The Christmas of ‘something is missing’

I try gauging the mood of the holidays by how happy or not happy my own son is.. Now ten years into life, his belief in Santa is waning–or has waned. At times it feels he is playing along with adults and ponders to himself, “they can’t really believe this, can they?”

Before bed for the past few nights, Ayden’s normally talkative demeanor in an attempt to say away just a little bit longer has been pushed aside. Instead he seems to be a more pensive, thoughtful, and even concerned young man..

For two nights now, Ayden told me this before dozing off: Something is missing. When pressed for more information, he simply responded he doesn’t know what it is, but he definitely feels like something is missing..

IT IS MISSING. BUT WHAT IS IT?

So he’s right.. In the wisdom of a young child, we can gather some truth..

For months we have been told that vaccines will work.. scratch that.. boosters will work.. scratch that. The virus is going to rage! And if you are one of the holdouts that still didn’t get vaccinated against COVID-19, the President has a darkly stark message for your: Cloudy with a chance of death.

The overwhelming majority of school children in my son’s district have been faced with quarantines at a moment’s notice, constant cycles of COVID nasal swab tests when necessary, and the perverse threat of constant violence. Just last week, schools nationwide were in a tizzy over threats of national violence December 17 due to videos being posted on TikTok. It was ruled a hoax, but enough fear was generated to have armed guards patrolling hallways if your local learning centers.

Kids are taking this all in.

During President Joe Biden’s death and destruction dark winter warnings today in the address to the nation, he said one thing we all agree on: We are tired of it all. Tired of COVID.. burned out by the constant burnout..

A few weeks ago when I started warning some family and readers about Omicron, most of the warnings went on deaf ears.

On my Instagram page, I use images of horror movies often to state messages. For COVID related posts, I use Freddy Krueger. Right as Thanksgiving dinner was still cooling, I posted a warning about what our Christmas plans would involve. Omicron was front and center in my mind, despite health officials today saying ‘we never saw it comin’!’https://www.instagram.com/p/CWtCvILFCNW/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=14&wp=1316&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fcoalspeaker.com&rp=%2F2021%2F12%2F21%2Fthe-christmas-of-something-is-missing%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A7923%7D

THE KIDS AREN’T ALRIGHT

In January 2021, four out of 10 adults in the United States reported symptoms of anxiety or depression disorder – a 400 percent increase from January 2019. Health care workers are particularly exposed: more than half of workers on the front line could be at risk for one or more mental health problems, alongside the health risks involved in working with COVID-19 patients.

Children also face a mental health crisis during the pandemic. Emergency department visits by children for mental health issues went up about 30 percent for kids ages 12-17 and 24 percent for children ages 5-11 between March and October of 2020.

And that was just 2020’s numbers.. Just picture what the raging burnout of 2021 and now 2022 are going to look like..

This is what the PEW research center wrote just a few weeks ago, now what seems like ages ago before Omicron’s fires began to burn:After more than 18 months of school closures and social isolation, the nation’s more than 50 million public school children are mostly back at their desks. But two months into the fall semester, teachers and students already are saying they need a break.

The grief, anxiety and depression children have experienced during the pandemic is welling over into classrooms and hallways, resulting in crying and disruptive behavior in many younger kids and increased violence and bullying among adolescents. For many other children, who keep their sadness and fear inside, the pressures of school have become too great.  According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts among adolescents jumped 31% in 2020, compared with 2019. In February and March of this year, emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher among girls aged 12–17 than during the same period in 2019.

It is understandable to be advocating for scientific pathways to end the pandemic, including the use of masks, vaccines and boosters. But we are also apparently ignoring another evolving mental endemic–pandemic perhaps if the same feeling kids in America have end up having in other parts of the world.

CHRISTMAS OF DISCONTENT

There are so many negative pieces of information being published across the entire World Wide Web — can we still call it that in 2022??

But these Debbie Downer headlines are simply … the norm.

Just this month, along with Omicron headlines, we also faced this impending doom:

NOT THE FRIES!!?
SAY IT AIN’T SO JOE!

It just seems to be a nailbiter..

We all wanted 2020 to end. We couldn’t wait for the peaceful days of ’21 … seems like ages ago, no?

As a matter of fact, just one year ago right about now TIME magazine put the famous big X on their cover over 2020. The same X they used for Hitler, Hussein, Osama.. And 2020.

Perhaps they spoke to soon…

THE SOLUTIONS TO FINDING ‘IT’

So Ayden does not know exactly what “it” could be that is missing.. I hope it’s not the Christmas spirit, though personally our family has been dealt a bizarre hand this year. COVID cases within the bloodline, family member dying of other causes.. hospitalizations.. It has been an entire autumn of discontent.

That coupled with the aging prospects that the vaccine will end the pandemic as the President declared on July 4 when we were all told to take off our masks…

My son will open gifts this Christmas.. Santa will arrive, even if he does not find credibility in such adult claims. And the movement of one calendar year will go on to the next..

But will we collectively find what we are missing?
Or is it so long gone that we can never find it again…?

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