The coronavirus pandemic is blowing apart the kinds of summer child care relief that parents rely on. Summer school is not happening. Summer camp is not happening. Summer youth sports leagues are not happening. The coronavirus makes it dangerous to dump your little disease vectors with their grandparents. Where the hell are parents supposed to put their kids during long summer days when they’re supposed to go back to work?
Middle- to upper-income families may be able to find babysitters or nannies once sheltering-in-place orders relax. But lower-income families—the families who most desperately need as many wage earners as possible in the household—are going to be entirely screwed.
…Working parents already hoard their sick days (if they’re lucky enough to have them) to cover a child’s illness instead of their own. I don’t think this country has thought through what would be required to make it feasible for every sick person or child to stay home when they’re feeling ill. Businesses might be desperate to resume making profits, but I don’t see them clamoring to give out uncapped sick days to their workers.
…There’s already some statistical evidence of the toll this gender disparity is taking on professional women, and we’ve only been without schools for a few weeks. In academia, we’re already seeing that journal submissions authored solely by women are down, while solo-authored male submissions are actually up.
The pandemic exacerbates gender inequalities still too common in domestic life, at the same time as it strips away supports women rely on to manage that unfairness. If women do most of the cooking, families can no longer supplement that domestic labor with trips out to eat. If women do most of the house cleaning, fortunate families can no longer supplement that work with domestic service providers, and many people have probably noticed that the house gets a lot messier when nobody can ever leave it. Working parents have more domestic work to do during the crisis, and yet have exactly the same amount of professional work to accomplish. That burden is falling more heavily on women, and it seems like employers and politicians don’t even notice.
Pardon…. Who knew? I bet your wife did.
Also, if somebody always makes cutesie cut sandwiches, the kids always expect cutesie cut sandwiches. why the hell was was your wife OK with not only doing more work than you but taking on the extra work of making cutesie cut sandwiches when you didn’t even know what the kids ate, anyways? Co-parent, equal division of labor my ass.