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Storygirl

Teens and work during the pandemic

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I'm not sure any of the threads have touched much on this topic yet. Are your teens still working? Are you comfortable with it? Have they quit their jobs or taken a break from working? What precautions are you taking at home when they return from their shifts, if they are working? How much interaction do they have with the public, and does that make you feel uncomfortable? Will you let your teens work at a summer job this year?

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DD18 works at Chik-fil-A. She worked for a few weeks after this whole things started, and I was really uncomfortable with her exposure. I think she worked through March or perhaps the first week of April. After that, she told the managers that her parents wanted her to stay at home, and they stopped putting her on the schedule. For awhile after that, CFA had team members work the same shifts with the same people all of the time, but DD says they have stopped doing that now.

She just told them a day or two ago that she would start picking up shifts here and there for the next couple of weeks, and that they could put her back on the regular schedule toward the end of May. I'm still not comfortable with it, but the other option is to have her quit. Which she does not want to do, and she would lose a CFA college scholarship that she was just awarded.

And today she received notice that someone on the CFA team has been diagnosed with Covid-19. They disinfected the store and are notifying employees that worked with that person. I assume they are taking those employees off of the schedule for a period of time (but the message did not say that). But CFA is remaining open.

I feel very conflicted.

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My 20yo was furloughed from the library back in April.

My 18yo works at a chain pharmacy, they were very proactive giving out masks to all employees, cleaning etc. very early on.  She works the drive through and I am very comfortable with that. Her co workers can't distance, but they are all very considerate of each other with masks etc.

My 16yo works at a grocery store. They were taking no precautions whatsoever until the governor mandated masks for employees. The management is very dismissive of the whole thing and only do what they are legally bound to do. So no plexiglass, no sanitizer, minimal cleaning, no masks until forced to (and the first day of mandated wear my dd said they were the loudest complainers. She thinks there were several employees that were secretly glad for the mandate because the environment is so toxic about it) I am not happy, but we aren't forcing her to quit as jobs for teens are hard to come by here and our county has a really small amount of cases and it is not a busy store. She told them she didn't want to cashier anymore, so most of her shifts she spends stocking, although she usually does work one day a week cashiering.

Everyone working outside the house has to shower immediately and put their clothes straight into the washing machine. When getting ready for the shower, they turn their shirts inside out and stuff the rest of their clothes inside to be taken to the washer.

Overall, I am ok with them working, especially since we are such a rural area and the cases are really low

Edited by saraha
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My 19 year old was working in entertainment (he had just quit fter over a year at the Nerf battle place and had been hired at a movie theater) which has been shut down.

I have not encouraged him to seek work in an essential job (such as grocery stocking) because he does not NEED the job - his food and lodging are covered by DH's stable work. He didn't need entertainment or gas money etc. Though his other goals have also had to be put on hold. I felt that it would not be a good decision in conscience to take a job that might be feeding a family or keeping a roof over someone's head. 

He was also in the hiring process for a job in his field when everything fell apart, which has been under a hiring freeze. They are still being encouraging but unable to get any new hires. 

He is following up regularly on the industry job and is beginning to explore other options... he is anxious to save up so he can move out on his own in the next few months and these two months of lost income are making that hard. We will encourage him to seek employment as his schooling wraps up. 

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I have three other teens, besides DD18. My two youngest had been talking this spring a bit about finding a summer job for the first time. Now, they won't.

DS16 has a job lined up through a job training program, but it's questionable whether that will actually happen now. We will have the choice of having him do job training skills remotely with a job coach, if either his job site won't allow teens to come, or if we feel uncomfortable with him going. DS has ASD, so there are drawbacks for him to doing things over teleconferences. He has had many of them during our remote schooling time and dislikes them. But I'm not sure any of us will feel ready for him to go to a job site in June. We are waiting for more information about this and then will need to make some hard decisions.

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Dd17 has a job at the mall, but has not worked since mid-March when the store closed.  I would not be comfortable with her working now, so I'm glad the decision was taken out of our hands.  

