For some of you, the name Emily Oster might be very familiar - she is the author of Expecting Better (among other books). Her writing and research have been incredibly helpful and informative for thousands of parents and caretakers, including myself, especially during pregnancy and early parenthood. Earlier this year, a friend of mine, who is also a camp owner, sent me her newsletter and I could not believe I hadn't read it before. Not only has it calmed nerves and clarified worries for me as a parent, but it has made me a better camp director. Of late, she focuses her newsletters on COVID and current health issues as they relate to children, but she also has lots of great questions and data-based answers on all sorts of childhood and parenting topics. Should I send my child to TK? How risky is flying with kids? How much screentime is too much screentime?
I like to think of this blog as a place where I can share some of my secret tools and tips of parenting, youth development, and camp and this is definitely one I hope you will join me in. Here is a little more about Emily Oster:
"Emily Oster is a Professor of Economics at Brown University and the author of Expecting Better, Cribsheet and The Family Firm. She holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard. Prior to being at Brown she was on the faculty at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business."
Here are some great quotes from this week's newsletter and the subscription link:
"When will it [COVID] be over?
This is the wrong question.
Or, rather, framing the question like that will lead you to a frustrating answer. Because if what you mean by “over” is “back to the before times,” the answer is, quite simply, never.
At the most basic level, this is because the SARS-CoV-2 virus will be with us in some form (as an epidemic virus, not a pandemic) forever. It will circulate like other coronaviruses, and the idea of complete elimination is not realistic. We will live the rest of our lives with some risk of getting COVID-19. If you are waiting for a moment when someone declares the world COVID-19-free, you shouldn’t expect it to come in your lifetime."
"Let’s ask instead: When can I stop obsessing about calculating COVID numbers around every choice I make?
The answer here is: When you decide to. And it will be a conscious decision.
The real pandemic “endgame” at a decision level is to start thinking about COVID the way we think about the flu or other contagious illnesses. There may be some broad adaptations of our behavior to the existence of the risk, but there will also be a point at which COVID is not a part of our everyday calculations about playdates and weddings and birthday parties. And when we get to this point, it will feel more like the “before times,” even if it looks a little different. "
"The Bottom Line
I titled this post “When will it be over?” It’s a hard question. The answer is both “never” and, in some ways, “when you decide.” This next phase is going to be challenging in a different way than the last one was. Recognizing that may be the first step in facing it."
-All quotes from this week's ParentData Newsletter by Emily Oster, here.
I HIGHLY recommend you subscribe to this newsletter. Her data-driven answers and reframing of questions is refreshing and reassuring.