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  • COVID ep

    Susan: [00:00:00] And I like whispered the guy. I’m like, Hey, Hey dude, we really need this test. You know? And it was just like, why do I even need to feel like this needs to be some kind of a black market experience just to get tested.

    Susan: Right. Just to have the information, to know if we can go to daycare

    Jeanette: Welcome To model minority moms, where we talk about the meaning of success in career, family, and life. We are Janette park,

    Kate: Kate

    Kate: Wong

    Susan: And Susan Lu,

    Jeanette: Harvard, classmates, and Asian-American working moms. Who get real about the pressures of fitting in while standing out.

    Susan: So we’ve all just come back from the holiday break in the thing that’s totally. Top of mine is COVID and how much COVID is running our lives. Kate, what would you want to continue back on of just what COVID has shown about upending our, our society and the [00:01:00] state of our lives?

    Kate: Yeah, I think what’s tricky or interesting is with the current variant AMR Cron is that I think because rules in society, whether it’s schools, the workplace, et cetera, are set up around this sort of more like ossified conception of, COVID as being something that’s really deadly and nobody wants to get it.

    Kate: And therefore, you know, There’s a case at school, a completely shuts down or things like that. I think what, what is like, actually as frustrating to me as a parent now is that Getting sick. Doesn’t just mean you get you’re getting sick, right? I’m actually not too afraid of getting sick. It sounds like from all of the data that Omicron is really mild.

    Kate: I’m, you know, boosted, et cetera. It’s more like if I get sick or expose or anybody in my family, immediate family is no one is we have to keep the kid home from daycare. No one wants to come to home where you have a COVID [00:02:00] exposure or COVID positive case. I can’t go get the week weekly monitoring. I’ve been getting at my clinic for my high risk pregnancy.

    Kate: Right. Cause nobody like the first question they ask you is have you had any of these symptoms and they take your temperature. Right. And so, and you know, and those are just my personal disturbances, but I think for other families, they’re obviously a lot more, there are some people who have to go to work like actual if physical workplace and they can’t because you know, their kid’s daycare got another positive case.

    Kate: And so it’s just really devastating. I think in that way beyond just being sick, not that I’m trying to mitigate being sick. That’s not great either. Yeah. And I think that we need to start thinking a lot more about this because if we are to ever kind of move forward in whatever way these issues have to be addressed, right?

    Susan: Yeah. It’s I got to say, you know my family, we had gone to Tahoe for the holidays, so we flew from Seattle down to San Francisco and back, and got new news that one of our family members were hanging out with. [00:03:00] COVID positive. And Marvin, and we’re like, okay, how are we going to deal with this? Because we were definitely exposed to this person,

    Jeanette: how did that person find out?

    Jeanette: So they just had symptoms and they decided to get tested. Yeah. They

    Susan: had one of the box tests. I was like, oh, positive. And then their friend works at Google and, and they have these, all these Google people can have these machines at home that also test you. They’re called Nat machines are in that test.

    Susan: And then, so she got it there and then it was confirmed. And then it was like, oh, so then she scheduled a PCR test and got a result that was positive. She’s like, okay, I’m super positive. Did all her kids. Her husband, then they all were positive and I’m sitting there going like, oh, we totally vacation with you.

    Susan: So then we come home on Sunday the second, and I’m sitting there going like, okay, what are we going to do? Because I need art to go back to daycare. It’s been three weeks. I love art. It’s been a lot of quality time, but I really need him to be in daycare and I need my space to do my stuff. And then we’re like, okay, [00:04:00] we can go to one of these test sites.

    Susan: And you don’t always need an appointment. Like no appointments were available online, whatever. We’ll just show up. I show up in the freezing rain I’m person. Number 50, like the site has just opened 30 minutes ago. I’m person number 50, freezing rain. I have all my rain gear on and I’m just like shove shivering waiting.

    Susan: And then after 45 minutes, someone comes out and is like, sorry, no walkup appointments today. The entire line dissipates. And they’re like, go to the soda location. It’s another neighborhood in Seattle drive there. We’re in this long.

    Jeanette: Yeah. Yeah.

    Susan: We’re in this long car line. Like there’s a line to get into the line, but at least this is drive-through right after 45 minutes, we finally get to a sign where someone’s talking to us and there’s a little sandwich board, all squiggly written like no appointments or no walkup appointments.

    Susan: And I’m sitting there going like, couldn’t you have showed us the sign while we’re driving into the line. Also your sister site told us to [00:05:00] come here. I talked to the guy I’m like, come on, just let me it. Like, there’s a miscommunication here. And he’s like, sorry. Ma’am you could like go to, you know, a pharmacy early in the morning.

    Susan: They restock at night. The next morning I go to four locations. I drive like. Rite aid opens at 7:00 AM. I’m there at 6 55. I’m ready to go in. And every single person I ask every employee, I’m like, Hey, do you have any bucks tests? They look at me like, I’m crazy. They look at me like I’m looking for a Christmas toy that sold out ages ago.

    Susan: You know what I mean? Like that was like the hot thing. Like if they were like, we haven’t seen tests in weeks, every single one of these places, and I’m sitting there going, like, how am I supposed to verify that I’m safe, my kids safe. And we can go to daycare the next day, me art in Marvin. We S we finally get an appointment, but for a future day, and then I like I’m there at, at 8:00 AM again, or like, I’m there at 9:00 AM.

    Susan: So I’m there at eight 30. I’m standing in line and I’m good at I’m like brute force. [00:06:00] I’m going to get a test, even though our appointments the next day. And I like whispered the guy. I’m like, Hey, Hey dude, we really need this test. You know? And it was just like, why do I even need to feel like this needs to be some kind of a black market experience just to get tested.

    Susan: Right. Just to have the information, to know if we can go to daycare and he was like, it’s cool. It’s cool. So we all get tested. We, the about like 48 hours about day and a half later, we get the results Marvi gets at first I waited another six hours. I’m like, why haven’t I gotten the results? I must be positive.

    Susan: Cause me and artistic at this point, we find out it’s negative, but it was just like this long journey just to get information. Just to know what we’re going to do. And that second day on Tuesday, Marvin, I couldn’t both work. So we’re both taking care of art and he has meetings and I have meetings and we’re just trying to juggle, juggle, juggle.

    Susan: And it was just like, it was it was, it was just breaking me down, you know what I mean? Like there was no way to just get information. And then once we had information, what are we really going to do? What are [00:07:00] we going to do? Not, not go to work for 10 days.

    Jeanette: Yeah. Can I just ask did you find out that your family member was positive before you got on the plane or after

    Kate: got to Seattle

    Susan: after I got to Seattle and that the night before I left San Francisco, I had gotten a notification from Washington health department saying you’ve been exposed to someone in the last 14 days in Washington.

    Susan: So then I’m sitting there and going like, oh shoot. Like even before I left for Tahoe, something else happened, you know? So it was just like, we’re trying to piece together, all this information. Yeah. Piecemeal, and then try to work with a system. Like we don’t really have access to rapid tests. It was just a disaster.

