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95 percent of parents say everything is different
Reminiscent of the impact of major events like 9/11, this pandemic has parents feeling like the future is not going to be like the past. An overwhelming majority of moms and dads say things will never return to the way they once were, and that any semblance of normalcy is farther away than before.
More than half of our site parents say normalcy is at least six months away, and 36 percent say more than a year away. This is a profound shift from May, when most parents felt that everything would be fine by the end of June. Two-thirds of parents are hesitant about resuming normal activities, with eating in restaurants and traveling topping more than half of our site parents' wait-and-see list.
Worries about a child's mental health have spiked 109 percent
The dynamics of what parents are concerned about are also rapidly evolving. More than 84 percent are now worried about the virus's so-called "second wave," and general concern for their child's health is rising.
Top of mind right now is mental health, with worry over a child's emotional well-being having doubled compared to May. On the plus side – and despite a notice from the CDC on the potentially elevated risks for pregnant women – worry about fetal health has fallen 17 percent. Whether a child's development will be or stay on track is also a significant worry. Anecdotally, moms worry about the impact of masks and lack of socialization on their child's development.
42 percent of parents are thumbs-up on reopening
What the reopening looks like, and how messy it might be, is different depending on where our users live. Families living outside cities are the most excited for the reopening of their communities, with 52 percent of rural our site moms looking forward to getting back to local life. But overall, anticipation is a mixed bag with our site parents nationwide almost split down the middle about reopening. Forty-two percent are eager to have their communities reopened while 48 percent are not.
Whether they're enjoying the reopening or dreading it, 80 percent of respondents say they're going to continue social distancing, and 42 percent feel that masks are here to stay.
Some families are opting out of the reopening altogether, with more than a third saying they will voluntarily quarantine this summer.
50-plus percent of moms and dads with school-age kids are planning for distance learning
What life will be like once school begins and work-at-home options dry up is becoming a confusing mess for most parents. While a majority of our site families with school-age children are doing some planning for distance learning, the most committed to this path are the ones with a household income of $75,000 or more. Attitudes about sending kids back to physical school could shift as more parents and communities hear about the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation that "all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school."
Anecdotally, and based on a small but growing poll of teachers who are members of the our site Community as parents, it looks like there may be teachers present at schools for many children. Of the respondents to this Community poll, roughly 28 percent say they are eager to get back to "face to face" in the classroom, while 14 percent are saying no.
Contrary to what you might think, homeschooling isn't rocketing to the top of parents' schooling options – at least not yet. In the larger our site COVID-19 survey that was fielded, only 7 percent of families say they plan to homeschool. And less than 20 percent of the parents with school-age children say they will continue their homeschooling experiments. Family size has a lot to do with whether a family will homeschool, as those with four or more kids are the most committed to that form of learning.
Minority families are bearing the brunt
Minority families are most likely to be personally impacted by the coronavirus, with 24 percent of African American moms and 20 percent of Hispanic moms responding knowing someone who has passed away from COVID-19 (versus 13 percent of Caucasian moms).
Health worries are also more immediate: African American moms are more concerned about the health of their child (45 percent), that of their unborn baby (44 percent), and their own personal health (27 percent) than Caucasian moms (34 percent, 30 percent, and 20 percent, respectively). African American moms are also more likely to have their daycare or childcare closed or canceled, impacting their daily life more.
To deal with these challenges, 93 percent of African American moms say their families will be social distancing for longer (versus 77 percent of Caucasians and 79 percent overall), wearing masks more often (52 percent versus 42 percent overall), and focusing on cleaning and sanitizing their environment (63 percent versus 53 percent overall).
Childcare is currently an issue
Almost 1 in 4 urban and suburban our site moms is currently experiencing childcare issues, with childcare or daycare closed or canceled because of the coronavirus. (This is less of an issue in rural areas, with 14 percent of rural moms saying childcare is an issue.) And since 55 percent of moms plan to avoid spending time in person with family and friends not in their immediate household this summer, many will be sacrificing potential childcare support from family and friends. As one new our site mom says, "The hardest thing has been having daycare closed while on maternity leave."
our site is aware that attitudes and approaches for dealing with the coronavirus will change. We will continue to ask our audience what they’re experiencing and what they need to help them through this moment. We will continue to provide the pregnancy and parenting information and support to help them navigate the pandemic.
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