BRAZOS VALLEY — A tug of war between conflicting COVID guidelines is having a major effect on a child's mental health.
Students now face another year of uncertainty, and some are fearful of the damage it can cause.
James Calanog will be starting his first year of middle school. When he grows up, he would like to be a zoologist and paleontologist.
“My favorite sport is football,” said James Calanog, a student at Cypress Grove Intermediate. “Social studies is like my favorite but science is there still.”
Last fall, he returned to campus while many did online learning. Although James was happy to be back, he missed having more students to socialize with.
“I’m a social person like I like interacting with people, so I didn’t really like that it was harder to socialize with people,” Calanog added.
The CDC now recommends everyone revert to wearing a mask indoors even if fully vaccinated, especially in schools.
“Going into another year of uncertainty we are truly, truly trying to get the fun back for the students,” said Tracey Calanog, on the board of directors for NAMI.
All the back-and-forth changes have had a negative effect on some student's mental health.
“Change comes with anything that we do but our kids don’t realize how change can affect them not just physically but mentally as well,” said Calanog.
As an advocate for those struggling with mental health and a parent herself, Tracey Calanog says parents need to help their kids understand why the need for masks is making a comeback.
“It’s going to come down to our parents playing a big role in that explanation if that’s what comes down the pipe then that’s what we're going to do, but it’s going to come back to our parents educating the kids,” she said.
Her son James is crossing his fingers hoping they don’t return to another lockdown.
“Since they said last year, there’s going to be no masks anymore and this year they're saying there's probably going to be masks and probably going to be a lock-down in Texas,” shared Calanog.
Areas of high transmission are a major concern for health officials.
According to the numbers tracked by the CDC, 46% of US counties are experiencing a high transmission rate. The CDC is recommending these be the first places to return to masking up.