    Susan: And yesterday I was really on the struggle bus going like spraying, like could not wait to return Art to daycare. And it was, I know that was a super long complicated and we did zoom care too. I didn’t even have anybody to go into that story. Yeah. There’s urgent care called ZoomCare.

    Kate: Oh, I thought you meant [00:08:00] ZoomCare like art daycare.

    Susan: I was like, you know what the kid’s going to virtual daycare. No, no, no, no. We all, I also like managed to get a tele appointment and like, and then that gave me the green light to go into a physical clinic to get swapped. And I waited for those test results. Like it was just like this total nightmare of trying to navigate our healthcare system and just get information and then figure out with the information, what kind of, how to deal with the mess.

    Susan: And it was just like, it was beyond stressful.

    Jeanette: Well, I guess it’s my turn to tell my holiday horror stories. Tell it yeah, I think in like the last four weeks, my kids have been in care for two days or something like that it’s a combination of things with like COVID and it’s just like having kids and having them be sick with other things, non COVID Colts, cold flu type things.

    Jeanette: And then it’s the snow storm that hits Seattle. Right. So week before the week of [00:09:00] Christmas my kids get sick. They have a barking cough. I test them they’re negative, but like, they’re coughing so much that I don’t feel calm. Like it just, they would be miserable at school.

    Jeanette: So I kept them home. You know, of course like then Isaiah slowly as he’s getting better, he gives it to Ruth. And then like, Ruth is about, you know, so both the kids are like home for four days that week and get nothing done. And then the following week, which is a short week to begin with, because as Christmas week, like they go to school one day and then the next day somebody at their school test positive.

    Jeanette: So then the whole school’s shuts down. Right. And then and then the week after that is Christmas week, so the school is closed and then they go back to school for one day and then and then another person test positive. And so now, currently my kids are home again. And I mean, I think overall our, my kid’s school.

    Jeanette: I feel like they’ve struck a good balance and they’ve also been lucky because they have had no COVID exposures or no known COVID exposures for, you know, the 20 months or [00:10:00] so, whatever that we’ve been going through this. But I think with Omicron is just different, right? It’s just like a whole nother level of contagiousness.

    Jeanette: So, you know, with it literally within like 10 and 10 days or something like three people got COVID. And then on top of that, we were going to go to Baltimore for a close family members wedding. And because my kids were sick, we just decided to cancel that trip. And then two weeks later we were going down to LA to see my brother, but we went down the day that our flight was supposed to take off flight, got canceled as we were standing in line to check our bags so we pack up and we come back home, we rebooked for the next day. We go down, we get there at like 1230 there’s lines everywhere because all the flights from the previous day were canceled. So like everybody rebooked for the next day, it’s like a zoo at the airport.

    Jeanette: We stand in line for two and a half hours. We get our bags checked, we go through security. We get to, you know, we’re fortunate. Jake has status on one of the airlines. So we go to the lounge and that’s nice. We’re like hanging out. Flight gets delayed, delayed, delayed. We board the [00:11:00] plane.

    Jeanette: It gets delayed, delayed, delayed. They’re like we have a prop, you know, we’re like ready to take off. We have a minor maintenance problem with the bathroom. It won’t flush and, you know, delay, delay, delay. And then finally they’re like, oh, the flights canceled because there’s some kind of lover that they have to.

    Jeanette: Press to reef set the toilets pressure or something and it’s frozen shut and so, and then, and then the kicker is that, I mean, I actually feel like my kids did fantastic given everything through the whole day, and I feel relatively proud of myself too, for not losing it during the day. And then, but like, as we’re de boarding the plane, I asked the gate agent like, so how can we get our bags?

    Jeanette: He’s like, oh, your bags are going to Burbank, which is where we’re headed. Right. And I’m like, okay, well, can I at least get my car seats back because I need to take my kids home. Right. It’s like, we got there at 1230. It’s like seven 30 at night now. Right. And I’m like, I need to get the car seat so that I could take my kids home.

    Jeanette: They’re like, oh m’am the car seats, if you check them, they’re also going to go to [00:12:00] Burbank. And like, at that point I kind of lost it. I was like, you canceled two flights in 48 hours. I’ve spent already seven hours at this airport, not including what, like yesterday, and now you’re telling me you can’t even give me my fucking car seats so that I could take my kid.

    Jeanette: So, you know, sorry, I was just like really upset. How did you get home? Oh yeah. So what we did was we we took the light rail home. You know, and then we got a friend who also has two kids to pick us up from the nearest light rail station to our house and then drive us home.

    Jeanette: But, you know, like imagine if there was no light rail, right. Or like, if you live really far away out of the reach of the light rail, like, what are you going to do? And it just it drove me crazy because yeah. I mean, I’m like, you should think of these contingencies, right? Like, I mean, like I can not, not check my car seats.

    Jeanette: Right? Like you cannot board with your car seats, so I have to check them. So if you think there’s a chance you’re going to cancel your flight, maybe you should like leave your car [00:13:00] seats to be. You know, get on the plane like last or something, because like, how am I supposed to take my kids home if the flight gets canceled?

    Susan: But w why is all the luggage even going to Burbank if you guys,

    Jeanette: oh my gosh. Don’t even ask me. Okay. So that, so that happens. And like Jake has to make two more trips down to the airport, right? It’s like four trips down to the airport for a flight that never happened. Because he has to go down the next day because he’s trying to get on the phone with the baggage claim company to like, tell them, you know, please track our bags and bring them back to our house and he can’t get to anybody.

    Jeanette: So he drives down there. He gets in line for the baggage claim. He also needs to get our car because we couldn’t drive our car home because of the whole car seat situation. So that’s another trip. And then Like two days later, we get a call from the baggage claim office in Burbank saying, we have your bags.

    Jeanette: What do you want us to do with them? We’re like, send them fucking back to Seattle. And so then they come back to Seattle, they call us, they like, what do you want us to do with [00:14:00] them? We’re like, okay, can you deliver them to our house? They’re like, no, well we’re so understaffed and I think that’s a big COVID, that’s a COVID thing.

    Jeanette: Right? We’re so understaffed that if you want your bags back, you’re going to have to come down and get them. So then he has to go down for a fourth time to go get all of our stuff. Right. And then it’s like another half a day to unpack everything, like all this work for a trip that didn’t even happen. And like, I think all through it all, you know, you just, I, it, it taught me to reach really deep down and like grab that hunk of patience that.

    Jeanette: I wasn’t sure I had. Right. I mean, yeah.

    Susan: Did you have it?

    Jeanette: Yeah, I think so. I don’t know. Or it’s like some, some, some combination of like additional patience plus like intentional amnesia, right. Because I think the old me would have just gotten really pissed. I would have probably yelled at a bunch of people.

