Back to School Concerns for Multigenerational Families

It's a major concern as some of the youngest in those homes navigate what going back to school will look like

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Families across North Texas are taking extra steps to protect the ones they love from the coronavirus, and that is critical for multigenerational households. These homes have family members with a wide range of ages and health conditions.

It's a major concern as some of the youngest in those homes navigate what going back to school will look like.   

We talked to a mother who says she’s not taking any chances.

Delicia Ball, who lives in Keller has a wide-ranging family dynamic. Her youngest is 8-years old going into the 3rd grade. Her 70-year-old mother is also home, as well as her 18-year-old with a seizure disorder.

She worries about what will happen when her youngest has to go back to school during a pandemic.  

“It’s a time to protect what you value most, and to me that’s family,” said Delicia Ball.  

For Ball, it’s been one of the scariest and most uncertain times of her life. Her multigenerational family, a combination of adult children, their parents, and grandchildren face a unique set of challenges as they try to safely navigate living under the same roof during a pandemic.

“It’s been nerve-wracking,” said Ball. “But we take precautions and we go out if we need to go to the grocery store, and get necessities, and we wear a mask. We definitely wear our masks.”

Which she says she’s not seeing enough of, which makes her uneasy leaving her home. She knows young people, like her 8-year-old daughter, Olivia who could inadvertently carry the virus and pass it on to vulnerable members of their family.

“With going back to school, I am concerned that my daughter would catch something, would catch COVID and bring it home, and with my mother being 70, she’s of that generation that doesn’t necessarily like to go to the doctor, so she would try to self-medicate,” said Ball. “I’m also concerned because I have an 18-year-old that’s got a seizure disorder, so she can’t wear a mask. Her immunity is low, and it would just be a nightmare for us to get COVID right now.”

“I’ve always definitely had a concern of being around, even myself being around my grandma, and visiting and whatnot because I have visited,” said Aliyah Castilo. “And just that concern of what could happen.”   

Delicia’s 25-year-old daughter Aliyah is a deaf education teacher in Corpus Christi.

“Just that concern of you never know how it’s going to affect your body, and with so many age variances, it’s just really scary,” said Castillo.  

But her mother maintains her faith and trust in health officials as they push through these uncertain times.

“Taking it seriously I think is the most important thing,” said Ball. “A lot of people are not taking it as seriously as they should.”   

Ball says at this point she plans to keep her 8-year-old daughter at home. Because of their household dynamic, she doesn’t feel comfortable sending her back to school for in-person learning any time soon, at least until there is a vaccine for COVID-19.

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