Edited by Junie
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My oldest is 19 and will turn 20 at the end of the month. He won’t be a ‘teen’ much longer. Coincidentally, he is walking out the door for his first day back in 2 months. He works at Starbucks and they offered to pay employees if they want to stay home. The employees that stayed got more hours and increased pay. His store was drive-thru only. With dh working at a hospital, I wasn’t too keen on having two chances of bringing it home. And let’s face it, teens may not take the same precautions an adult would. They are opening up their cafes to online app orders. Otherwise he will have very little contact with people. I made sure he has a good mask that won’t make him feel like he has to adjust constantly. I hoped to have a bunch of masks to donate to his store but I really don’t have enough confidence in my sewing skills to be distributing my masks quite yet. 

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Dd18 has been providing child care for essential workers the entire time.  They do temperature checks of staff and kids.  Lots of cleaning.  She's old enough that it is up to her. 

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D'S 20 has been working the whole time and D'S 18 started a few weeks ago. Both are in essential industries (transportation and ag). I probably would have objected to D'S 18 starting his job except it's at the same farm and office building where DH works so the exposure circle is the same. They are both adults now and they need the cash for college. 

We live in an ag heavy area and spring is when all the action starts, so DD 16 was offered a couple different part time jobs, but we passed. I figured if it's essential we'd let someone who needs the job have it, not my DD who really just wanted out of the house 🙂 She will start one of the part time jobs later in May or June.

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My teens are both working part-time food service jobs. I’m comfortable enough. Reasonable precautions are taken at work and hands are washed upon entering the house.

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My 16yo is still working.  Her jobs do not involve contact with the public but do involve contact with co-workers.  Most seem respectful and all are using masks, sanitizer, and distancing.  I'm still not terribly comfortable but it is what it is.

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My older young adults have jobs they can work from home. My youngest is not working, and I am uncomfortable with her being around any of her acquaintances that have continued to work, or who have family members that have continued to have high exposure by working outside of the house. I have gone to my office when no one else is there and my procedure for sanitizing the place upon arrival are pretty strident (plus only two others are ever there, never when I am).

Once we start mingling with others again, we have a list to work through as far as her friend groups go. Any of those teens that have been working outside the house are on the B list. As it is, we have decided, as a family with people who have asthma, that we are tagging an additional 15 days to whatever opening phase dates given by local government. We want to see what kind of openings trigger new spikes. 

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My teen isn't working, but a friend's teen took a good-paying job at a grocery store filling online orders.  She gets an extra $2 per hour right now for hazard pay.  

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My teen was hoping to work this term and summer—trying to work out a juggling act between wheels and work since we are rural without local teen jobs (other than occasional hay bucking gigs and similar that he has done). 

That plan has been delayed due to CV19.  

Summer could conceivably still happen, but is a particular problem insofar as I am relatively high risk.  If he can find a job for summer and wants the work experience, he may need to take a room in the city.

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My 16 year old works at a karate studio; they are starting to do in person classes again this week but she is going to continue with just teaching online for now.

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DS doesn’t work during the school year (which goes until mid-late June here), but he had planned to work as a swim instructor and lifeguard this summer, neither of which will be happening. As much as he would like to work, none of us feel comfortable with it right now and I can’t imagine it changing. Big disappointment, but not worth the risk for him. 

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My 17 year old works in retail that was closed but will re-open in two weeks as part 3 of our state re-opening. I am waiting to hear what their plans are for plexiglass and masks. It's a national chain so I am hopeful they will be pro-active. If they take reasonable safety precautions, right now I am planning on letting him go back. The structure is good for him. He needs some routine.  And we have very few cases locally. 

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The cancelled soccer season means no games for my teen to referee. At least he no longer needs a certain amount of money by June. We were going to split the cost of some summer competitions with him, but those are cancelled too. 

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I don't currently have a working age teen.  We did however hire a teen/almost teen to mow our lawn.  He appears to be doing really well in his newly established lawn care business, given the other lawns I have seen him mow lol.