    Jeanette: And I would have been really cranky, but I think just with kids, I’m, I’m just like, I really want, I’m really trying [00:15:00] very hard to , not be like that with my kids. Cause I, I don’t want, I don’t want them, I don’t want to be like that around them. Right. So it’s like, I just need to figure out like a different way of being and I think it’s probably good.

    Jeanette: I mean, a lot of these things were nobody’s fault. But it was regardless Nirav frustrating. And just, it’s pretty painful.

    Kate: Yeah. I mean, Jeanette, if you lose your shit, you’re about to lose your, I probably would have already, like, I don’t know, stomped my way, like Rumpelstiltskin all the way into the center of the earth by then.

    Kate: But you know, all of this, like your, both of your horror stories is just kind of, you know like, so full disclaimer, hopefully husband won’t like, kill me for saying this, but I think, you know, for like for awhile Nirav and I used to have kind of disagreements about our COVID policy like him being, you know, it’s going to be endemic.

    Kate: Like in fact at one point he was, maybe we should just get it just to get it over with that was before, like, you know, just because you get it once doesn’t mean you’re immune to another variant way. He’s like much [00:16:00] more of a. You know, because he, you know, he knows public and health and medicine, and he’s like, this disease is not going away, like pretty early on.

    Kate: Right. Whereas I was still holding out for like, it’s okay. Once this wave is over, everything will be fine. And we will return back to normal, which I think a lot of people might still think. But I think, you know, as variant upon variant has come and I’ve observed just the different policies or lack thereof in the us and just still all of the havoc that it’s raked on people’s lives.

    Kate: Like, and we’re all very lucky. Right? Cause we’re pretty well-resourced but like people who don’t, you know, like didn’t, you were mentioning people, don’t like, can’t get their kids home. They don’t have a car seat or, you know, other things. I mean, it’s really, really it’s really devastating. And I think we’re in this really, this tough and frustrating situation where mentally and psychologically, both the government in terms of policy and institutions, and then also many citizens have not really.

    Kate: Kind of flipped the switch to realize that it’s not going away. Like, I think people who still think that COVID is going to go away [00:17:00] are in LA LA land. Maybe you should move to China because China still has like a us versus COVID like, no COVID policy go move there or something. But like in the U S it’s just not going to be like that.

    Kate: And I think we’re now just slogging through this, who knows how long process of the government institutions than us figuring out how to really deal with their new reality. I think many of our rules or regulations are based on, you know, the fear in the beginning and not understanding that this is going to become endemic, right?

    Susan: I mean, is it going to be like, it’s like the flu and every year you get a flu shot and you get a COVID shot.

    Kate: That’s what nerve has been saying. Since the beginning, actually, incidentally, I would like to make the observation that my father-in-law, who was a pediatrician, he came to visit us over Christmas and he was like, honestly, this season it’s like, I have seen more severe cases of RSV, which is a rhino, this RSP Sanford.

    Kate: I forget respiratory

    Jeanette: respiratory.

    Kate: It’s something, something anyway, sorry. Very common. Among young kids, he has seen more terrible cases of RSV and the flu which by the way, this year is somehow immune to the flu [00:18:00] vaccine then than COVID. He was like, he is not, not, he’s not, not worried about COVID for kid like young kids, but he’s like, you need to look out for these other things.

    Kate: And I think, you know, it’s, but you know, we don’t think about that, right. Are I think in most people’s minds like , but like RSV

    Susan: started in the summer, like in 2021,

    Kate: which is insane. It usually starts like, you know, in the winter. Right. And so there are all these other things, and it’s just very hard to keep all of this in mind and try to make decisions.

    Kate: And you know, some of my friends are like, have make it. And I think the other thing I’m going to admit to it’s like socially awkward too, because I have some friends who have like very different COVID approaches, whether it’s more conservative or like way more conservative or way more liberal. And it’s just very hard socially to.

    Kate: Get through that. Right. I don’t know. And, and so, anyway, I’m just complaining, but I think we’re kind of stuck in this, like the most unpleasant phase, frankly.

    Susan: What, well, what do you think about like maybe after any kid that’s over two is allowed to have a vaccine, maybe will you feel more [00:19:00] relaxed? Like I think that’s when I’m going to feel more relaxed, sort of, I will

    Kate: feel more relaxed than since that.

    Kate: Okay. Yay. My daughter, like, you know, slash bait, you know, maybe eventually the baby, if they get COVID, they won’t get really sick. I mean, already they’re very, very low risk, but like, what I’m actually more worried about now is that I was talking to Nirav about this is gonna be very unpopular. So send me hate mail if you want.

    Kate: You know, even though we, as adults are still vaccinated and boosted, et cetera, we still have to wear masks in certain places. And I totally understand it’s to help other people, et cetera. But like, what if your kids are vaccinated, boosted, et cetera? How do we, I don’t know if the schools or daycare is how will they change their policy.

    Kate: Right. Because we haven’t really seen that even with adult situations. So I, and I don’t want my daughter, I don’t know about your kids. I don’t want her wearing a mask indefinitely, like right. For the next few years. I mean, it’s, it’s really bad for language acquisition, learning, human emotion, expression, all of these things.

    Kate: I even turned the Nirav the other day. And I was like, look, if by the time she gets to kindergarten and we still have to work, like she’s has to wear a mask to [00:20:00] school, we’re moving out of here. Like I was like not living here, you know? And then the other thing is that, you know, it’s very dependent based on where you live, things like that.

    Kate: That actually really worries me more. Right. It’s it’s. I mean, not that I’m not worried about her getting sick, but I’m very sanguine because if you look at the statistics, kids are very very low risk, unless you have, you know, existing immuno suppressed condition. I’m probably more at risk before I was boosted because I’m pregnant right.

    Kate: Pregnant with will have anyway. But my point is like, I’m actually worried about that. Right?

    Susan: Social cues, emotional development. Yeah.

    Kate: All of these other, I mean, how it is it just think about it? Like how weird is it to grow up and then you only go to school in masks and you only see your teachers wearing a mask,

    Susan: you know, all, you know,

    Kate: Twilight.

    Kate: Yeah. That’s Twilight zone to me.

    Jeanette: Yeah. I mean, I think that it’s, it’s just really, it’s hard, right? Because the, you have these pretty [00:21:00] ossified. Institutions like the federal and state government or city government, and they’re trying to respond to a pretty dynamic situation. And you also have different interests in society, right?

    Jeanette: Like people who are more vulnerable and then like, people like us not to say we’re not vulnerable, but like we’re a lower, much lower risk. Right. I mean, like now I’m boosted to like, all the adults in our house are boosted. And like you said, Kate for kids, yes, you’d never want them to have complications, but the rate of complications is very, very low still.

    Jeanette: And so, you know, I just feel like if we’re curtailing our own activities to kind of spread the stop, the spread of COVID, it’s like more for. In my mind, it’s like as much for like the benefit of kind of like our community.

