The actress Andie MacDowell observes what we all know. She suggests, “We’ve become such a multitasking society that just paying attention to the road doesn’t seem to be that important anymore. I have to remind my kids all the time that that’s what you’re supposed to be doing in the car.”
MacDowell’s assertion is surely true when it comes to parents and paying attention to the road of home life. In this pandemic, working remotely, virtual schooling, and daily life all conspire to make paying attention one difficult proposition.
I listen to my wonderful nonprofit colleagues discuss that challenge as well. How do you reform your services to fit this COVID-19 environment and attend to the trauma that many staff are experiencing and, oh by the way, continue to raise money in economically challenging times?
And it’s true for the world of sports, too. More than one coach of repute has reflected that in this midst of hand sanitizers, masks, and social distancing at practice that it’s easy to not pay attention to the road around the game plan.
I am beginning to worry that perhaps Congress is not good at multi-tasking either. I understand the hyper-pressurized atmosphere connected with the Supreme Court confirmation process.
But in the midst of that critical national conversation, Congress simply has to also pay attention to the road of “kids and COVID.” The confirmation hearing debate is on a very fast track. Support for children and their needs to be on an even faster track.
Whether it is resources for child-care – an investment in the economy as much as it is also for kids’ safety and early learning – or thinking through what the K-12 community needs during these unpredictable times or ensuring that there is food on the table for every little boy and girl, action is needed NOW. Not tomorrow. Not after the Supreme Court issue is resolved. Not after the election. NOW!
And while there are genuine divisions between the House Democrats and Senate Republicans on a range of COVID-19 related issues, there is genuine common ground on kids and families. While all will no doubt consider this slander, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and 3rd District Congressman Yarmuth and his House colleagues, such as Representatives Guthrie and Comer, all sound as if they are singing from the same hymnal when it comes to kids and COVID. And that is good news for our young ones and their moms and dads.
And it is noteworthy that the House and Senate passed and the President signed a Continuing Resolution on September 30 to fund the government through mid-December, which included funds for the vital Pandemic-EBT benefit and additional SNAP and WIC waivers to ensure families can access food.
So come on, Congress! With the latest COVID-19 relief proposal released by the U.S. House and the efforts of the bi-partisan Problem Solvers Caucus, and the more hopeful musings of Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, we are closer to common ground than ever before in securing this badly needed relief for families.
Go ahead and have that robust debate around the Court. But pay attention to the road that I’m writing about and deliver for Kentucky’s kids and families. And do it with vigor and do it NOW! That is what you are supposed to be doing, after all!
Take action today by telling our leaders in D.C. that our kids need help and they need help now. Check out our COVID-19 Action Hub for more resources on federal action needed.