If I had a working age teen, I would totally be encouraging her (or him, but my DS is only 7) to go work a job.  

 

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My 19 year old is mostly working from home.  Her tutoring job is all online this quarter, and probably summer quarter as well.  Her other job is 4 hours a week in the client's home.  She wears a mask, and cleans up (changes clothes, shower) when she gets home.  This week she is going to have to call off work because DS is sick and her work's policy is to call off if anyone in the family is sick with anything that has any symptoms in common with Covid19.  I am almost positive that it is just allergies because he has been refusing to take meds, but we can't guarantee it, so she will stay home this week.

My 17 year old wants to get a job, but we are not wanting him to at this point.  I'd be fine with him getting a mowing job or something, but I do not want him working in a store or other places with a lot of customer contact.

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All three of my teens are presently working. I'm glad they have the opportunity to do so.

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My oldest two are 14 and 16 (in a month). They have been planning to work at a local farm as pickers this summer. Oldest DD worked there last year. Younger is now old enough as well. We’ll be done with school the end of May so they’ll go over and see about work the next week. (14 and 15 year olds can’t work during the week while school is in session here.) I have no problem with it. They’ll be outside or in greenhouses. There aren’t many other employees there and they are all spread out. It’s not a great paying or very sought after job so I don’t worry about them taking income from people looking to feed their families. And better for teens to do that type of work rather than the elderly farm owners. 
    We live only a couple of hours outside of NYC and have a decent number of cases locally but this seems low risk. They’ll be outdoors in a hot, humid environment, spread apart from other employees, they are healthy teens so their risk is low, and they’ll be gross when they come home so of course they’ll be showering and I won’t even need to remind them. DH is a police officer and has been working this whole time so we already have exposure to who knows what. I won’t insist on masks because picking is such hot, sweaty work. I feel like wearing a damp mask when breathing will already be more challenging wouldn’t be wise. Maybe I’ll have them keep one in their pocket just in case they need to interact with someone more closely. 
 

 

Edited by 2ndGenHomeschooler
Removing a snarky comment at the end. It’s been a day and I shouldn’t have added it.
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DS is in college, but lives at home.  He worked as a valet, but his employer has gone out of business, so he is now unemployed.  He did not have to be close to people much, but he was in and out of various people's vehicles.  He has talked about looking for a summer job, if there is anyone locally hiring.  I would not be too concerned about his having a job.  

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My son had just gotten a new job and was due to start when the lockdown started. He'd already quit his other job. The new job has him on hold indefinitely - veterinary clinic that is only doing curbside services right now. In the meantime he is volunteering three days a week at the avian rehabilitation center. I'm not THRILLED, but it is outside almost entirely, in the sun, he's able to distance other than in one room where they cut up food and they are limiting people to max two at a time, usually just one, and he has a mask. He definitely wears the mask while interacting with the public - like when picking up a bird someone found or what not. I know because I washed it and he asked for it, lol. I am not positive he wears it around the other volunteers, but there are only 3 there usually, and they are all concerned and I know the owner is wearing a mask. (she asked me to make her some with bird fabric). 

It is what it is. He has good knowledge of infection control from working at veterinary offices, and from volunteering there, where they sometimes have sick animals in quarantine. The other volunteers do as well, and the owner is taking it seriously. And the birds need to eat. And he needs the fresh air. 

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As of right now, the area ambulance squads have frozen hiring “fresh” people, so I may have bought some time!  Dd wants to use her EMT license the moment she’s allowed to.

One or both girls will likely be working at a local family farm again. One works in the fields, so I’m not too worried about her. They tend to have a good distance to begin with, and I trust that they’ll be extra careful. The other worked in the storefront last year. They are offering curbside pick up now and masks are required inside (state and reiterated by the owners.) I don’t like the idea of customer interaction, but I do think it’ll be much better than the grocery store or fast food.  And definitely better than ambulances and hospitals!!!

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Our rural county has had 11 Covid-19 cases so far, so our risk is very low. 