    Jeanette: Right. As much as it is for us. Right. And also, you know, healthcare workers who have been totally burnt out and at the, basically like the pounding end of like this, they did just get all the shit. Right. Of like, of of [00:22:00] COVID, because it’s people’s choices not to get vaccinated people’s choice, like not to socially distance, like all the results of that.

    Jeanette: Like they’re basically facing that. I don’t know. Yeah, but I’m cautiously hopeful with Omicron, like after this wave is over and then like, we also have antiviral medicines coming online that sometime in 2022, like things might look somewhat more normal. And I agree with you. Like, it definitely seems like it’s gonna be endemic, right.

    Jeanette: I would venture to say, like, even for China, like there’s no way that they’re gonna, you know, forever keep this virus at bay. I mean, maybe it’ll be better for them because they’ll end up getting infected with something like Omicron rather than the earlier waves which was much more severe. But like, I mean, this there’s, there’s no way that this is we’re going to eradicate.

    Jeanette: COVID

    Susan: [00:23:00] when I got back from the holidays, which I feel like I need a break. Like I need another vacation within the holidays. So stressful. I was just talking to people around the country about just different things and it’s like either they had COVID or their family had COVID and it just seemed to like a lot more common.

    Susan: And I just wonder like, well, okay, well, what happens if everyone gets.

    Kate: Nirav reporting every day that our friends who didn’t get sick in the previous waves and they’re all vaxxed and in many cases, boosted, a lot of them are sick with COVID. So I mean, and luckily none of them have had to go to the hospital, you know, it’s pretty mild.

    Kate: It’s kind of like flu like symptoms. It’s just you know, I think this is almost like a look into what it, I hesitate to say what it could be in a sense, but like that you know, as something becomes endemic, it, it doesn’t necessarily become less infectious. I mean, the flu is pretty infectious.

    Kate: Right. But that it, it’s not as [00:24:00] I guess it’s not as dangerous. Or in an apparently Omicron one of the reason why it’s not quite as bad as the other variances, it doesn’t attack the lungs lungs which is pretty bad for the other was true of the other, other variants. But, you know, it’s that, and also kind of hard to tell, cause it’s the first variant that’s kind of been like this where it’s super infectious, but then relative, oh, I want to say relatively, it’s not mild, but relatively mild.

    Kate: Right. And so you wonder, okay, after that, what are the other variants going to look like?

    Susan: Right. We’re only at the letter O in the alphabet, we’re only happy AMR

    Kate: Omicron is actually a letter.

    Jeanette: It’s definitely E I think it’s one of those weird things. It’s a great,

    Kate: I never take, like, I just know that I was like, I just listened to some episode that was debating how to pronounce it correctly.

    Kate: And I was like, I can’t believe I’m listening to this, but Anyway.

    Susan: So I wouldn’t, I do have to say your vocabulary, both of you on this episode, it has been stellar. Like I’m like your sat vocab, like you must’ve [00:25:00] killed it on the, what was that called? Would it has the dot dots? The relationships.

    Jeanette: Oh yeah.

    Jeanette: Yeah. Oh my God. I

    Kate: love the analogies. I asked them, oh my God. I was

    Susan: so bad at analogies.


    Jeanette: But like, I think the other thing one of you mentioned is just like the judgment of other families, , you know, who have different policies. either it’s like, I feel like I’m being, being like a prude because I’m not doing certain things.

    Jeanette: Right. Or it’s like, I am irresponsible to other people and my family, because I am doing certain things. Right. It’s like, I’m being irresponsible because I’m sending my kids to daycare, but I’m also not thinking about their social, economic, social, emotional health, you know, if I’m not doing.

    Jeanette: Random play dates with just like anyone, you know? It’s not just with friends too. It’s also with family members. It definitely adds a lot more stress and friction. To these interactions.

    Susan: It’s such a continuum because I think to you too, I feel very lax.

    Susan: And then to other people I was hanging out with in my [00:26:00] family, certain family members, I’m so conservative. And I’m like, why, how is that possible?

    Kate: It’s all, you know, values and what people, you know, I, I feel the same way. Right. I feel like I have some friends who are like very, very. Strict. And then friends who are like a little bit more, you know, more open and things like that, but it just feels like it it’s hard because it’s so personal because you’re judging on, well, the initial premise is what are you going to do?

    Kate: So you don’t get sick and die. I don’t really think personally, I don’t really think that’s the decision for it is a decision for some people, right? If you’re immunocompromised, a lot of people don’t develop antibodies, et cetera. That’s totally like definitely more of a life or death decision. But I think what I’m going to kind of admit here what really slightly irritates me are the people who are very healthy with no conditions whatsoever who are like, and they’re, they’re, they’re very, very, very strict almost as if to like, I don’t know that I don’t want to say that they explicitly are trying to advertise [00:27:00] this, but to be like holier than thou,

    Kate: does that make sense?

    Kate: Oh, I can get some neutral examples. Like it’s not anything they say, but it’s things that they do to like say, oh well we’ll, but we don’t do that. Or we’re very afraid of getting sick. We don’t do this, you know? And it’s also because they have a lot of resources, right. To be able to afford to do certain things that would allow them to be more careful.

    Kate: And I think that’s the other thing too, is that I don’t think people talk about it enough. It’s a money thing as well.

    Susan: Give me an example. Are they living in a bubble own little bubble cars,

    Kate: not bubble cars, but just, you know yeah, no, I’m just saying

    Jeanette: like, it’s like, I don’t go to the grocery store.

    Jeanette: They get all their groceries delivered or they may have like their nanny, like live

    Kate: yeah. Or something like that. Exactly. Like things that Jeanette does and it’s not even anything they said, they could be perfectly nice to you, but you look at the decisions that you make and you just feel like, wow, there’s so much privilege there.

    Kate: I mean, we’re all privileged, but like, they can also only do that and stand on that holy ground [00:28:00] because they have money. You know and I just don’t think people are talking about that. And also the weird thing that really galls me is that there are people who are like super low risk, relatively speaking, we’re talking about risk.

    Kate: Right. But I also understand risk is also a mental concept. Like what you think is risky versus not right. But, but I guess it just annoys me from a broader perspective because I’m like, yo, like you are so low risk. It’s fine. If you go to the grocery store like once. Right. But then if I say something like that, it also feels super judgmental.

    Kate: Right. So I feel like there’s no way anybody can feel good about this.

    Jeanette: And then the downside is so, I mean, I think people, you know, I think it’s been documented right now, right? Like it’s a low probability, but high. Magnitude downside is people really exaggerated in their minds.

    Jeanette: And actually like, Kate while you were talking, I was remembering that there was actually a Harvard oh seven guy who died from COVID remember like a doctor. Yeah. He’s a [00:29:00] doctor. He had no previous health conditions. Right. But he developed the multi inflammatory syndrome. It seemed like, and he’s not even a kid, you know?

    Jeanette: And so so you know, you just, I like, like, I’m more with you. Like when I assessed the probabilities for my kids, I know it’s on an absolute basis, pretty low. And you have to weight against all this other stuff that you might be, they might be missing by, you know, basically shutting your life down.

