Debra Furr-Holden and her daughter Olivia.
I am not a heavy-handed parent. I trust that what my children have heard, seen and experienced has set the foundation for them to make informed decisions. I once held the strong position that I was the "keeper of their futures" and made decisions for them until they were able to make well-informed decisions for themselves.
When my daughter’s college informed the students and parents that they were opening and receiving students on campus, I was sure Olivia would make the ‘right choice.’ She’s heard me on Zooms and national media advocating against school re-opening.
In my professional opinion, we are not ready. There are too many unknowns and a lack of community-wide testing in school-aged children, including college students. But I trusted that Olivia was able to make this decision for herself.
On decision day, she simply said, “I’m going.” I was shocked. How could she come to this conclusion? She told me the testing protocol at her college and reminded me that despite being around people who tested positive, she had not contracted the virus. She gave back my own words: ‘Honor the protocols.’ She reassured me if the promises made by her college were not honored and enforced, she would return home.
Move-in day was quite a pleasant surprise. All parents and students were masked up. Her dorm room, designed for two students, was now a room for one.