good.

Approximately  400 people die each day from Covid. It's long Covid that spooks me. 
Be well all.

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