    Jeanette: But then your mind wanders to these cases that, you know, of people who were low-risk like, who didn’t have any chronic issues or anything. Right. And then they just like died, you know? And and so, yeah, I don’t know.

    Kate: It’s very psychological. That’s what I mean is that you could, there could be the external facts, right.

    Kate: And then there, and then there’s what you think on the inside. And because we’re all very different, what we’re thinking on the inside, but the same set of facts is totally different. And I think that’s what makes us so hard in terms of the social aspect, right?

    Susan: Yeah. I mean, I got to say, so I, I read the New [00:30:00] York times app some most days and then I’ll read it.

    Susan: And then however, I look at cases and changes and any headlines around COVID and then that will determine how I feel for the day. So then if it’s like, oh, it shows Omicron is less hospitalizations. I’d be like, oh, okay, great. And I feel pretty positive that day or so it changes day to day. And then when I went to go visit, my dad in Texas.

    Susan: It was like, Covid did not exist. Like nobody wearing masks. Like it was just, I was, it was rare to, to wear a mask like I was the one putting it on

    Kate: judged for wearing a mask though. Like, did you feel like people were staring at you and

    Susan: said anything, but there’s something that happens psychologically with whatever the majority is doing.

    Susan: You start to feel in a minority in a, in an othering situation. And then over time I got really comfortable and I just kind of took off my mask too. So it was really weird because [00:31:00] Texas isn’t any different, like people are still getting infected, but, but I, I got, I easily could feel very comfortable and safe.

    Susan: And then all of a sudden feel really, really alarmed. So I just feel like I keep going to keep vacillating back and forth.

    Kate: Well, I think what you’re saying is a real

    Susan: That was like the only one I remember.

    Kate: You know, I think you’re making a really good point though, which is that a lot of our conceptions are very much shaped by local practices and policies. Right. So similarly we went to Miami in early December and you know, what was really interesting, I, I, I expect it to be like Texas, where nobody’s wearing masks, then I might get judged or something.

    Kate: So it’s true. A lot of people weren’t wearing masks, but what was really interesting to me is that actually quite a number of people were like inside. Right. And even in fact, some stores, I think must’ve required their clerks to wear masks or something, but also no one looked at me. Judgmentally. Like, I didn’t feel judged.

    Kate: Right. Some [00:32:00] people were wearing masks, some people weren’t and I was telling Nirav I was like, Hey, that’s kind of weird. Cause I totally expected to get like weird looks, for wearing a mask. And he was like, you know, it’s also just the culture of Miami. Like you do what you do and nobody’s interfering in your like in your business.

    Kate: And so, and I was like, oh, that’s so interesting because I definitely, you know, if you weren’t wearing a mask, like when I’m in Seattle and I go into a place and I see somebody who’s mask is like hovering just right above their nostril unit, you can see like one millimeter of their nostril. I

    Susan: wear it at that point.

    Kate: I just kind of want to say, but you know, and so then I turned into this like police, moral police person in Seattle, but then, you know, when I was in Miami, like you isn’t like after a few days. I mean, I’m going to wear my mask, but okay. Like if you’re not going to wear a mask also at the time I was looking at the infection rates, this is like, before Omicron’s spread, they were like lower than Washington state.

    Kate: And so I was like, okay. And then we’re doing everything outside. So I feel fine but I totally understand. I think like when you were living in a place, you have [00:33:00] your personal, you know, like what we’re talking about, the psychological reaction to the same set of external facts, but then you also have like the cultural practices that place dictated by policies, et cetera, et cetera.

    Kate: And that really, I mean, it really screws with you, right? Like you can feel like an evil police person in one place, but then feel like, you know, the goody two shoes in another place

    Susan: in Seattle, Marvin and I dine in sometimes and

    Kate: I just ate at a burger place. You don’t tell anybody, don’t tell my mom she’ll fuck the shit out.

    Susan: And then we’d go to Vancouver or hanging out with my mother-in-law and like, we do not dine in you know, like it’s just everything’s takeout and it’s just like, so it’s just, it’s just so different. And, and the thing is, is everyone operates on a spectrum, say, politically, it’s just that you can not talk about politics.

    Susan: And I would never know exactly where you are and I don’t need to know, but with COVID it’s like, if we’re socializing and I’m at your [00:34:00] house, I’m going to you’re the host, I’m going to play by your rules and respect that. Right. And so we have to have these conversations and we have to check in, and sometimes I have to say, Hey, I just want to check, are you vaccinated?

    Susan: You know? And, and I almost feel kind of weird, mean dumb saying that, but I just, I just, I need my own peace of mind that I, that I just asked, you know? And it’s, it’s a very interesting social experiment about stating what your needs are.

    Jeanette: Yeah. Another weird COVID thing is I always feel like more of a need to cough now.

    Jeanette: I don’t know why it’s like, because I know, because I feel like. You know, when you start coughing in a public place, like, even though, you know, you’re not sick or you like recently tested negative and you’re like, you know, you did all the vaccine, blah, blah, blah. But like, you know, you just like you though, your spit went down the wrong tube or something and you are just coughing and you just feel like, so self-conscious about it.

    Jeanette: Or your kid starts coughing for no reason. And for me, I think sometimes when I feel more self-conscious about coughing. I tend to cough even more. And so, you [00:35:00] know, and then there’s like all the kind of, like, I start feeling self-conscious right. Oh, like, should I just like leave? Well, and then there’s the, for a while.

    Jeanette: I mean, I feel at this a little bit less, but before, earlier in the pandemic, I also felt like there was this kind of racialized, like aspect to it. I don’t know if you guys felt that right. But like I had this experience where I was in a drugstore in Seattle, fairly early in the pandemic. I was still pregnant with Ruth

    Jeanette: it must’ve been like within six months of when the lockdown started in Seattle. And this guy came up to me and he, you know, I don’t think he was homeless, but you know, he. He was black and he was kind of aggressive. And he was like hanging out by the cashiers, talking to them, but , didn’t really seem to have any obvious business that.

    Jeanette: He was taking care of there. It was just kind of hanging out and we were kind of standing in line, like figuring out is this guy in line? Like, should we go around him or not? And he kind of started becoming more aggressive with us and, you know, he’s like, [00:36:00] well, you know, you, you sh I don’t exactly remember what he said, but he’s like, you know, I’m in line.

    Jeanette: Like, I, you know, you guys can’t go around me. And the clerk was like, oh, you know, he, it seemed like this guy was familiar to them and they’re like, oh, you know, just calm down, you know, it’s fine. Like, you know, we’ll take care of you, blah, blah, blah. And he’s, he said something like, well, you know, it’s her people that brought this here, you know?

    Jeanette: And just getting really close to me. And I was also probably like seven or eight months pregnant by that time. So I was like, feeling like, kind of, you know, you feel more vulnerable when you’re pregnant and Jake was there and he. Almost never gets aggressive, but I think he felt like more like, like on alert, right?

