DEAR DR NAOMI WOLF: “More Damage Than We Know — A Mother’s Testimony of Collateral Damage”
Dear Dr. Wolf,
Please see the note below from ACPS in Virginia. My child attends school there and has been harmed by these horrible policies. Sadly, X’s father, from whom I am divorced, is filled with fear, and has indoctrinated X with such fear to the extent that X is almost unreachable. For example, in the beginning of the current crisis, X’s father made X stay 6 feet away from him and wear a mask in their father’s own residence. My child, when they returned from a visit from their father’s, would not hug me or see their grandmother. After a few months, X stopped coming back to the house they grew up in to see me because their father told them to be fearful of infecting him with the deadly virus. In short, my ex made my child think they could kill their father by seeing their mother. I was criticized for not always wearing a mask or for leaving the house for activities with my current husband. Now, I hardly see X and miss them terribly. I wish I could have gotten them out of that environment. Previously, my kids knew I was an independent thinker; they trusted me and my instincts. This time is heart-breaking and unprecedented.
I miss my child, whom it seems has been taken over by a cult. This is what it is like here in some parts of Virginia. I have also heard from women friends that abusive ex spouses have used the virus to control or attempt to control them or threaten them in terms of their children.
I share this message from the school in hopes that perhaps you would cover it. I have seen the harms done to children in these schools, to teachers and to us all. The policies have harmed my own children terribly, from school failures, to depression and anxiety. X’s father has isolated X and discouraged X from seeing their friends out of his own fear. X used to be part of one of the largest clubs at school, which met every Friday night and Sunday afternoons. The in-person club was a lifeline for X and brought them so much joy after they had lost contact with an older sibling, who became addicted to video games. X was also in band but then stopped that when school shut down to in-person meetings. How can you play an instrument on Zoom? X has become increasingly isolated and will hardly leave their father’s house. Masks and isolation are dehumanizing, disheartening, and harmful — I do not think it is too much to say they are deadly. I almost never see X. When I have asked X to do things with me, they say no. When I ask “when?”, they have said, “When the pandemic is over.”
Naomi, these terrible powers are making it so the pandemic is never over. I was a mom who did things and fixed things and rescued my kids and others when I could. This is very hard for me not to be able to fix this. But I can keep writing and sharing.
Thank you for anything you are able to do about the school masking issues and other repressive and deadly policies in Virginia.
Please see official notice I am forwarding below.
With love and gratitude–