My 18yo works at the golf course, mostly cooking and serving take out orders. She usually lifeguards over the summer, but I don’t know if our pool will be opening. Once she is done with high school next week, we will be encouraging her to find FT summer employment. 
 

My 16yo planned on umping baseball and life guarding this summer. Since Both jobs are TBD, he has been rock picking. He turned 16yo during the shutdown, so he doesn’t have his drivers license see yet. That limits his job opportunities. 
 

My 13yo will be rock picking as well. 

Edited by 2squared
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My 15 year old (16 this summer) was supposed to be job hunting this summer.  That is on hold.  She had been volunteering at the YMCA weekly this school year, but they are closed for now.  Once they reopen I will need to decide whether to allow her to resume.   At this point I do not think I am comfortable with it.  It is something I am just going to have to monitor closely. 

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2 hours ago, 2squared said:

Our rural county has had 11 Covid-19 cases so far, so our risk is very low. 

My 18yo works at the golf course, mostly cooking and serving take out orders. She usually lifeguards over the summer, but I don’t know if our pool will be opening. Once she is done with high school next week, we will be encouraging her to find FT summer employment. 
 

My 16yo planned on umping baseball and life guarding this summer. Since Both jobs are TBD, he has been rock picking. He turned 16yo during the shutdown, so he doesn’t have his drivers license see yet. That limits his job opportunities. 
 

My 13yo will be rock picking as well. 

What is rockpicking?

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Realized I forgot to say, when I said my son was volunteering (in great detail lol) that we are in florida, our state has 38,000 cases, my county has almost 1,500. 

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3 hours ago, 2squared said:

Our rural county has had 11 Covid-19 cases so far, so our risk is very low. 

My 18yo works at the golf course, mostly cooking and serving take out orders. She usually lifeguards over the summer, but I don’t know if our pool will be opening. Once she is done with high school next week, we will be encouraging her to find FT summer employment. 
 

My 16yo planned on umping baseball and life guarding this summer. Since Both jobs are TBD, he has been rock picking. He turned 16yo during the shutdown, so he doesn’t have his drivers license see yet. That limits his job opportunities. 
 

My 13yo will be rock picking as well. 

Rock picking?

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1 hour ago, Hyacinth said:

Rock picking?

Yes, picking rocks out of fields by hand so the farmers’ equipment does not break when they farm. It’s tough work, but common for pre-drivers since it’s hard to find other employment before 15yo. 
 

My 12yo is hoping to get hired on a crew this summer. My boys have been hired at 12yo, but I don’t know if they will hire a 12yo girl. We are going to try!

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My 17 year old is supposed to be an overnight camp counselor this summer. I think it will be cancelled. If so she would like a job at home, but I don’t really want her out working fast food and then wanting to hang out with her co workers all around town. If the daycares are open she needs to do volunteer hours for her CDA certificate so she can do that instead. It’s going to be a long summer.

My almost 20 year old is moving away next week back to his college town where he has a summer internship that is still on. He’s lucky. He started part time for them in Jan so has been working remote this whole time. I’m not thrilled about moving him during a pandemic but the job and apt are all lined up so he’s going and we are driving the uhaul.

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Starting in June Dd17 was going to be a belayer at a ropes course for summer camps and to babysit for a family with 4 kids.

I'm guessing the camps will be cancelled, but she hasn't heard for sure yet. She may still babysit, and I told her we have lots of yard work and home maintenance she could do to earn money for college. 

 

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My 16 yo works at a greenhouse/family farm. She has contact with customers, but it is not a super busy place. I'm thrilled that she has been able to keep working.

My 14yo will be able to work there as well as summer gets into full swing. He has also wanted to apply at the local drive-thru restaurant. I'm pretty sure they will say he is too young, but if he gets hired I have no problem with it.