    Jeanette: ’cause this, this, like, he was, he’s almost six feet tall and he’s kinda hovering over me. So yeah, I feel like there is, I feel there is a racialized element and I don’t know if it’s just me having internalized it, but you know, when I’m in a public place and I just start coughing, even though I know it’s because, you know, I drank some water and it went down the wrong tube.

    Jeanette: Like I feel more self-conscious about it [00:37:00] because I feel like there is that sense of like, I know some people blame Asian people for having quote brought COVID, you know, to the U S or to the world. And then, you know, then like my mind is like, oh, it’s just like double, right? Like she, her quote, her people brought COVID and like, she’s not being responsible by like, she’s coughing, but she’s in this public space.

    Jeanette: Right. And so there is like the kind of racialized, dimension to it as well.

    Susan: Yeah.

    Jeanette: You just look sad, Susan.

    Susan: Well, I’m kind of like what are you supposed to do? Wear shirt. Don’t worry. I recently tested negative, you know, like have a sign clarified stuff. It’s just, it’s just it’s a lot of paranoia to live with.

    Kate: Maybe not funny. I funny, I don’t know if it’s funny example of sort of reverse racism on my end, as in I’m practicing it or not reverse racism is still racism.

    Kate: I guess if I’m still seeking singling out a group of people so. I actually feel a little [00:38:00] safer when I dine out in Chinese restaurants don’t kill me for this. Okay. Because all the Chinese people, I know, especially like the first gen Chinese, like my parents’ generation, or like my cousin who immigrated here as as a young adult, I feel like all the people that I know are definitely on average, more conservative with their behavior during COVID than the rest of the population.

    Kate: Okay. So then I justify myself, maybe this is just pure justification. It’s I can go eat out at my favorite Chinese restaurant. I’m like, okay, well, especially the ones that have basically mostly only other Chinese people eating there and like, okay. Chinese people, mostly Chinese people, Chinese people, very responsible during COVID.

    Kate: I feel safer eating mostly Chinese, but I don’t know. It’s like this total, like objectification of obviously a group of people of which I belong to in terms of ethnicity. But I, I will say that. Do that.

    Susan: Oh, I just, I just can’t, I just can’t anymore. You know, [00:39:00] like I go to the gym, I went to the gym today and I need to go to the gym.

    Susan: We all were there people. Yeah. And I wear a mask now there’s this plastic thing you can put. Oh yeah.

    Kate: But it’s like a weird Hannibal Lecter ass thing, but it’s yeah. Plastic, right?

    Susan: Yeah. You got my nose over your, over your mouth and you put on the mask and I can breathe a little bit better as you know, when I’m breathing really hard.

    Susan: It’s not like the mask isn’t like sucking to my mouth or whatever, but like, I have to do it. Like I need to exercise for my mental health and it’s just, I don’t have a Peloton, like some people, but also I really liked going to group class. Like I really, I need that. And I don’t know. Yeah. Going out to eat is fun and interesting and makes life not feel like Groundhog day all the time.

    Susan: And it’s, it’s going back to just like what the risk assessment is like you were talking about earlier, Kate, you know, it’s like, I just, I just can’t be on locked down anymore.

    Kate: The [00:40:00] only thing is it comes back to everybody’s risk assessment is different. Right. And I think, but I also think that the process of assessing risk is really hard for some people to do.

    Kate: Like, I have some friends who I think it’s really hard for them to understand contextualized risk. Right. And it’s not because they’re not smart or anything completely, but I think if you’re really scared of something and also like Jeanette said earlier, if you know, an example of somebody who is otherwise healthy, you know, like these examples stick with you, right.

    Kate: It’s, it’s psychological. And so I think. I think one of the hardest challenges on an individual level for people, especially, I guess if you have kids or you have a pre-existing medical condition is to be able to enter the zone of risk assessment, risk evaluation, and deciding based on risk, because we have not really had to think about that in this way before.

    Kate: Right? Like before pre COVID. I mean, people get the flu, but no one is like very people are sitting at their home being like, okay, should I go to the mall or not? Because if I go to the mall, maybe I’ll get the [00:41:00] flu, right? Like that didn’t exist. Although technically, maybe I don’t know, based on how bad the flu flu is this year.

    Kate: Maybe we should be thinking about that too. But it’s just a really hard exercise to do. And for a lot of reasons, right? Information access, like how do you understand risk people weigh risk really differently. How you assess risk is different based on if you have kids, if you have, if they have conditions, if you have conditions it’s just really hard.

    Kate: And no one really, I don’t feel like we were taught how to do that very well on a practical level. Applied to your own life in school, right? It’s not, you don’t learn that in school. Yeah.

    Jeanette: Yeah, I mean, I think the other thing is I have two thoughts about this. I’ve been actually. It’s been on my mind. I’m like, oh, you know, it would be maybe interesting to write a blog post.

    Jeanette: So my two thoughts are generally, , people kind of tend to think in a yes, no type of way. Right. Not in a really gradient kind of way. Right. And it’s the same with racism. I think it’s like, it’s like this group of people good, bad. Right. It’s not like, oh, this group of people [00:42:00] like, has like a distribution of, you know, of characteristics.

    Jeanette: Right. And this person may fall along any at any point in that gradient. Right. And so, but like, generally people want to think of it in the simplest possible terms. Right. So with COVID it’s dangerous or not dangerous. I’m either going to be in a bunker or I’m going to just live my life normally.

    Jeanette: Right. And so it’s very hard. I think people get decision fatigue, like trying to be in the middle. And then I think the other thing is with COVID. You know, even if, you know, like the probability, right? Like, so like the probability of hospitalization, if he tests positive is like one in 10. Right.

    Jeanette: And like the probability of like dying is like one in a hundred or like one in a thousand or even more. Right. Depending on where you are in your demographics for like, for you as an individual though, like, it’s not like you, 10% of you goes to the hospital or like 10%, you know, 0.1 0.01% of you dies.

    Jeanette: It goes to my arm. Right. It’s not like that. It’s like, it’s very binary guys. All of you die in the hospital. Right. So it’s , it [00:43:00] is kind of like this weird thing where, you know, on a population basis, you know, this is the overall statistic, but for you individually, the outcome is very binary.

    Jeanette: Right. And so You know, and I think in that way, it’s kind of different than managing like your stock portfolio or something where you could diversify across like a bunch of different things and kind of get an average outcome. Sorry, not to like, be like too I mean, nerdy and technocratic here, but I, I feel like it’s, it’s this interesting kind of paradox.

    Susan: Look, if you get vaccinated, I mean, what is it, if you’re unvaccinated you’re six times as likely to die in the hospital, is that right? Or something

    Jeanette: like that, maybe even, maybe the gap might be even bigger.

    Susan: So there are some choices you can make to help yourself out, right?

    Jeanette: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Well,

    Kate: I, I see, I think Jeanette, your, your, your perspective makes a lot of sense.

