Good Morning America, August 2021
When Tina Sherman, a mom of four sons in Wake County, North Carolina, thinks of sending her children back to school later this month, she can sum up the emotion of it all in two sentences. “They are excited,” Sherman said of her sons, who span from first grade to high school. “I am exhausted.”
For nearly two years, Sherman has been at home working a full-time job while overseeing virtual learning for her son in high school, leading home schooling for her twin sons in middle school and adjusting back and forth between in-person and virtual learning for her youngest son, who is now entering first grade. All four of her sons will be attending in-person school this year, but Sherman said she feels a dreaded sense of “deja vu” with COVID-19 cases on the rise in the United States.
Amid a COVID-19 surge brought on by the more contagious delta variant and low vaccination rates, the number of pediatric cases of COVID-19 in the United States is rising, just as the school year begins. In one Florida school district where there are no mask requirements, over 8,000 students have been isolated or quarantined just days into the new school year.
“I felt like I was barely hanging on by a thread at the end of school last year and now I’m thinking I don’t know what I’m going to do,” said Sherman, who added she feels lucky to be able to work from home with her job at MomsRising, an advocacy organization. “I’m thinking of all the plans for ‘what if.’ There’s everything from a seven-day quarantine to [my kids] could be out of school for 24 days.”