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My dds tea shop job is still there but she won’t be getting the hours she’d hoped for. It’s a tiny shop and going to half capacity will affect everything. It’s disappointing. I wish she could work more as it’s really good for her physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

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10 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

My dds tea shop job is still there but she won’t be getting the hours she’d hoped for. It’s a tiny shop and going to half capacity will affect everything. It’s disappointing. I wish she could work more as it’s really good for her physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

I'm sorry for your daughter. My dd also gets enormous mental health benefits from working. As long as she has the option to work, I can't imagine telling her no. I hope your dd's hours are able to pick up as summer goes on. 

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10 hours ago, 2squared said:

Yes, picking rocks out of fields by hand so the farmers’ equipment does not break when they farm. It’s tough work, but common for pre-drivers since it’s hard to find other employment before 15yo. 
 

My 12yo is hoping to get hired on a crew this summer. My boys have been hired at 12yo, but I don’t know if they will hire a 12yo girl. We are going to try!

My boys picked rocks too! 🙂

Great job for pre-drivers ... physical labor, outdoors, with friends, and they are thrilled with whatever the farmer pays them 

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My dd19 was teaching music to young children. She had to stop teaching for the last 2 months. The student were too young for on-line learning. Hopefully she'll be able to continue teaching again soon.

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My son is an adult college student. He was hoping to work this summer but doesn't want to risk the exposure. He lives with my 83 year old mother, so I'm glad he's being prudent. Thankfully, he's in a decent financial position that he doesn't need to work. 

 

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20 year old was supposed to study in London this summer but that’s obviously not happening. There are no internships and we’ve told him we are fine with him doing nothing this summer. I doubt it would be easy for him to find something here anyway. Youngest was looking when this all happened but they will probably do nothing as well before they start college this fall (who knows what that will even look like). Fortunately, they don’t need the money but it’s still rough for them having nothing going on all summer.

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No one is working right now but it’s been a topic of discussion for the summer. No final decisions yet but we will probably let them work with masks on (which is the law here anyway). 

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Back when we thought that maybe things would be closed for only a month or so, my boys (who both work at the same McDonalds, ages 15 and 17), asked if they could not be scheduled, since DH is in a high risk category.

McD’s said that it was fine and that the boys could tell them when they were ready to be back on the schedule.

That was 8 weeks ago.  Sigh.

My oldest is going to college in the fall and he’d really hoped to work a ton over the summer to get some money.  

I’m so torn.  My husband is only in the high risk category because he’s on blood thinners and it’s super hard to find any information as to why being on blood thinners makes you high risk.  So...we don’t know if he’s *really* high risk or not. If he’s not, I wish my oldest could go to work in the summer.  But if DH is high risk, then, I don’t think I want to chance it.  I don’t trust that the other employees at McDs, who are mostly a bunch of teenagers and 20-somethings, will take their precautions seriously.  I can picture them fooling around and taking off masks in the back and not thinking it’s a big deal because “we’re all young and we’ll be fine.”  

Edited by Garga
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My DS is too young to work, but my 18yo sister is working in a grocery store. They are being great with masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, plexiglass, etc. Mom is in her early 60s and has some health issues, so it's important that she not bring it home, but the procedures in place seem good.

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My 18yo son got his lifeguarding certification right before COVID-19. So he hasn't gotten a chance to use it.  He took a job in a convenience store but that only lasted a month.  He got his hours cut (and he was less than pleasant to some unruly customers) and then was let go.  He needs to focus on graduating high school and his summer community college classes start next week (yes before HS graduation).

My 19yo bonus son (my son's friend who is living part time with us) got a job in a pizza shop and got let go within about one week.  He is focusing on finals and then he will see what he does for the summer.

My 16yo son thought he would try working for Trader Joe's but that's on hold.  My 13yo is a highly sought after babysitter/summer camp leader and is wondering if she can run a camp this summer for a family or two.

 

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31 minutes ago, Garga said:

Back when we thought that maybe things would be closed for only a month or so, my boys (who both work at the same McDonalds, ages 15 and 17), asked if they could not be scheduled, since DH is in a high risk category.

McD’s said that it was fine and that the boys could tell them when they were ready to be back on the schedule.