    Kate: I think when it comes to us, I mean, we’re not entirely. It was both rational and irrational, right? Like, yes, we, not [00:44:00] only all of us goes to the hospitals, we all go to the hospital, but then, you know, that’s like a very rational but then the NASA rational part is, you know, what are our chances wouldn’t possible?

    Kate: And what’s interesting is that maybe, I don’t know if COVID will jumpstart people thinking more about this in terms of other potential risk factors in their life. Right. But, you know, again, I, I won’t like if I, before, if I was trying to decide, okay, should I. Drive or should I walk? I’m not thinking like, oh, okay, well, if I walk here or the, you know, the, this many jaywalk, like, you know, pedestrian being, being, being run over accidents versus driving accidents.

    Kate: It’s just interesting because I wonder if this whole, this whole process, the last two years will change fundamentally now how people approach these other risks. Right. I don’t know. Or will people like the people who are very risk averse, will they become more risk averse to other things in their life because they’ll start thinking, oh, well, if there’s a chance then I kind of don’t want to take it.

    Kate: I don’t know. Actually, that’s an interesting question. I don’t know if any of you have felt like you’ve gotten more conservative in your decision making in [00:45:00] general versus before

    Susan: I’m such an emotional decision maker. I was like, I asked Jeanette, she said T

    Jeanette: No, I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s really. Change the way that I make decisions too much. I, I think that it’s just kind of, it’s just kind of laid bare some things that were already there, but COVID has made much more stark.

    Jeanette: Right? I think one of the things is just the tenuousness and this is kind of going in a different direction, but like kind of the tenuousness of working women and that working woman’s life, right. Just the fact that childcare is so tenuous. And you know, it’s become , even more tenuous with COVID and how, even in normal times it’s like, it’s, it just can be such a challenge to maintain a working life with kids as a woman.

    Jeanette: And then like in COVID. [00:46:00] The little thread that most working women had, which was like somewhat regular care through school or a daycare or a nanny, like, you know, that’s basically frayed and falling apart for most people and we’re always scrambling. And so when that happens, it’s like women’s participation in, the workforce is just disintegrating.

    Jeanette: That’s pretty well-documented by now. Right. And so I think that’s one of the things that I that I feel like the whole pandemic has made more clear. Right. I mean, as well as other things, but I feel like for, for our podcasts, that’s one of the more relevant things

    Susan: I secretly wish that I could live in a commune.

    Susan: Like not like. Like one of those cold communes, but more maybe like more European Danish commune. Like we all have our house and maybe we are all like form a hexagon or something. And like, there’s a communal kitchen. So like each family makes meals at different [00:47:00] times and we all eat together. So like, you don’t have to make as many meals and all the kids play together.

    Susan: And like, you know, like there’s a central place that we watch the kids, you know, it’s just like, I feel like in America being our, our nuclear family or individual homes, it’s just like, we need more support, you know? And it’s like, how do you have built in communities? Because on my street, like I try to get to know all my neighbors and stuff.

    Susan: And it’s like, people really like to keep to themselves. You know, and it’s like, I think back to the days of my grandma and her 13 kids and they all living in the same place. And then, and then their homes are really close to each other and how they keep supporting each other. And I just, like, there was something right about that, about having a really strong, extended family.

    Susan: Whereas now we just move for our careers for the most part. And because of that, that’s, I would attribute that to the breakdown of this like of the [00:48:00] frayed mother, you know, is because that everything’s so disjointed. And so we find all these other solutions like daycare or a nanny or whatever. And it’s like, if they, it breaks down, it breaks down really quickly.

    Susan: So anyways, I’m pro commune. I kind of want to start one, but I don’t want to like move to like a random city. This

    Kate: Nirav will start that commune with you. He’s really into that concept that you outlined.

    Susan: I mean, why am I making so many meals? It makes no sense. It makes no sense

    Jeanette: because it turns out your kids need to eat.

    Jeanette: And not just once a day, actually like multiple times a day. That’s what I tell my husband. You know, I love my kids, but it’s a lot, right. It’s, it’s a lot to have them home every day, day in, day out. And I think I was on day five of having two sick kids on my hands.

    Jeanette: And having, just put them down for a day rest. I come downstairs and I was like, my reward is I get to have a cup [00:49:00] of water and I have to make dinner. You know, it’s like, that was my like reward for taking care of two sick kids for multiple days. Just 24 hours a day. And.

    Jeanette: Yeah. I mean, I think, yes, kids have to eat multiple times a day and it’s just, that’s the fact, that’s the fact of it.

    Susan: You know, I never thought in my twenties that I would see working out and taking a shower as like beautiful luxuries, like alone time. Like I never thought that I would like, just like revel in like, Ooh, shower all by myself.

    Susan: Yeah. I’m just gonna like have the hot water touch my face for way longer than I need to, you know, it’s just like, it’s sad. Sad.

    Jeanette: Yeah. We’re going to the grocery store or making dinner uninterrupted.

    Jeanette: Yeah. Yeah. But [00:50:00] yeah, I don’t know. I I want to send an encouragement to. To us and our listeners, right? It’s like, I think moms and dads, but like let’s face it a lot of moms. They’re just like, it’s like heroic endeavors going on around like the last, like almost two years, right.

    Jeanette: To try to support your kids and support them in what they need. Both in terms of their learning and physical needs and you know, everything, their mental and emotional needs. And then also maintain some semblance of working on the things that also matter to you outside the family.

    Jeanette: Right. It’s like, it’s so hard. It’s been beyond hard

    Susan: and try to like, have a healthy, happy relationship with your partner. Yeah. Like, and work on stuff together. Or like, Save for a trip or like, think about even going on a trip or like talking about goals or like cleaning up a drawer or whatever. It’s just like, how do we even [00:51:00] have room to like, do all these other things that used to be so like basic, just like, oh, did you have date night?

    Susan: And it’s like, whoa, God, how do we plan it? Date night? Like, oh

    Jeanette: yeah, yeah. I’ve decided as part of life ordering I’ve I actually like made a list of all the things like household things that need to happen just to run our family. And things that we currently outsource things that I do, my mom does some things that Jake does and, and I also marked like another column of ideas for.

    Jeanette: For us to either reduce it or outsource it even further because I mean, I’ve just I think one struggle that I’ve mentioned on past episodes is sometimes I get, I get really stressed when my kids are in daycare, but I’m not working on my work, work outside the outside family work.

    Jeanette: And I’m doing family work while my kids are in care. Right. And and just tallying all of that [00:52:00] up, I think that there’s easily 10 to 15 hours of that type of work that I, I can be doing while my kids are in care. Because when they’re home, it’s very hard for me to even do home things like clean up, like take out the trash.

    Jeanette: Like I think when my kids are a little bit older, I could do those things, but right now, and for probably the next year, it’s still very difficult. And so, I don’t know. I don’t know if other moms feel that way, you know, with very young children or if I’m the only one who feels that way. Right.

