I was struggling with a topic for my blog this month.   I have always had some seed of an idea that  I wanted to elaborate on.  This month, nothing.  That is odd for me, because I have always had something I wanted to say, preach about or lecture on, just ask my family….they can attest to that. So, I decided to wait for the universe to come to the rescue.  As usual, it has never failed me. 

If you follow my blog, you know that I have 25 year old twin daughters with severe autism.  I just received a phone call from their program, advising me that one of their peers had a positive Covid test. Wait for the best part….she was given this covid test by her parent, herself a medical professional.  She ran a home test, got the positive result on her child and then proceeded to send her off to the program.

Is your head exploding, because mine was. Now, it just so happened to be a day that my girls did not typically attend a program.  I was certainly grateful for the save, but could not help but think of the less fortunate luck of the other group members. 

Inconsiderate is not a strong enough word to describe this parent’s decision to willingly, and without regard for health or safety, subject the other group members to an active case of Covid.  These individuals all have developmental delays, most of whom have diminished or absent communication skills.  I say this because, for these fine young people, the ability to express discomfort or illness is largely not present.  This makes this caregiver’s decision all the more reckless and infuriating.

I asked who the individual was, but was told that they needed to remain unidentified for privacy reasons.  Can’t blame the desire for privacy.  Just think, if they were identified, they risk the possibility that someone, with much less self control than I, might slash their tires…or break their windows, or slash their tires and then break their windows….you know, a little score settling…Bronx style.

All kidding aside, I cannot remember the last time something infuriated me as much as this.  A simple ailment has the potential of completely throwing our guys off.  When my girls were younger, and receiving home tutoring, there was always a running joke in my house.  Whenever the girls were under the weather,  I would call and cancel the session, always saying the same thing “we are keeping our germs to ourselves”.  I would have been guilty if I thought that my girls got someone else sick, even something as minor as a simple cold.  

Seems no one is guilty of anything anymore.   Don’t underestimate the value of a little shame.  It is decidedly hard to teach.  My mother’s instruction on the art of shame involved a wooden spoon, and a slipper with levitating qualities, I suppose not everyone’s cup of tea.    Perhaps the pandemic has in some ways instilled a dog eat dog mindset, I just don’t know. However,  I have also witnessed incredible acts of kindness in the last two years.  It’s true, what they say, adversity can either bring out the worst, or best in a person. I am an expert in that.   

So, of late, I find myself questioning these inconsiderate acts, putting myself in the situation.  What could have made this mom so desperate that she felt she needed to send her daughter to the day program, after testing positive for Covid.  Perhaps there were extenuating circumstances.  Please let that be the case.   

This is me trying not to be so judgy.  It might just be a good look for me. Unless you are present in a situation firsthand, you can never be sure of what is happening. As a special needs parent, I am living proof of that.  I will continue to try to view inconsiderate acts, like this one, as a symptom of a larger problem that someone is grappling with.  We all could use more understanding in this crazy world. 

After all, giving someone the benefit of the doubt is a wonderful thing, even if they might not deserve it.

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