That was 8 weeks ago.  Sigh.

My oldest is going to college in the fall and he’d really hoped to work a ton over the summer to get some money.  

I’m so torn.  My husband is only in the high risk category because he’s on blood thinners and it’s super hard to find any information as to why being on blood thinners makes you high risk.  So...we don’t know if he’s *really* high risk or not. If he’s not, I wish my oldest could go to work in the summer.  But if DH is high risk, then, I don’t think I want to chance it.  I don’t trust that the other employees at McDs, who are mostly a bunch of teenagers and 20-somethings, will take their precautions seriously.  I can picture them fooling around and taking off masks in the back and not thinking it’s a big deal because “we’re all young and we’ll be fine.”  

This is similar to our situation with DD18 working at CFA, though I am the one with some risk factors in our household. I've really been wrestling with it; now more than ever, since her location has had a Covid-positive employee. Of course, that means that they will be short of staff for awhile, while some employees cannot work, and they asked DD if they can put her on the schedule for next week.

We told DD that she needs to take her uniform off immediately when she gets home and wash it. The laundry room is next to the garage, so she can do this step before walking through the rest of the house. Then she will wash her hands thoroughly in the laundry room sink and go immediately upstairs to take a shower, not touching anything on the way. She will wipe down the counters and faucets in the bathroom when she is done.She will also wear a mask at work (required by CFA) and keep hand sanitizer in her car to clean her hands before she starts driving home. We're hoping to keep it out of the house in this way and reduce exposing anyone else in our family.

If she herself ends up with an infection, she is at low risk for having a severe case, but of course would be exposing the rest of us in the house. She knows that if this happens, she will need to quarantine in her room for two weeks or until she is well. I'm consoling myself with the thought that if she does get coronavirus, that I will be less worried to send her to the dorms in the fall. Not that I want her to get it, but I'm trying to find any bright side possible.

Unfortunately, her return to work makes our family unsafe to visit our elderly parents. We have not seen them since the first week of March (or before). Our state still has orders for no gatherings over 10 people, but when that is lifted, I think we still will not be able to see our parents for a long time.

Which means there will probably be no grandparents at DD's graduation ceremony, which has been rescheduled for the end of June (small private school with graduating class of 15, so they are hoping for an in-person but delayed ceremony). The grandparents are all in their 80s and have many risk factors, so they may not have gone to a ceremony, anyway, but it's likely they won't even be able to attend any small family celebrations.

 

 

Edited by Storygirl
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I've been "liking" all of the posts, though obviously some are filled with unfortunate news.

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15 hours ago, 2squared said:

Yes, picking rocks out of fields by hand so the farmers’ equipment does not break when they farm. It’s tough work, but common for pre-drivers since it’s hard to find other employment before 15yo. 
 

I had NO idea. Thanks for enlightening this suburban girl.

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15 hours ago, 2squared said:

Yes, picking rocks out of fields by hand so the farmers’ equipment does not break when they farm. It’s tough work, but common for pre-drivers since it’s hard to find other employment before 15yo. 
 

My 12yo is hoping to get hired on a crew this summer. My boys have been hired at 12yo, but I don’t know if they will hire a 12yo girl. We are going to try!

Ok, so what do they pay them? By the rock? The hour? The bucket full?

I have been picking lava rocks (the landscape kind) out of my yard for a year, and actually gave myself a bad case of synovitis digging them out of the ground with my fingers. I need some kids to hire! (I didn't pay well enough for my own kids to do more than a bucket full..sigh)

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2 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Ok, so what do they pay them? By the rock? The hour? The bucket full?

I have been picking lava rocks (the landscape kind) out of my yard for a year, and actually gave myself a bad case of synovitis digging them out of the ground with my fingers. I need some kids to hire! (I didn't pay well enough for my own kids to do more than a bucket full..sigh)

I seem to remember my boys getting approx $50 for an 8 hour-ish day around age 13.

Edited by Momto6inIN
Eta: They load them in a wagon pulled by a 4 wheeler

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