    Jeanette: But it’s just, that’s just feels like what life is for me right now. Even though I have full-time care for two kids, I don’t actually have time for full-time work. When they’re at care, because there’s, there’s other things I need to happen when they’re not home, that’s not related to my work.

    Susan: Jeanette you girl, I am with you. I work from home. I see all the projects. I see all the things that need to happen. We just met with our CPA. Thank you for the [00:53:00] referral. And I’m like, oh God, there’s just so many tasks. So tasks that you can not do with a sticky fingered little thing running around, pounding the pavement, like running around the house.

    Susan: Mess mess, mess, mess. And you’re like, oh my God. Also, what are we eating for dinner? You know? Like, it’s just like, oh, like, yeah, we

    Jeanette: are, you can’t work on your taxes while you have a two year old running around, you know, unsupervised, that stuff needs to happen while they’re in daycare.

    Kate: I don’t know how people do it.

    Kate: Cause I keep seeing on Instagram. That’s why it’s kind of screws with your mind. Like photos of parents working from home with their, like two-year-old sitting nicely.

    Susan: Is there a little table in the background with like a white pot with bronze all over?

    Kate: It all looks very nice. It’s all very curated by the way.

    Kate: They’re mostly like much story accounts and I’m just like, it’s my daughter just crazy. Like, so then I start thinking like maybe my daughter’s just weird. Like she can’t sit and like do her nice little, you know, work like next to me while I work, they call plays the work of the child. That’s like the Montessori tagline, [00:54:00] right.

    Kate: Work slash play. And I’m just like maybe my daughter, maybe we have problems. So then it makes me feel like I’m a bad parent, like, or my daughter is somehow faulty because she can’t sit there and. You know, like do her little play work nicely while I type away on my laptop. But yeah. I find it impossible to do work actual work while she’s around and even feel bad.

    Kate: Sometimes you’re responding to texts and things like that when, you know, when she’s around. But yeah, I don’t, I don’t know how people, I don’t know how they do it because this is certainly not happening in my household.

    Jeanette: Do you have a lightning round for us? Susan? I was thinking maybe we could do like pandemic hacks.

    Susan: Okay. Pin. We can give you an

    Jeanette: example. Yeah. Like just like, what has helped you through, do you have like a hack or like some, something that has helped you through the pandemic?

    Susan: [00:55:00] I listened to a podcast by Tara Brock, B R a C H. She’s a Jewish Buddhist meditation teacher in DC. And she just has such a calming voice and she’ll have lectures and meditations on her podcasts. And whenever I’m cleaning or just driving somewhere, she just turns on as just like she mellows me out, you know, especially when I’m cleaning, like we are always unloading dishes and loading dishes, and now I’m just kind of like, you know what, Marvin and I don’t have to do bedtime routine with art at the same time.

    Susan: One person can do that. And one person can do chores. Like we don’t always have to have some like mega family, intentional moment, you know, and that, or the person can listen to a podcast and have a lone time unloading dishes. But like she she’s been really calming for me. She’s been really calming.

    Jeanette: I think for me, it’s been tunnels and balls, like, so in the early days of pandemic [00:56:00] I bought this toy off Amazon, which is kind of like this nylon, like it’s made out of nylon fabric and wire.

    Jeanette: But it’s pretty well-made and I bought like bunch of those, plastic balls that you find that McDonald’s or something. And this is in the early days when I had a two year old on my hands and we couldn’t go outside and, you know, blah, blah, blah. And I feel like that toy has served us really well whenever there’s like a rainy day and we can’t go outside or because of COVID like, we can’t go outside.

    Jeanette: I just pull out the tunnels and balls. And my kids love crawling through the tunnel and just throwing balls around. So that’s. A good kind of just toy to have around. And the other toy that I really like is but that kind of makes a bigger mess is a magnetic sand.

    Jeanette: There’s the sand that kind of clumps together. It’s semi wet, but it’s not wet. It’s somehow magnetised, so they sticks together. And my kids, they just love making little sand balls and having trucks drive over it. [00:57:00] And we have this big plastic tub that we just put it in there and we put them in there and they’re not allowed to get out until they’re done done.

    Jeanette: And we , you know, dust them off. But I just feel like they have been a bit of a sanity saver for us through the pandemic.

    Susan: I love how I went immediately to me. And you went immediately to your kids?

    Jeanette: Yeah. That I that’s happened with other friends. Anyway, that’s a separate thing, but. The some things that have, have helped me.

    Susan: How about you, Kate?

    Kate: Well, I don’t know if this counts as a hack. Maybe it’s sort of like a parenting hack, but you know, since my daughter recently became addicted, well, not recently, I guess in the last few months it’s like addicted to me. Like if I’m around, she’s just, just like following me like a magnet.

    Kate: So basically I just disappear. Like we have a lower level that we renovated. So the hack is so it’s actually impossible. Both of us be around, but then only one of us take care of her because she’s [00:58:00] just always going to stick to me. So I just, my hack is around bedtime. Cause Nirav was bedtime, which is great.

    Kate: I support uses and in allowing one person the freedom to do whatever the fuck they want while the other person puts the kid to bed. And we’re, we’re doing Nirav because I know that when the baby comes, like I kind of want her to get used to having daddy put her to bed as opposed to me. So then I just disappear.

    Kate: I go for a walk I’m downstairs. I like, you know, vanish completely. I’m not upstairs where the bedrooms are and it’s been so great. I’ve had like hours of my time back, you know, to do whatever I want, which is usually just going to walk or like, I dunno, I can’t even clean the dishes cause there that would be in the same level.

    Kate: So I can’t even do any households if I just have to disappear like into the depths, the basement downstairs, but that’s been great.

    Susan: But see what I love, what you’re saying is you just, you are making intentional time and intentional choice to step away.

    Kate: Gotta do a girl. Like I have, I know some other mom, friends who are like, girl, the baby’s attachment kids attach me.

    Kate: They will. And I was like, just fucking disappear. [00:59:00] You disappear. They can’t see you. They might cry or fuss for a bit, but they said they only have daddy or grandma or whomever. Then eventually if they’re like reasonably healthily attached, they will not forget about you, but they’ll be fine, you know? But I think as moms and I’m not blaming moms, I think it’s very hard.

    Kate: Sometimes you just like,

    Kate: sometimes they

    Kate: don’t and you can go. That’s my word of advice. They’re unsolicited.

    Susan: Yeah. I guess my other hack is like grandma tap grandma. Yeah. Have them build a special bond

    Susan: that’s our COVID episodes. Please. Don’t send us hate mail.

    Jeanette: All right, ladies. Soldier on.

    Jeanette: we hope you found something helpful, reassuring or interesting in this episode of model minority moms. If you enjoyed the episode, please help us spread the word by texting a friend about our show [01:00:00] or leave us a review on apple podcasts. If you want to connect with us, please visit our website. Add model minority, or follow us on Instagram, where we love receiving messages from our listeners.