Dianne Foster and her 8- year-old son, Dakota, live in FishHawk. Foster and Dakota stayed home to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have since gotten back into their old routine, but they do it cautiously.

Dianne Foster and her 8-year-old son, Dakota, live in FishHawk. Foster and Dakota stayed home to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her son adjusted to attending school online but missed his friends.

“He was happy we were home together, but he missed his friends and playing baseball,” Foster said.

When schools opened back up, Foster sent her son back to a brick and mortar school. He was thrilled to have some of his old normalcy back in his life.

“We still social distance and we are slowly introducing him to having visits with his friends, but they were friends we knew who wore masks and practiced social distancing,” Foster said.

According to an article on the MassGeneral Hospital for Children website, www.massgeneral.org/children/coronavirus/preparing-children-for-when-their-parents-return-to-work, there have been advantages and disadvantages for families that spent more time together during the pandemic.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, families self-isolating at home together has presented many opportunities for family time and bonding between children and their parents or caregivers. However, this can also present challenges for parents, as more are able to return to work when children, especially infants and toddlers, have grown attached to their caregivers and [are] used to staying at home with their families,” it said.

One of the disadvantages listed is that school-age children may experience some anxiety about returning to school after the extended period at home, particularly if they are prone to anxiety.
Foster and her son have slowly gotten back into his baseball routine too.

“Now that they are starting to open up baseball again, even though it’s a little different with maintaining social distancing in the stands and wearing a mask, we still try to enjoy it as much as we can,” Foster said. “It was very stressful for my son not being able to see his friends while we were staying home, but thank goodness for technology. He was able to stay in contact with his friends.”

Foster and her son are still following all the rules in their new normal to stay safe, but her son is just thrilled to be playing baseball again and able to see his friends.

“The only thing Dakota has said that he is unhappy about is that he couldn’t hug his best friend when he was able to see him for the first time since staying home,” Foster said.

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.