Right now the most fragile children face one more trauma in their lives, and their parents face untold worry. One unnamed woman told The Washington Post that every morning before her two children wake up, she disinfects their home. When it comes time to go pick up meals, she puts her seven-year-old, who has a compromised immune system after cancer and is terrified to go out, in the farthest back seat. Once home, they shower and the mother sprays the seven-year-old with disinfectant.
But the girl is terrified of what coronavirus would mean for her, and of leaving the house. “She said, ‘Oh, Mommy, I don’t want to go outside, I don’t want to get the corona, I don’t want to die,’” her mother told The Post. But the two breakfasts and two lunches the family gets are the only food they have since the mother lost work because of coronavirus closures.
Can you imagine that kind of terror? Knowing that every day you face the choice between exposure to a disease that could be fatal, or going hungry? At seven years old? Or being the parent who has to ask, “Do I go get the food and risk my child’s life? Or do we go hungry, but stay safe from the virus?”
The Agriculture Department needs to act now to ensure that families can get their immunocompromised kids food without endangering them. Emphasis on now.