As the novel coronavirus continues to spread and schools across the city close, at least one “Brooklyn Mom” is working to take some of the added pressure off of parents.
Stay-at-home mother Angie Wong is using the Facebook group she founded in 2015 to encourage camaraderie amongst parents, while helping to educate children and keep them connected.
Wong founded the “Brooklyn Moms” page after realizing the borough didn’t have its own online group for mothers. Now that the page has over 11,000 followers, Wong says the group has become a source of sanity for moms in any stage of parenthood — and especially during this time of upheaval.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Wong has started inviting group members to use online education sources such as “Little Fox,” and has even started using Facebook Live to host some “classes.” During the livestreams, Wong invites teachers and tutors to do read-along exercises or showcase do-it-yourself projects.
Wong said prior to the closure of New York City public schools that she had been working closely with those in the borough, in hopes of providing the Brooklyn Moms Facebook page with access to teaching modules such as online tests built for students who are unable to come into the classroom for various reasons.
Coronavirus has been a main topic of conversation within the group for the last month, Wong said, but anxiety amongst group members has certainly spiked in recent days.
“Conversations regarding the coronavirus went from, ‘I’m going to remain relaxed and still plan on going to Disney World over spring break with my kids’ to ‘Who has room in their home outside of the city where my kids and I can hide’ in a matter of days,” Wong said.
According to Wong, most families with the means to leave the city have already done so. However, the reality is much different for parents who can’t afford babysitters or daycare and are forced to quarantine within the city. Wong also stressed that those families who often utilize the help of extended family or grandparents in more vulnerable age groups have been unable to.
With tensions and fears rising, Wong said she has been forced to delete some posts on the group page spreading panic and false information. In their place, Wong said she has tried to reinforce facts about the coronavirus and restore a sense of calm.
“We are a resourceful group of parents, specifically moms, who may not have a cure for the coronavirus or perfect knowledge on how to avoid it, but we can help each other get through this,” Wong said.