TODAY WE BEGIN A DAILY SPECIAL SERIES COUNTING DOWN THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2020.
I’ve been doing this year-end countdown since I started blogging in 2007. Having lived in Franklin since 1992 I understand this small city has always had great potential. However that goal is still a work in progress.
During the 1980’s award-winning sportswriter for the Boston Globe Bob Ryan described the Milwaukee Bucks at the time in an interview as being a team that came to class, did their homework, drank their milk, was well-behaved. “B” students Ryan called them. But just not “A” caliber.
That’s Franklin. “B” students. Not bad. Not great. Room for improvement.
There were bright spots in 2020, but still enough negativity to have us shaking our heads. Let’s begin.
During the past year the coronavirus cruelty was everywhere, canceling just about every highly anticipated event in its path.
Birthday parties, dance competitions, musical performances, sports, graduations, school plays, visits to family members, vacations, parks, pools, playgrounds, camps, child care centers, after-school programs (because there was no school).
Cancellations left kids stressed, upset, and lonely.
From the Mayo Clinic:
Loneliness due to the pandemic is particularly tough on children. Compared with adults, kids tend to have a harder time communicating their feelings. And in this situation kids can’t rely on familiar coping strategies, such as visiting with friends.
Social distancing measures also prevent kids from spending time with their peers during an important period of growth and social development. Friendships with other children can give kids crucial support, build a sense of belonging and help them to develop personal identities. Loneliness in children and adolescents is also worrisome because it can have long-term effects. Research shows that loneliness in kids, especially over extended periods, is linked with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety in the following years. Due to heightened stress and reduced access to health care, the COVID-19 pandemic also might worsen children’s existing mental health conditions.
Dr. Lisa Damour is a psychologist, best-selling author, monthly New York Times columnist and mother of two.
“Kids have every right to be upset about how coronavirus has disrupted their normal lives,” said Dr. Damour. “The way that we adults can be helpful to them is to make space for them to be upset and to offer them empathy because so much of what they saw cancelled were once-in-a-lifetime events. And even if we as grownups don’t think it’s that big a deal, these are events that kids have been looking forward to for months if not years.”
Some joy came to Franklin during the pandemic thanks to one mom whose creativity was captured in a great piece by CBS 58 in June.
10) THE PARADE BRIGADE