The coronavirus outbreak has forced nearly 300 million kids worldwide to stay at home and out of class. Last week, the state government of New Delhi, India’s capital, closed all primary schools till the end of the month, causing scheduling nuisance for parents and kids alike.
Re:Set spoke with parents and students about how they’re feeling about this sudden staycation.
Aditya “Chinu” Rawat, 8, New Delhi
(Particularly struggling as he’s quite scared of his mom)
I’m upset as I can’t go out of the house. My mother isn’t letting me go outside thinking I will get coronavirus, so I have to stay home and study. It makes me feel bad. I can’t focus also. I’m scared of my mother so can’t tell her that I miss playing outside. I used to play cricket with my friend Vishal who lives nearby. I love batting and hitting sixes. I also can’t look at cars going by anymore. I don’t like this vacation.
Sheetal Kalra, mother of 6-year-old Kayna, New Delhi
(Trying to stay positive)
The only person happy about this vacation is my house help, as I had to change her schedule and need her to focus less on leg work and more on just being around my daughter. I have to manage more of the housework in addition to running my cafe. I’m also scared for Kayna, as I can’t let her go out for fear of contracting coronavirus, so then she’s watching a lot of TV, and has even gotten interested in my husband’s PlayStation. I’m still trying to take this positively as the vacation at least reduces chances of her getting infected.
Devang “Devy” Seth, 10, New Delhi
(Tired of all the holidays)
I had extra holidays due to pollution also in January. I don’t like so many holidays as I have many friends in school and I like meeting them. Now I can’t play table tennis also. My mother is a mathematics teacher also. So when I’m at home, my parents tell me to study and read. Right now I’m reading a new book by Geronimo Stilton.
Monisha Keswani, 16, Panvel, Maharashtra
(Hasn’t had school cancelled but has advice for parents on how to deal with having kids at home)
I have exams so my school didn’t cancel them for coronavirus, so we’ll have normal end-of-the-year break soon. I don’t think this break will be any different for me, as let alone productive tasks, even the idea of “chilling” is very different for us and our parents, so we’ll keep having those conversations about how to spend our time.
They keep asking me to go out, forgetting that everyone else is also inside and there’s no one to “play” with, so I take a short walk and come back. Today, I told them, “Why don’t you go out and chill?” and they actually went out. This can only improve if they start understanding that streaming a movie is “playing” for us. We shouldn’t give up thinking they’re “old” so they will never get it.
Nancy Bansal, mother of 7-year-old Kashika, New Delhi
(Tired of her daughter’s irregular sleep schedule)
These vacations have caused lots of trouble. The schools already extended this session trying to manage the unexpected break for pollution in January. Now the kids might have to go to school in the May heat as they try to catch up on syllabus. Personally, this vacation hasn’t affected my husband, it’s me who has to stay at home and manage this. Kashika now wakes up later than usual, sleeps late, and has too much energy all day. You can only do so much at home, so she and her brother, who is three, get bored and end up fighting with each other. Plus I have to deal with her mood as she likes going to school, which results in her throwing things around in her room.
The only positive is that I can now wake up at 8 am, rather than 6 am.
Aarav Mehta, 13, Goa
I’m not scared of the coronavirus. I want to go windsurfing, or summer camping in my vacations.